What Do You See? Prayer Summit - It's Personal!
In order to achieve, create, build, assemble or organize anything, we have to see something. There has to be some sort of mental picture that aligns with the expectation of what the finished product might look like. This may be one reason why some people don’t seem to accomplish much…because they don’t ‘see’ anything other than what is right in front of them.
The Lord gave us the ability to ‘see’ in a variety of ways. There is, of course, our natural vision that allows perception with our natural or physical eyes. We also ‘see’ with our mind’s eye or our imagination. We are also familiar with seeing in the spirit. This is when the Holy Spirit reveals a condition, circumstance or fact that is not naturally known by the one seeing. Seeing in the spirit is not an awareness or perception that is given or made known naturally or physically. It is by the Spirit.
Each one of these visual abilities that the Lord has blessed us with has various sub-categories. The easiest to explain are some of the sub-categories of natural or physical vision. The range of physical sight is multi-layered and fascinating. For instance, without any effort at all, without even being conscious of it, we can be reading a book, then glance up and focus on something in the distance. Then go right back to focusing on close-range reading. We know that sometimes we need some type of eyewear to assist in these transitions. But when the eyes work the way the Lord originally intended, the transitions from near to far and vice versa are seamless and not even noticeable. There is also peripheral vision: what we see on either side even though we are looking straight ahead. There is also the ability to judge distances, to tell how close or far away an object is. We make these assessments, adjustments and transitions multiple times a day without giving them a second thought.
This is how the Lord designed humanity. In order to get the fullest benefit of what He has made and prepared for us, we need to ‘see’.
Looking at Genesis 15:1 AMP After these things, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram, I am your Shield, your abundant compensation, and your reward shall be exceedingly great.
The verse opens with these words, “After these things…” What things? The king of Elam with other allied kings attacked the region where Lot lived. Someone came and told Abram his nephew Lot had been captured in the battle. Abram gathered his 318 servants whom he had trained for battle and went after the offenders. Abram and his men, with some allies of his own, conquered the attackers and brought back Lot and all the people and goods that had been taken.
The next part of the verse says,”...the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision…” The WORD of the Lord came to him IN A VISION. Commentaries report that this is the first time that the Bible records this phrase “the word of the Lord came to”. We are familiar with it because after this it is used many times in the Bible. We know the first time something occurs with the Lord, it holds special significance. But this sounds just a little odd because the word, which we generally hear or read, came to Abram IN A VISION! He, Abram, then was in a trance-like state. All of his natural, earthly perceptions were suspended or put on hold. God could have just talked to Abram and let Abram hear His voice. Why did the Word come to him IN A VISION? Because the Lord wanted Abram to see something! Not only hear it but see it. What is the Lord showing you?
If we get one sensory perception during an important event, it may be memorable. Simply hearing the Word of God might be like biting into a fresh, ripe, plump ear of corn on the cob. If all the other perceptions are turned off except hearing, we would hear the pop of the kernels as we sank our teeth into the savory deliciousness. But when all of the other perceptions are involved the experience and the memory are much fuller, more enjoyable, more satisfying and definitely more memorable. We can see the rich maize color, we can smell the fresh wonderful aroma. Our taste buds are on high alert in anticipation of what they are about to experience and are experiencing. The tongue is already expecting the delightful combination of the feel of the kernels and the tiny grains of salt with the golden liquid of the butter.
This was an occasion that would be etched in Abrams entire being for the rest of his life! It was much more than simply ‘hearing’ the Word. I don’t know what Abram saw in the vision but the Lord wanted him to be transported from where he was physically to where God was taking him spiritually. Whatever the Lord has shown you, whatever you see and hear affects so many more people than just you. Whatever Abram saw that day we are recipients of it this day, right now.
The next phrase of Genesis 15:1 is “...saying, Fear not Abram…” This seems like an odd statement to make since Abram had just completed a great victory in battle. But he only had 318 servants trained for battle. There were many other people in the land who might not take kindly to this outsider coming into our land and making mincemeat out of one of our own. Who do you think you are?!? Abram didn’t even get to enjoy the victory. As soon as it was over he went right into being worried about retaliation from the other native people.
The Lord knows our state of being, whatever it is. He knows, He cares and He addresses it. He told Abram that He had nothing to fear, nothing to worry about at all.
The Lord also called him by name. This is personal! The Lord is ministering specifically to you about some very important things. He has called you by name. He has not gotten your message mixed up with what He has for someone else. This Is Personal!
The Lord goes on to let Abram know why he has no reason to be afraid.
“...I am your Shield…” Abram, you are covered and protected. Don’t worry about who might be upset about your victory, your strength, your strategy or your skill. Don’t even give it another thought. The Lord was saying, “I’ve got you covered.” He has given each one of us this same assurance. Worry and fear and fretting are not of God. He is our Defender and He is our Protector.
The Lord has a way of going all the way in with us. We mention to Him about this nagging hangnail, and He will go right into an issue in the heart. He goes right to the meat of the matter. We’re talking and thinking on the surface, thinking that is where the Lord is going to stay as well. But He does a deep dive and addresses the core of the real issue.
So next He says to Abram, “...I am…your abundant compensation…” Whoa! Where did that come from? Abram had sacrificed to go into battle to rescue Lot and the rest of the people and goods. He had also given a tenth to the Priest of the Most High God, Melchizedek. But Abram refused to keep any of the spoil for himself even though the rescue diminished his personal resources. He had a mind to serve, not amass wealth unto himself. The Word the Lord spoke to him in the vision acknowledged that the Lord knows every sacrifice you have made to make someone else’s life easier and better. Not only does He know it but He gives the giver Himself as compensation for whatever you lost or suffered. Wouldn’t we rather have the Lord as our abundant compensation to refill, refuel and replenish whatever we lost or suffered? There is nothing another human being or group of people can do for us that compares to what the Lord does when we look to and receive Him as our abundant compensation. He can replenish in ways that no one else can.
The last phrase of the Word of the Lord that came to Abram in a vision is this “...and your reward shall be exceedingly great.”
Abram had been in a certain state of suffering for decades. Not just a few days or weeks but decades. By this time in his life he was about 85 years old and had no children. No blood offspring to carry on his legacy or to inherit all that God had given him. All the men around him most likely had sons and daughters…and he had none. I just wonder what did Abram see when the Lord spoke of this exceedingly great reward? He already had material goods: servants, herds, possessions. But those did not even satisfy one grain, one whisper of the lack or the void he felt.
We were reminded yesterday by Minister Cash that believers are not only encouraged to ask but we are instructed to ask for what we want and need. We ask in the name of Jesus and we expect to receive. Abram received even more than he expected. God gave him two sons and the population that has come through them is just as God said: they are as numerous as the sand of the sea and the stars of the sky. We also, modern day believers, are included in that number. We are counted as Abraham’s seed because we share in the promises made to him through our belief and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalm 84:11 NIV - For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
1 John 5:14-15 NIV This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
And if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of Him.
What Do You See? The Word of the Lord has come to us in a vision. We are hearing and seeing some things. We ought to have a keen expectation that God is working things out on our behalf. He is our Defender. He is our Protector. He is our Provider. He is our Savior! Praise the name of Jesus!