THE NEED FOR VISION IN OUR WORK
A. John 4:35
B. The word “vision” means the ability to see things that are
visible – but we also use it to mean the ability to see other
things: “Vision is the art of seeing things invisible”
1. Vision is the “unusual competence in discernment or
perception; intelligent foresight”
2. Who has not heard a founding father of some community
eulogized as a “man of vision”?
C. Without the imagination to visualize worthy goals and the
foresight to see how these can be realized, very little of
importance is achieved.
D. No wind favors the ship with no destined port.
E. In the Lord’s work, we desperately need an elevated vision
of what it is all about.
1. We need greater goals (what can be done) and greater
objectives (how it can be done).
2. Jesus had a great vision … Matthew 9:36-38.
F. We need to be dreaming some dreams that are worthy of the
“King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Rev. 19:16).
G. What can help us to elevate and enlarge our vision in
the Lord’s work?
A. TWO WAYS OUR VISION CAN BE INADEQUATE
1. Suppose a man is driven by the “vision” of “making as
much money as possible” – two things may keep him from
making as much money as he could.
a. One is that he may be limited in his idea of what “a lot
of money” is — his imagination of how much money it is
possible to make, etc.
b. Another is that he may never make any more specific
plans than the vague notion of “making as much money
2. If our “vision” is to “teach as many people the gospel
as possible,” we can be afflicted by the same two
a. We may think too small concerning what can be
b. We may think too generally about what we should be
3. Perhaps we keep our vision small in both of these ways
because that is a safe – it is a no-risk way to avoid the
possibility of failure.
4. In any case, we have a problem that is a vision problem.
B. THE PROBLEM OF A VISION THAT IS TOO LITTLE
1. When we contemplate the Lord’s work, we often fail to
set our sights high enough – we have limited horizons
and minimal expectations.
2. Perhaps we are hindered by our past experience from
seeing any greater possibilities.
a. For example, the child who has never known anything
but abuse can have only a very limited notion of the
possibilities involved in the word “home.”
b. “It doesn’t get any better than this” is a statement many
almost always make within the framework of what they
have known so far.
3. Or maybe we have been fed such a steady diet of
defeatism that we see only problems (rather than
possibilities) and obstacles (rather than opportunities) –
maybe we have been conditioned to see the glass as
half-empty, rather than half-full.
4. But when it comes to “opportunity” for us to do what we
can do, the Lord is capable of opening “a great and
effective door” (1 Cor. 16:8-9).
5. We need to set our goals in terms of seed-sowing – but
even in terms of “results,” it just may be possible for us to
rescue far more people than we have allowed ourselves to
C. THE PROBLEM OF A VISION THAT IS TOO GENERAL
1. No dream has ever been achieved except by someone
who dared to flesh it out in terms of the specifics
necessary to make the dream a reality.
2. It is great to plan to “go to heaven,” to “serve the Lord
faithfully,” to “do the work of evangelism,” etc.
3. But how do we do those things? By asking the
a. By what means do we get those results?
b. What specific, measurable actions will move us
where we want to be?
c. How much time, effort, and money will it take?
4. We need to see our vision of the Lord’s work in
concrete terms of things we can actually do – and plan
specifically how much of them we are going to do!
D. WHAT OUR VISION NEEDS
1. Without question what we really lack is greatness of
a. We simply do not trust the Lord.
b. Do you remember Peter and his attempt to walk on the
water to Jesus?
b. Matthew 14:31
2. We need to “see” the help that is available to us, and have
the faith to appropriate it.
a. 1 Samuel 17:26, 47
b. 2 Kings 6:15-17
c. Romans 8:31
3. God has proven over and again His ability to bring great
results out of “unpromising” situations
a. The feeding of the 5,000 (Jn. 6:1-14)
b. Jonathan said to his servant … 1 Samuel 14:6
c. Asa prayed … 2 Chronicles 14:11
4. If the Lord ever said anything to His disciples, He surely
said, “Do not be afraid.”
a. Matthew 10:28
b. John 16:33
c. 1 John 4:4
A. We need to eliminate whatever is keeping us from
having a worthy vision – congregationally as well as
individually, we need to “lay aside every weight, and the
sin which so easily ensnares us” (Heb. 12:1).
B. We will acquire a greater vision if we develop a greater
sense of personal involvement in the spiritual welfare and
destiny of our neighbors:
1. A sense of personal grief for what is going on (Ezra
2. A sense of righteous indignation at the devil who is
responsible (2 Cor. 11:2)
C. We need a unified vision that can inspire us together to
greater labor for the Lord.
D. “Let us rise up and build” (Neh. 2:18).
E. We need leadership that will lift our vision up to where it
ought to be.
F. We need simply to open our eyes: “Lift up your eyes and
look at the fields, for they are already white for
harvest!” (Jn. 4:35).