We often speak of God "giving us a vision," and by this we mean that He supernaturally provides us with a picture of Heaven, or a glimpse into the spiritual realm. Certainly He can and does do this. However, I wonder if this is His ideal and original intention? That is, does Father always want us to just wait around for Him to sovereignly open our 'eyes' to the sacred dimension, or does He appreciate it when we take the initiative to open our spiritual eyes and proactively look into His supernatural world?
Jesus made it clear that He was anointed to bring recovery of sight to the blind (Lk. 4:18). Of course this is literal, and He did heal every physically blind person who came to Him for healing, but it is also spiritual, in that He came to restore our spiritual vision as well. We who were in darkness have been enlightened with His light of life, and now, because of Holy Spirit baptism, we are anointed to be seers.
Therein lies the difference between our heavenly Father giving us a vision and giving us vision. I am blessed with physical eyesight, so I don't ask God to let me see; I simply open my eyes and look. So too, we don't need to ask the Lord for piecemeal pictures and solitary snapshots of the spirit realm (or "visions" as we call them). Instead, we can simply open our spiritual eyes and see the supernatural world that permeates and infuses this natural world. The Kingdom of Heaven is not far off. Jesus said that it is right here in our midst, and at hand (Lk. 17:21).
Called to Look
We know Jesus was continually looking into the supernatural world because He said He only did what He saw His Father do (John. 5:19, 30). He is our model and example, and we are specifically directed to look into the spirit realm to see Him; to "fix our eyes on Jesus" (Heb. 12:2). In fact, throughout Scripture we are called over and over again to keep our focus on the spiritual dimension.
For example, we are to keep seeking the things above, where Christ is seated in heavenly places (Col. 3:1-3). We are to look at the things unseen (2 Cor. 4:18) and we are to set our minds on the spirit realm (Rom. 8:5). We understand then that God not only invites us, but directly exhorts and instructs us to take the initiative to intentionally observe the sacred, supernatural world.
Daniel was a prophet in the Old Testament and Scripture reveals his secret to being a legendary seer. The reason why he saw and kept on seeing is because he looked and kept on looking (Dan. 7:2, 9, 13). It says the same thing about Zechariah's extended, six-chapter-long, visionary conversation with an angel. He kept on looking too (Zech. 1:18; 2:1, 5:1). In Revelation, John explained how he received twenty-two chapters of heavenly insight: "Then I looked and I saw..." and "I looked and I heard..." (see Rev. 5:11, 8:13).
This is so relevant and helpful to our own visionary walk in the spirit. The game-changing principle we learn from our biblical heroes is disarmingly simple: the more we look, the more we will see.
Do You Not See?
Jesus said, "Having eyes, do you not see?..." (Mk. 8:18). That is, He expected His disciples to have opened their spiritual eyes to perceive the spiritual reality all around them. Elisha prayed this for his servant in the Old Testament (2 Kgs. 6:15-17). When his servant was looking only at the physical realm and was afraid of the enemies he saw surrounding them, Elisha asked the Lord to open his eyes to see the spiritual truth: that the heavenly hosts were encamped about them, and that there were more angelic armies with them than enemy armies against them. (Photo via Unsplash)
Similarly, the apostle Paul prayed this for the Ephesian Believers, that the eyes of their hearts would be enlightened (Eph. 1:18), which begs the question: Who does the opening of our eyes? Is it an entirely sovereign move of God, divinely downloading a vision into our spirits? Or is there a part we play by purposing to open the eyes of our hearts and exercise our visionary sense, our spiritual vision?
I believe it is both. Of course we echo the prayers of Elisha and Paul, and we thank Holy Spirit for enlightening our eyes, but we also do not ignore our responsibility in the unfolding miracle. Just as God gave us physical eyes and we don't question whether we should open them and look with them in order to see in the physical realm, so too, it should be obvious that because God also gave us spiritual eyes, we can open them and look with them as well. We don't need to ask God for visions when we recognize that He has already given us vision, as He has already given us the ability to see.
