“Clarity ensures vision is taught, whereas revelation ensures vision is caught.” -Linda G. Riddle
Both in the Old Testament and the New Testament there are two great examples of what God prioritizes when appointing people to bring a vision to pass “on earth as it is in heaven.”
When it was time to build the tabernacle, one of the people God chose was Bezalel, whom the Bible says God had “filled with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship.” (Exodus 31:3 NKJV) In Acts 6, we find that when the church was growing and it was time for the disciples to expand their leadership team, God instructed the disciples to choose “seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom…” (vs 3).
So we see that when it came to both building something new or even growing team, revelation and being filled with the Spirit were of utmost importance to God. Why was this? Because personal revelation is what sustains the energy, creativity, and wisdom necessary to bring a vision to pass on earth as it is in heaven.
I was thinking about this recently and I know that personally, the visions I’ve always been the most inspired and motivated by are the ones where the revelation behind the vision had been clearly communicated. Clarity speaks to the mind, but revelation speaks to the spirit. And in the cases where the vision has successfully born witness with my spirit, I know it has transferred successfully. And with that transfer, having personal revelation of it, I now know how to pray for it as a faithful witness of the vision, and I also know how to seek God for everything I will need to play my part in making the vision come to pass. I’ll also be less likely to run to my leaders every single time I have a question, because now the seed of the vision lies within me and God will supply all I need to make it grow. Once it has been caught, not just taught, it is fueled by the power of the Holy Spirit.
However unfortunately, many times when vision is communicated, greater emphasis tends to be given to communicating only the clarity of the vision, such as what the end result will look like or what has to happen in order to accomplish the vision. And again, this is crucial and necessary. We all need to know what we’re aiming at and what part we have to play. But I’ve noticed that in cases where the vision has only transferred to minds and not hearts, the vision risks becoming task-driven instead of being spirit-driven. I’ve also seen many leaders become over-burdened along the way because they’re having to carry the revelation of the vision for others who have not gotten it. In other words, they’re having to spend their time and energy answering questions and thinking through details, creativity and solutions that should lie with the co-carriers of the vision.
So what does all this mean for each of us? Depending on what role we play in a given scenario, we can all learn from this. Here are just three areas that came to mind and how we can apply this truth to each of them.
1.) As a leader: Habakuk 2:2-3a says, “…Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is for an appointed time…”
That word for vision can mean to declare the vision prophetically. That’s the first step. Again, whether in business or ministry, to ensure the vision is caught and not just taught, prioritize communicating the revelation of the vision – the why behind the what – not just the clarity of it.
Secondly, “make it plain”. This now speaks to the clarity of the vision. Clearly communicate what the aim is and what has to be done to accomplish it. Everyone should know what role they have to play.
Next, “that he may run who reads it” speaks to the fact that vision should be communicated in a motivating, energizing way. Guard the language and the tone that vision is communicated with. It should be inspiring and motivating not burdensome.
Lastly, remember that the vision is for “an appointed time“. We need to be diligent workers, but we also need to trust God’s timing with the vision coming to pass. And when it comes to measuring progress, don’t just value what’s being accomplished in the natural. Keep a pulse on the liveliness, or the level of the revelation along the way, making sure people don’t slip and forget the why behind the what.
2.) As a team member: Proverbs 25:2 says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” Whether in business or ministry, I would encourage you to make sure that when your leader is communicating vision that you understand the heart behind it. Not just the task that is yours to hold. Don’t walk away from a meeting feeling like, “oh well, that didn’t make any sense” and then shrug it off. If you don’t have personal revelation of the why behind the what – the heart behind it, then get alone with God and ask Him to make it known to you. Search it out. He will show you! As this verse in Proverbs says, we display the leadership qualities of royalty when we do that. And what you’ll find is that God will give you greater creativity, innovation and grace, or energy to accomplish it. You’ll also experience far more joy and satisfaction along the way when you’re energized by the Spirit of God.
3.) As a friend: Colossians 4:6 reminds us, “Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” And Philippians 2:3 reminds us, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…” There may be times when a friend chooses to share something with you that God has been stirring them about. A vision of a new possibility or a new opportunity. Be a safe place for them to do that. Seek God with them and then speak life into that vision. And even if it has nothing to do with you, envision it with them, affirm what you see God doing in their life and be willing to invest whatever you have at your disposal to make their dreams come true. We all need people in our lives who are there just for us. People who can step outside of themselves long enough to see and dream with us. Be that kind of person for others and you will find that it will come back to you seven fold.
In closing, I leave with you what Jesus said in John 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” Learn to recognize revelation and hold it dear to your heart. Be humble enough to recognize when you’re lacking it, but search the matter out until you find it. Be selfless and generous enough to envision the dreams of others and speak life into them. And make it a goal that in all things, we shall be led and energized by the Spirit of God.