Prayer For A Heavenly Vision
A heavenly vision
Since he was a teenager, Jerry Graham has been gradually becoming blind. He has a genetic eye disease with no cure. In all of this, Jerry has gained a heavenly vision.
God had a different plan
“Of course, I always hoped that my vision would get better,” Jerry tells me. “Inside, however, I sensed that God had a different plan. The thing I wanted most of all was to know that I was pleasing to Him.
On one occasion we had a prayer meeting at church. One by one people got up and asked for prayer for one thing or another. Someone said: ‘Jerry, what do you want?’ What I wanted most was to understand more about God.
I can tell you that He heard and answered that prayer!
“I was well aware that God was doing something in me through all this—I didn’t want that to stop, even though it was through much sufferingThe Bible often mentions suffering. Though this can refer to outward, physical suffering, in the New Covenant it mostly applies to the suffering that occurs when you deny your own sinful lusts and desires and put them … .”
“I often visit a nearby lake that has walking paths. That is a good time to pray. I specifically remember one day when I felt particularly down, and I remember walking and praying to God in my need. At some point I was looking up and thinking, ‘There are no problems up there in heaven.’
“Then that verse came to me in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18: ‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.’
“That was a liberating light for me, and it strengthened me powerfully. My circumstances didn’t change, but my heavenly vision did.”
A widened circle of friends
Today Jerry is able to do many things that other people do: he goes on walks, babysits his grandson and cooks. His white cane helps him navigate, and he has found ways to stay in contact with his friends.
After church he often finds a place to sit in the coffee bar or outside on the patio. He says, “People just come up and sit down with me.I have had some really good conversations that way, and since I couldn’t choose who that person was, it has widened my area of contact with people.
Sometimes this can get humorous: I have often discovered that the person I was talking to was the wrong person, or had since walked away. There I was, talking to the air!”
“I think about what I am gaining”
“It pays for me to think about what I am gaining—not what I am losing. I have friends everywhere, all over the world. I have thankfulness and an increasing degree of contentedness; I have people whom I care for and who care for me. I have never lacked anything I needed in this world—actually I have much more than I really need.
“I can look forward to an eternity together with the best and most amazing people who have ever lived on this earth. Do I lack anything? No. But there is suffering in this life. It’s just a question of where my ‘vision’ is.
“I might live another day, a year, or 30 years. I might get my vision back some day and maybe not. As long as I can learn of God, what difference does it make? I’m receiving the most valuable things from Him already. If I was to gain the whole world, and yet lose my own soul, what good would it do me? That would certainly be an eternal loss!”
“No temptation too great”
Despite his condition, Jerry is confident in God and in God’s Word. He tells about a special verse, 1 Corinthians 10:13, that has helped him: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
“This verse is a powerful spiritual weapon. God says that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, but all our human feelings tell us the opposite: This is too much for me, or I won’t be able to endure this, etc. Whom should I believe? For me the answer is obvious: ‘Let God be true but every man a liar.’ Romans 3:4.
“We have to believe either God or our own feelings, and it’s obvious that God is true even when our many feelings vacillate. I think that everyone who loves the truth understands this. It is also written that we are not debtors to the flesh. All those thoughts and feelings can come, but we don’t have to be a slave to them.
“This is really a liberating word! I hope that everyone in the world can grasp it! Then Satan with all his lies will be silenced forever. That will be a happy day!”
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Lord, Release us from Ourselves and Bring us on a High Mountain to See the Vision!
We need to have a heavenly vision that governs us, directs us, encourages us, and takes us on with the Lord, making us one with Him for His purpose.
In order for us to have a heavenly vision from God we need to pray – we need to open to the Lord in prayer, asking Him to bring us on a high and great mountain, and we need to pray that He would release us from anything that preoccupies us.
How can we see a clear vision of what’s on God’s heart if we are preoccupied with ourselves, if we are full of knowledge and doctrines, and we have no space for God’s speaking? We need to ask the Lord to, first of all, bring us away from any situation and mood and feeling – away and high on a mountain, as the Apostle John was brought by the Spirit to see the holy city (Rev. 21:9-10).
We need to ask the Lord to release us from ourselves, bringing us our own experiences, our learning, and our past attainments, all of which can hinder us from seeing something fresh of the heavenly vision. We need to be lifted up by the Lord to a new realm, an elevated sphere, a place that we have never been or reached before, where we can have a transcendent view of the glorious vision of God.
From His side, God wants to reveal many things to us, and He wants us to have a heavenly vision that will cause us to live one with Him for His purpose. On our side, we need to prepare ourselves by opening to Him in prayer, emptying ourselves before Him and removing any veils from our eyes that His light may shine and we may see the heavenly vision clearly.
All the saints in all the local churches need to see the heavenly vision. When we speak to one another, we should not speak mere teachings or doctrines we read in books or in the Bible, but speak from a vision and with a vision that we have seen under the shining of God’s light.
When we come to God’s word in the divine light with the confessing of our sins and the application of the blood of Christ, Christ has a way to shine on the revelation in the holy Word and cause this revelation to become a vision to us.
Lord Jesus, release us from ourselves. Bring us our own experiences, learning, and past attainments. We want to cooperate with You to be unveiled, unloaded, and emptied that we may see the heavenly vision. Lord, bring us on a high mountain in spirit. Bring us into an elevated sphere that we have never reached before so that we may have a transcendent view of the glorious vision of God!
Being Brought to a High Mountain and Ourselves to See the Heavenly Vision
Rev. 21:10 And he carried me away in spirit onto a great and high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down heaven from God.
