"Now the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; there was no frequent or widely spread vision. At that time, Eli, whose eyesight had dimmed so that he could not see, was lying down in his own place."
I Samuel 3: 1,2, Amplified Bible
"When There's No Vision"
"When our gaze has wandered even a little from Christ let us immediately turn the eyes of our heart back to Him and let our vision be directed to Him as though along the straightest line."
Is there anything in my life today which has diverted my vision from the path God has laid out before me?
"May our Lord Jesus Christ in His mercy make us all worthy of His glorious vision."
Joseph the Visionary
"What mighty channels for the outpouring of God's love upon the world would be represented here today if each woman before me were prepared to obey the heavenly vision."
On September 12, 1861 a baby girl was born to Dr. and Mrs. Isobel Soper. The eldest daughter, Florence, had a tough time when at only nine-years of age, her mother died and she went to live with an aunt until her father remarried. Florence was tremendously gifted and always had a secret longing to become a doctor. But after meeting Bramwell Booth, who became the 2nd General of The Salvation Army, Florence Booth, motivated by the terrible conditions many women faced in the 1880's, got a vision. With jobs scarce and prostitution rampant, seeing girls as young as thirteen selling themselves broke this kind woman's heart. Her vision led her to become the pioneer of the Salvation Army's social work for women.
This is how one author described Florence Booth:
"She was young, delicate, refined; her remarkable powers of administration had not been developed at the time; she was typical of the well-educated, rather shrinking and self-conscious girl of the English professional classes - perhaps the last person in the world to whom any one would have thought of committing so hazardous and dreadful a business as rescuing fallen women."
But Florence Booth had a vision. She saw that young, abused girls, many of whom were expecting babies, needed a safe haven - and so this most unlikely person took on a task that appeared too big for her. All it took was following the path God laid out before her, and never, ever letting her vision be diverted from the work God placed in her hands.
Right now, there's a popular ad on television here in the United States for an investment company. They have drawn a green line which they insist their clients should stay on if they want to end up reaching their goal in the end. In one commercial, as a man is walking down this green line, his eyes catch the gleam of a fancy car in a showroom window. Of course, he can't help but turn his head and admire the stunning vehicle. As he ponders his next move, a voice in his head says, "Stay on the line. Stay on the path."
In our text today, we find the Bible says there was no vision. The King James Version says there was no "open vision" and in the Hebrew this phrase means to "break out" a "revelation." With everybody doing what was right in their own "eyes" or as the Hebrew states, "the sight of their own landscape," the Israelites became a bunch of individuals who were directed not by God's vision or revelation but by their personal wants and desires. And frankly, I can relate, for every time I've lost my way in my life, it has been because my vision was directed on my "landscape" and not "heaven's."
I find these words penned by Jean Vanier to aptly apply to the situation at the time Samuel's service began in Israel: "To grow is to emerge gradually from a land where our vision is limited."
While the Israelites had allowed their vision to be distracted, Eli had not only physically lost his vision but spiritually as well, as he chose to ignore the wayward behavior of his sons. As Jean Vanier continues, "Where we are seeking and governed by egotistical pleasure," our vision is limited to the landscape of our own creation.
But when we expand our vision and allow heaven's revelations to open us to wider vistas, we come into a land, "of unlimited horizons and universal love, where we will be open to every person and desire their happiness."
In the words of Marcel Proust, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." May our prayer today be that we will have heavenly eyes open to the vision our Father has for each one of us, even when we feel we are totally inadequate to take on the task He has for us.
"I believe that we get a vision of God when we are willing to accept what that vision does to us."
"Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, Save that Thou art,
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
High King of heaven, when victory is won
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O ruler of all."
By Mary Byrne
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $10.00.
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