Dave Everson

Vox: Discerning vision

photo: man with glassesLike yesterday’s post about guidance, I also have a list of questions I ask as I evaluate vision. Many of the same cautions apply, in particular: is it consistent with God’s character and scripture? But I also ask other, broader questions:

1. Is it exciting, motivating, inspiring, moving?

Vision gives meaning to guidance. It pulls our eyes up from the day-to-day and tells us what we’re moving toward. Vision that’s from God tends to engage our hearts.

2. Does it require faith and love?

Guidance doesn’t always have to require more faith or more love. But vision from God almost always includes growth in both areas.

3. Is it broad or specific?

If your vision is too specific, it might be better to call it guidance (specific steps to take) or a goal (a benchmark to achieve on the way to vision).

4. Is it consistent with God’s larger agendas with the world, the Church, the church, and you?

A vision from God will be consistent with what he’s already doing. We only perceive his work in part. But where we see glaring inconsistencies between what we thought God has been up to and where we think he’s leading us, we ought to seek new wisdom.

5. Even if it’s a stretch, is it a natural next chapter of your development?

God often shows us visions of new, unimagined things. But more often than not, the new is built on the foundations of the old.

6. Is it consistent with your unchanging calling?

Similar to question 5, this question asks if God has already given you permanent, unchanging purpose or call? If so, any new vision he sends will probably be in line with it.

7. Has God given you guidance for moving toward this vision?

Receiving specific guidance points that could lead you toward a vision can be a confirming sign that God is behind the vision. It is really important, however, not to put too much weight on this question, because God often gives vision before he makes a way for it to become real. “Wait,” is a very real, very common point of guidance, and the time spent waiting is usually rich with preparation.

Photo Credits
Man with glasses: bhagath makka; CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license