The way in which God interacts with each of His children is in perfect harmony with basic principles found in Scripture. God wants us to know His ways so we can properly respond to the events He brings into our lives. His ways often involve the birth of a vision, the death of a vision, and the supernatural fulfillment of that vision.
As an illustration of the birth, death, and supernatural fulfillment of a vision, Scripture refers to the process of planting a grain of wheat. Although the tiny grain has the potential to produce “much fruit,” it first must be buried in the ground and die. Only then—through “death”—can new life spring up to produce a hundredfold increase. (See John 12:24.)
God wants each believer to grow in his knowledge of Him and in his understanding of His ways. Our Heavenly Father will use situations and circumstances to reveal His love for us and our need for Him. God will use disappointments, hindrances, and what seem to be “dead ends” or hopeless situations in life to motivate us to look to Him for His strength and timing for the fulfillment of the vision. As we wait on Him, God often works in ways that we never would have expected.
The Birth of a Vision
God has given each of us a special special purpose for our lives, and He wants to reveal that purpose to us. However, sometimes God has a specific work He wants to do in our lives. He will give us an idea or desire that He wants to accomplish for and through us. The realization of God-given desires or goals in a person’s heart is the “birth of a vision.” This visualization of what God intends to do in your life then inspires and motivates you to pursue the goal you believe you must fulfill.
Abraham is an example of someone who experienced this birth of a vision. God told Abram (before his name was changed to Abraham), “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2). Later God told Abram, “Look now toward heaven, and tell [count] the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be” (Genesis 15:5). God gave Abraham the vision of becoming the father of a great nation.
The Death of a Vision
After a time of realizing the vision and forming plans to fulfill it, little mishaps or major catastrophes that seem to bring an end to the vision may occur. This “death of a vision” can come in various forms, such as financial setbacks, impossible circumstances, physical deficiencies, or others who doubt the vision.
At this point, an individual can encounter intense temptations to doubt his relationship with God and question whether or not the vision was truly from God. Satan wants to destroy God’s work in our lives and often comes as an “angel of light” to create confusion and deceive us. (See II Corinthians 11:14.) He attempts to convince us to use our own energy and earthly wisdom to fulfill the vision, thus directing our steps away from God’s chosen path and onto a path that can lead to disillusionment, destruction, and death. (See Proverbs 3:5–7 and 16:25.)
Faced with the death of a vision, a person must hold on to hope, praying and expecting God to work out His revealed will despite the seeming impossibility. This season of praying and waiting provides us with the opportunity to come to the end of ourselves, cast ourselves on God, and look to Him to demonstrate His power in bringing the vision to fulfillment supernaturally. (See Psalm 27:14, 86:10–11, and Isaiah 40:27–31.)
Abram’s death of the vision came when his wife Sarai was unable to have a child. (See Genesis 16:1.) Rather than trusting God to fulfill the vision supernaturally, Abram was persuaded to take matters into his own hands. He attempted to fulfill the vision by having a child with his wife’s handmaid, Hagar. “Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai” (Genesis 16:2). His wife suggested, and Abraham agreed, to turn to human reasoning and efforts to bring fruition to the God-given vision.
The Supernatural Fulfillment of a Vision
With the death of a vision, one can easily become discouraged. However, discouragement should not be the end of the story! Instead, with the death of a vision, we can cry out to God for intervention to make the impossible a reality. Continue to wait on God, trust in Him, and walk in obedience to His direction. When we realize that the vision we hoped for is no longer in our power to fulfill, God lovingly and supernaturally fulfills that vision, usually in ways and through means that we never would have thought. Our faith will be strengthened and God will be glorified.
In Abraham’s life, God worked supernaturally to fulfill His promises. God restated His vision to him: “God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her” (Genesis 17:15–16). After years of waiting, God supernaturally gave Abraham and Sarah a son in their old age, and Abraham became the father of a great nation. In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans, he noted this miraculous answer by God: “Who [Abraham] against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb” (Romans 4:18–19).
God is more concerned about what happens within us than what happens to us. He wants us to be conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. He knows that as Christ is formed within us, He can accomplish His purpose through our lives.
When we begin to understand God’s ways, we see the great value in going through the death of a vision. God uses this time of waiting to accomplish needed character-building and spiritual maturity in our lives. We grow in the areas of patience, in waiting on God’s time; faith, in believing He will do what He says; meekness, in yielding our personal rights; and self control, in not running ahead of God; and many others. The “vision” provides the motivation not to become discouraged. This time of “death”’ and maturity prepares us for greater ministry when God does fulfill the vision. As we experience the birth, death, and supernatural fulfillment of a vision, we will learn to understand and trust God more deeply. Our faith will grow so that we can be firmly assured that God will do what He has said He will do. God faithfully equips us to fulfill His calling in our lives. (See Romans 5:3–5 and 8:28–29.)