Theological Vision – Words of Grace Blog – February 23, 2024

Theological Vision – Words of Grace Blog – February 23, 2024

I have had an interesting relationship with the word “vision” throughout my life. My first concern with vision was in school when I realized I couldn’t see well. Getting eyeglasses helped my physical sight, but I had just begun my journey with the idea of having a vision that would guide my life.

I can’t remember where I first read or heard of the idea of vision, but when I did, I came up with one for my life. My thinking at the time was to determine the vision, write it down, and review it regularly to keep me focused. If I made decisions that contributed to the fulfillment of that vision, someday the vision would become a reality and all would be well, so I thought. I applied this to my personal life and my work.

At this stage of my thinking the point was to have a vision— some compelling future in mind that would draw me toward success. In some ways, this has served me well. There is wisdom in this way of living.

As time went on, I came to see that there was much more to vision than what I previously understood. Vision is the ability to see reality beyond my plans for my life and work. Vision has to do with God’s purposes, plans, and work in history. The vision is God’s and seeing it is a gift from him. Seeing God’s will and ways and his work toward the future is the vision that sustains my hope when things don’t turn out as I planned.

The highest level of vision is to see reality from God’s perspective. To understand what he planned from all eternity, what he is currently doing in the world and in our lives, and what the future will be. I am not suggesting we can discern God’s ways in the details of life, but we can know that the trajectory of all things is toward his glorious future.

This vision is revealed in the Bible. It can be written down in many ways, some succinctly and some book-length. The Lord himself chose to write it in the whole of the sixty-six books of the Bible. Sometimes he put it in a single sentence.

One place God’s vision is written is Isaiah 49:6, “I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” The end of all things is the glory of God in the salvation of people to the end of the earth.

Here are two things to think and pray about this weekend. First, is your vision theological in nature? Is the thing that motivates you, keeps you grounded, and gives you hope related to God and his purposes and plans? You have plans for your life and your work, and you should. Is there a vision underneath that keeps you steady and focused on Christ?

Second, let’s pray for the vision of Isaiah 49, and of the whole Bible, to be seen and embraced by our congregation. Congregations need the theological vision of the Bible as their ballast in the turbulent waters of the world. May the Lord give this to us.

I look forward to worshipping with you on Sunday. Let’s pray for each other this weekend.