2020 Vision - Can You See God Yet?
In recent days, the national narrative concerning the COVID-19 Crisis has shifted to establishing strategies to reopen and to attempt to create some sense of normalcy. A lot has changed in a very short span of time. After all, we are only in the fourth month of the year.
As I am certain many of you did as well, I began this new year of Vision-2020 with what I thought would be a clear idea of how this year would look. I had great expectations of what was possible this year and I had set lofty goals that would require me to work smarter and harder and more focused than I had in quite some time. But within the last few days, I sat, and I looked at my vision board accepting that my realistic vision for the remainder of this year no longer aligned with the 2020 Vision with which I began on January 1. Suddenly, I was faced with reevaluating what could realistically be accomplished in this new climate. Initially, a sadness came over me as I stared at the images that represented my outlook for this year. Because after only four months in, I was faced with having to reconstruct my plans, redirect my outlook and reignite my passion in some areas that looked bleak from where I sat.
Then, as I so often do, I paused and sighed, and in a voice just above a whisper, I spoke to God, “what do I do with this now?” Suddenly, the moments that I stared at my board no longer caused discouragement, but rather reenergized me. In that moment, I began to clearly see that my vision for 2020 was never meant to be MY vision at all. For, now, God’s vision for the latter part of this year became clear and as the discouragement subsided, a renewed sense of Godly purpose enveloped me.
This week’s blog is not the next sequential message in the series during the Shelter in Place order. But rather, this week, I need to encourage someone not to give up on your vision for this year. Yet, consider for a moment that for 2020, the Lord has hijacked all of our Vision Boards, all of our To-Do Lists, our planned activities, and our structured, organized and self-centered agendas.
For most of us, our focus has not been on our vision boards or lists for these past 30-40 days. But what has been clearly presented to us in this season has now become our new focus. The items on most of our vision boards or our new year’s resolutions do not at all look like the life we are currently living. For now, we make time in our agendas and in our hearts for petitioning the Lord for protection, seeking the Lord for provision, trusting the Lord for healing, calling upon the Lord for comfort, begging the Lord for patience, searching the Word for guidance, kneeling before God in repentance, helping neighbors, feeding the hungry, offering shelter rather than eviction, speaking encouragement rather than contempt, serving others, praying for strength (and not just for ourselves), doing wellness and mental check-ins on people we had counted out, carrying the burdens of our brothers and sisters, and living out a life that puts the purposes of God before the plans that we had so meticulously set for this year.
These actions that serve God's purpose in the earth may not have been first or at the top of our personal plans, but the Lord has allowed us to endure a season where we desire His presence and His mighty hand in this situation above everything else that was planned for this year.
Matthew 6:33 reads, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” As long as I can remember and as long as I have preached and offered interpretation during Biblical studies, this scripture in Matthew 6:33 was presented as being a personal directive. In other words, it always meant that my offering of time, sacrifice and gifts must first be presented to God and the expectation is that He would then add unto the lives of His children. For me, the word first in this text was always relative to chronos time, no matter who I heard proclaiming this Word – my directive was to make God FIRST and He’s got it from there. Hear me out, I am not disputing that interpretation. However, I would like to offer an alternate revelation as we face this renewed vision of 2020. In ancient Greek, there were two words for the word “time”; chronos meant a moment in time, it refers to a definitive measurement of time, such as a day, a minute, first thing in the morning.
There is another Greek word that means time – Kairos timing. This refers to God’s appointed time as relative to dimension or season. So, go with me for a minute. What if putting God first has less to do with the time of day and more to do with this season of fulfillment of God’s time to refocus His children on His purposes for our very existence? Now then, let us connect Matthew 6:33 to the magnitude of our current crisis as we first take care of God’s business and then allow Him to take care of ours in the time that is to come.
We are experiencing a time in this “Kairos” season where we have been redirected to put God’s purpose before our own.
The intended purpose for what God has for us on the other side of this season is predetermined, not by our plans, but by the fulfillment of God’s divine plan as it is manifested through our obedience to His commands. Translation: what happens on the other side of this is determined by what we direct our focus on (what we bring into view) while we are in it.
Since we overwhelmingly began this year asking for clarity of vision in 2020, the Lord has heard our requests. Now pause and ask yourself if you are able to see Him clearly yet?
Kingdom work is never about our time or our vision. But when we choose to seek and to see God, the vision finally becomes perfectly clear.