I want to remind you of the four keys to hearing the voice of God:
Last week I wrote on STILLNESS while I want to focus on VISION today. Vision is in its simplest definition “a sense of sight.” In our text for these articles Habakkuk spoke of vision as something he would willingly engage, in a spiritual sense, in order to hear from God.
“I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.”
Habakkuk 2:1 KJV
The prophet employs the language of a watchman who took responsibility for observing traffic in and out of the city. Watchmen were the first to notice approaching external aggression against a city from the vantage point of the watchtowers on the walls or gates of ancient cities. The elevated place of stillness allowed for concentration and enhanced peripheral vision. The prophet meant he would find a quiet place of prayer and in communion with God, he would engage the eye of his heart to SEE what God would say to him. Ideally, a person ought to listen to hear what another would say but he is “watching to see,” which means God speaks in pictures. I love how the message version translates the verse:
“What’s God going to say to my questions? I’m braced for the worst. I’ll climb to the lookout tower and scan the horizon. I’ll wait to see what God says, how he’ll answer my complaint.”
Habakkuk 2:1 MSG
It is a joy for me to know I can symbolically “climb to the lookout tower” in prayer and “scan the horizon” in the spirit. This deliberate engagement of the eye of our spirits makes hearing from God easier. The founder and late pastor of the worlds largest church, Dr Yonggi Cho in his book “The Fourth Dimension” says, “visions and dreams are the language of the Holy Spirit” based on Acts 2:16-17. If young men are to see visions and old men dream dreams as a result of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, it means the Spirit communicates to us by revelation. A spiritual sense of sight is one of the benefits of being spiritually alive unto God and being filled with His Spirit (John 3:3, Ephesians 1:17-19).
We can experience visions and revelations on different levels. Out of our spirits can come spontaneous images to our hearts and imaginations. I remember praying for a car as a young pastor and not seeing it in material manifestation for a while, only for an image of a white Mercedes Benz car to be inspired to me not too long after. I immediately dismissed what I thought for “foolish thinking” as it was completely unaffordable. However, after not being able to get rid of the picture for days, I remembered Frances Hunter teaching in the book she wrote with her husband titled “How to heal the sick” that God makes offers to us through our imaginations at times and I claimed the car by faith. Frances had mentioned how the Lord through that method had led her in faith to receive 1,000, 10,000 and 100,000 dollars single donations for their ministry and at the time of writing had claimed 1,000,000 dollars donation (which was later confirmed). Shortly after I saw the car in my heart, the men of Rhema Chapel, Ibadan which I pastored at the time decided to buy me a car as a wedding present and bought the very car I had envisioned.
As much as such a vision can be inspired at anytime, like Habakkuk, we should learn to submit our hearts and imaginations to God in prayer and open up to see what images he will impress upon our hearts. Such experiences could also come to us as we meditate in the word of God. While in meditative prayer, God will often show us what he has in store for the future. However, such visions can come through the dreams we have when we sleep. Also, spiritual visions that we see clearly in such clear appearance as our natural sights. Trances as well, where our physical senses are totally suspended or even open visions. In open visions, the spiritual manifests in our material world like when Angels of God visited Abraham in Genesis 18. They even ate in his house. It is left to the prerogative of the Holy Spirit which dimension He chooses to use.
The entitlement of every child of God to see visions is clear in the universality of the outpouring of the Spirit which is upon all flesh(Acts 2:16-17). The Lord Jesus Christ promised His disciples before His crucifixion that when the Spirit of truth comes, He will among other things… show you things to come(John 16:13). As you find places of isolation and prayer today, learn to lookout in the spirit realm with the eye of your spirit and your imagination also. That is the first recipient of revelation to see what God will say to you on a regular basis. To be continued.