We should not be content with what we have seen of the heavenly vision but seek the Lord earnestly that He may unveil us further, empty us deeper, and unload us from anything that we think we know and may hinder the further seeing.
God the Father is the source, He gives the vision, but if we don’t cooperate with Him on our part, we may restrict the coming and the seeing of the vision. When we pray to open and be unloaded before the Lord, asking Him to bring us in spirit on a high mountain and our own past experiences, learning, and attainments, we admit:Lord, we are nothing, we have nothing, we can do nothing, and we are NOT. Lord, we don’t trust in our mind, we don’t trust our intelligence or intellect, we don’t trust in our feelings, and we don’t want to hold any partial knowledge from the past.
The Apostle John was experienced in the Lord when he was about to see the New Jerusalem, and yet he needed to be brought somewhere high on a mountain (not in the wilderness, where he saw the great Babylon) in spirit!
The view from the plain is not adequate; the view from where we are right now is not high enough – we cannot see the heavenly vision from where we are right now. We need to be brought to an elevated sphere and realm, a place we have never reached before, a place from where we can have a transcendent view of the glorious vision of God.
I was touched by brother Lee’s sharing on this, with his prayer still ringing in my ears and resounding in my heart with a deep Amen,
How I wish that every brother and sister would have such an attitude and desire and that we would tell the Lord, “I want to be released and carried away from myself. I want to be freed not only from my wicked sins but also from my good, spiritual experiences.
Although I have had many attainments already, I want to see a vision that is higher, greater, deeper, richer, and more far-reaching and transcendent.
” May God have mercy on every one of us that we would be rescued and carried away from ourselves to a transcendent position that we may have a transcendent view, a far-reaching sight, to see through all things so that we may see the glorious vision of God. (The Vision of the Building of the Church, pp. 8-9)
We All Need to See the Heavenly Vision and Speak Heavenly Visions to Others
Coming to the Bible in a routine way to merely do our Bible reading is not enough. Reading the Bible sequentially without touching the Lord will not do it. We need to come to the word of God, His speaking to us, by coming to God through the exercise of our spirit.
We need to come into God’s light, confess our sins, and apply the precious blood of Christ to be cleansed and pure in heart. When we read the Bible we need to pray-read the word of God, mixing the word with our prayer with the exercise of our spirit and a strong AMEN! to God’s speaking.
As we pray-read the word of God, we will receive a divine revelation, and the Spirit will shine over the revelation to make it a vision to us.We need to ask the Lord for a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the full knowledge of Him (Eph. 1:17) and be under His light so that the revelation we receive from God’s word would become a vision to us.
As we turn our heart to the Lord and remove any blockages between us and Him, the veil is taken away (2 Cor. 3:16), and we can see the Lord face to face in His word. Then, we can ask the Lord to enlighten the eyes of our heart that we may see the divine revelation, and He will shine on us to cause the revelation we see become a vision to us.
Ezekiel saw visions of God: he saw the four living creatures, God’s throne, the move of God, and so many things; therefore, he conveyed these visions to others, and these visions governed his life (see Ezek. 1).
As believers in Christ we shouldn’t merely speak doctrines or “Bible teachings” to others but we should have a heavenly vision and convey heavenly visions to others.
When we come together to enjoy the Lord, when we meet one another, and even when we meet with non-believing friends, we should not minister theories, doctrines, concepts, spiritual opinions, or “systematized theology” but a vision from the open heavens (see 2 Tim. 2:2, 15, 25; 1 John 1:1-3; Rev. 1:11a).
Every believer needs to see the heavenly vision by coming to the word of God in a fresh, new, and living way with the exercise of his spirit, and when he speaks, the heavenly vision will be conveyed to others also. May the Lord save us from having mere spiritual knowledge by reading the word of God.
May we simply clear the way and open as wide as we can for the Lord to bring us into and under the heavenly vision, and may we speak from the heavenly vision conveying this vision to others also! Oh, may a clear, controlling vision of God’s economy direct our heart, and may everything we say be governed by this vision to convey this vision!
Lord, save us from having mere knowledge by reading the Word of God and the ministry opening up the word of God. May we exercise our spirit and cooperate with You to remove any veil and obstacle to the divine light.We want to come to Your word through the exercise of our spirit to be unveiled, shined on, and filled with the heavenly vision. Lord, unveil us, unload us, and empty us from anything that would obstruct the seeing of the vision.
May our speaking be filled with the heavenly vision to bring others also into a clear vision of Your economy!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Ron Kangas’ sharing in the message for this week, and portions from, The Vision of the Building of the Church (pp.
8-9), as quoted in, the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Heavenly Vision, week 1 / msg 1, The Governing and Controlling Vision—the Vision of God’s Economy (you can buy this morning revival book here).
- Recommended further reading: chs. 1-6 in, Elders’ Training, Book 2: The Vision of the Lord’s Recovery (by W. Lee).
- Hymns on this topic:
# Savior, lead me up the mountain, / Where the Lord alone is seen, / Where we hear the voice from heaven, / Where the air is pure and clean. / Lead me higher up the mountain, / Give me fellowship with Thee; / In Thy light I see the fountain, / And the blood it cleanses me.
# Our eyes have seen the vision: / The goal is now in view, / Christ has defeated Satan, / And sin and death are through. / The way is cut and open, / The paths are all made straight; / We’ve heard the call: Come forward! / We’ve laid aside each weight.
# Glorious vision, I have seen it: My life is meant for God’s economy! / Earthly bondage, I have left it: My heart outpours for the Lord’s recovery! / Divine Trinity, Divine dispensing: Christ to be life as Spirit real is He; / Churches of God, Body of Christ, New Jerusalem—how I long to see. (song on The Glorious Vision)