Let me share an example of exactly what I mean. If you and I are both looking into the spiritual realm at the same time, it stands to reason that we could be looking at precisely the same thing. Listen in on Emily's story of the powerful vision she and her daughter shared together, and recognize that they didn't have this experience because God sovereignly ordained a special, supernatural picture to overtake them. Instead, consider how they both proactively initiated connection with the sacred, supernatural realm, using the vision which they realized they already had, and how they were rewarded with a mutual, unexpectedly fun revelation.
"My daughter Sarah is 10. She has her own beautiful relationship with Jesus. As we were driving yesterday, we were having a chat about Jesus while listening to music. I was sharing some of the things He's taught me lately. A song came on that we both liked, and it went quiet between us as we listened to the music.
"I took the moment to find and see Jesus, and there He was dancing to the song we were enjoying. I laughed with joy as I joined Him. Sarah asked what I was laughing at. I told her what I was seeing. Her eyes lit up, and wide-eyed she exclaimed, 'We can do that?!'
"'Absolutely!' I said grinning. 'It's the same as when we invite Jesus to come into the memory picture to heal us when we're hurt,' I continued.
"Without delay, she too saw Jesus dancing to the music, describing with pure delight what she was seeing. The joy of Jesus that radiated in our car was unbelievable. She was laughing and having such a great time as the revelation that Jesus is actually lots of fun sank in for the very first time.
"Another song came on and we just continued doing our own thing with Jesus. Then she laughed and said, 'Jesus is wearing a big pair of cool, black sunglasses and is doing funky dance moves.'
"My jaw dropped in momentary disbelief, because I had been watching Him with big, cool, black sunglasses doing funky dance moves too!
"Sarah showed me the moves as best she could sitting in the car seat, and they were the same moves I had been watching Him do. How cool is that? A shared vision, that's a first for me...a heavenly dance party shared on an intimate, unforgettable road trip with Jesus and Sarah. Absolutely gorgeous! Praise Jesus." (Photo via Unsplash)
The Gift of Vision
I love this testimony for so many reasons! Most of all, it shows us that Jesus is with us, He's approachable and He's fun. These are such important things for us to remember about Him!
But the other beautiful principle illustrated by this encounter is that it was initiated by the children of God themselves. I believe this is the secret that Elisha knew. This is what Paul understood too. Like Jesus Himself, they were already living lives tuned into the spirit world, taking their cues from Heaven. They knew how to position themselves to perceive the spiritual realm. That's why they prayed that their friends' eyes would be opened, so that they would have the same experience as well.
Our takeaway is that we can work together with Holy Spirit. As we ask Him to enlighten our spiritual eyes, we can open our spiritual eyes as well. By His grace and Spirit's power, we can purpose to look into His spiritual realm with the eyes of our hearts and see what He's doing, hear what He's saying and respond accordingly, just like Jesus.
So the next time you think you need to wait around for God to give you a vision, remember that He has already given you vision. Thank Jesus for opening your eyes, thank Holy Spirit for anointing you to see and thank Father for His gift of spiritual sight. Then prayerfully take the initiative to look, observing everything through that which He has already graced you with, the supernatural ability to see.
Take It Deeper
If you want to receive a heart revelation about 'intentionally looking,' I encourage you to prayerfully consider the following verses. Notice how many times it records that Daniel chose to proactively look and keep on looking in order to see. Ask Holy Spirit what principles He wants to unpack and impart as you complete this biblical meditation together with Him.
• Daniel 4:10, 13
• Daniel 7:2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 21
• Daniel 8:2, 3
• Daniel 10:5
• Daniel 12:5
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Charity Virkler Kayembe
Glory Waves Ministries
Charity Virkler Kayembe¬†has a Doctorate in Biblical Studies, is passionate about the sacred supernatural, and writes about the unfolding adventure that is walking by the Spirit on her blog at GloryWaves.org. She loves making the mystical practical and has been featured on Sid Roth's It's Supernatural!, Cornerstone TV, and Charisma Magazine. Charity is the co-author of four books including Hearing God Through Your Dreams, Unleashing Healing Power Through Spirit-Born Emotions and Everyday Angels. Her international outreach has taken her to all corners of the globe, traveling to over 60 nations on six continents. She and her husband live in upstate New York.
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