Chapter 13: What Vision Is
“Every form of foresight begins with insight. Foresight is stifled when insight is shallow.” - Kayode Taiwo
Proverbs 29, verse 18 (AMP) says, “Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish….”
In simple terms, vision is the redemptive revelation of God. Vision sees the end from the beginning. It captures the heart of God, and then translates it into practical steps that lead to restoration, salvation, community, and empowerment. In Genesis, chapter 1, God created the earth; then He placed man in it. Genesis 1:26 in the NKJV states: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion…’”
This verse is pregnant with divine purpose. Vision always seeks to restore, build, save, encourage, free, empower, uphold, and redeem others. The nature of a God-given vision is seen in its love for others.
There are three principles that arise from this verse:
1. The Principle of Origin;
2. The Principle of Identity; and
3. The Principle of Destiny.
The Principle of Origin
Genesis 1:26 says “Then God said….” If the Bible did not identify the person speaking, it would leave room for guessing and doubt. But it tells us, “God said.” If the Bible said, “So-and-so’s Great Grandfather said,” we could pull the statement apart and say, “So-and-so’s Great Grandfather could be wrong.” But, the Bible eliminates any doubt or question as to who was speaking. The Bible says, “God said,” so man was not man’s idea; man was God’s idea.
“In a remote Swiss village stood a beautiful church. It was so beautiful, in fact, that it was known as the Mountain Valley Cathedral. The church was not only beautiful to look at--with its high pillars and magnificent stained glass windows--but it had the most beautiful pipe organ in the whole region. People would come from miles away--from far off lands--to hear the lovely tones of this organ.
“But there was a problem. The columns were still there--the windows still dazzled with the sunlight--but there was an eerie silence. The mountain valley no longer echoed the glorious fine tuned music of the pipe organ.
“Something had gone wrong with the pipe organ. Musicians and experts from around the world had tried to repair it. Every time a new person would try to fix it the villagers were subjected to sounds of disharmony, awful penetrating noises which polluted the air.
“One day an old man appeared at the church door. He spoke with the sexton and after a time the sexton reluctantly agreed to let the old man try his hand at repairing the organ. For two days the old man worked in almost total silence. The sexton was, in fact, getting a bit nervous. Then on the third day--at high noon--the mountain valley once again was filled with glorious music. Farmers dropped their plows, merchants closed their stores--everyone stopped what they were doing and headed for the church. Even the bushes and trees of the mountain tops seemed to respond as the glorious music echoed from ridge to ridge.
“After the old man finished his playing, a brave soul asked him how he could have fixed the organ, how could he restore this magnificent instrument when even the world’s experts could not. The old man merely said it was an inside job. “It was I who built this organ fifty years ago. I created it--and now I have restored it.” “That is what God is like. It is He who created the universe, and it is He who can, and will, and is in the process of restoring it.”
The Principle of Identity
God didn’t just say that He was going to make a creature. This creature had an identity. God said, “Let us make man in Our image….” This speaks of man’s identity. Man was to be God’s image bearer on the earth. The word “image” is the Hebrew word tselem meaning a representative figure. When you saw the man, you saw his God. He was an ambassador of Heaven on earth. For many years I questioned God as I was reading Genesis, chapter 2, verse 19. It says that God brought all of the animals to Adam to see what he would name them. I asked God, “Why did You have this man name all of the animals?”
God could have named the animals Himself. You have to understand that chapter 2 comes before the fall of man in chapter 3. Chapter 2 is a picture of the exercise of dominion. Man was made in God’s image, and he was exercising dominion as God’s representative.
Notice, when Adam named an animal, God didn’t come back and say, “Wait a minute, Adam. You missed it. What you called a lion should have been named a dog.” God didn’t do that. At this time, sin wasn’t in the picture. Man was in complete synchrony with his God so that when he spoke, God said, “Yes, that’s the name.” God approved what Adam declared. But the interesting thing is this. Even though man sinned in Genesis, chapter 3, Adam bore humanity in him; and from Adam, the seed of sin has been passed through all generations. Though man has sinned and is in a fallen state, the ability to name was never recalled.