Shift Pt 5 – Vision
We’re in a series called “SHIFT” In The book of Exodus is the story of 2 million Israelite slaves who leave Egypt with a dream of freedom…..a promise…a hope. But the Egyptians did not want to let them go and chased them. There’s one point where it looks like they are trapped= the Egyptian army is behind them…..and there’s nothing but a sea in front of them….
Exodus 14:19-20 Message – The angel of God that had been leading the camp of Israel now shifted and got behind them. And the Pillar of Cloud that had been in front also shifted to the rear. The Cloud was now between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel. The Cloud enshrouded one camp in darkness and flooded the other with light. The two camps didn’t come near each other all night.
This Shift created a separation between them and their past. A “visual” separation.
- THIS WAS GOD’S WAY OF SAYING I DON’T WANT YOU LOOKING BEHIND YOU… I WANT YOU TO SHIFT YOUR ATTENTION TO WHAT’S IN FRONT OF YOU.
Think about this. How many times have you seen people in your family….people at church…whose attention is constantly pulled into the past?
•Maybe they are living with regrets of what they did or did not do…I could have said this….Why did I do that?….What was he thinking? What was I thinking?
• Maybe they are constantly re-living a season in their life that is over…it
could be a past relationship that ended or it could be an offense that they still carry with them towards someone. It could just be that they have imagined the past as being the best days of their life….so they keep re-living it.
*Whether the past is good or bad…there’s no future in it!!
• When you’re re-living the past, you’re missing out on the present and sabotaging the future! God wants all of us to know the same thing he wanted the people of Israel to know….”I’ll take care of the past—-you
just need to put your attention on the future!
This story is symbolic of how God wants us to see baptism in water…..a place where we create separation of our old life from our new life. Gods saying “I don’t want you to be haunted by your past….hunted by your past….I want to create a separation and as long as we keep looking forward and keep our attention on our new life that’s exactly what happens!
2) THE WRONG PERSPECTIVE CAN KEEP YOU OUT OF YOUR PROMISE LAND BUT A SHIFT IN PERSPECTIVE OPENS UP THE DOORS OF GOD’S PROMISES
While the angel and the cloud got behind them….God started opening the
future out in front of them…..BUT WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IS…that the story of this divine shift started back several verses with Moses telling the people to make a shift in their perspective and the way they were looking at the situation they were in.
Exodus 14:10-14 MSG – As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw them—Egyptians! Coming at them! They were totally afraid. They cried out in terror to God. They told Moses, “Weren’t the cemeteries large enough in Egypt so that you had to take us out here in the wilderness to die? What have you done to us, taking us out of Egypt? Back in Egypt didn’t we tell you this would happen? Didn’t we tell you, ‘Leave us alone here in Egypt—we’re better off as slaves in Egypt than as corpses in the wilderness.’”
•They were so stuck in their perspective of the circumstances. All of their attention was on how bad things were rather than on How Big God is”
13 Moses spoke to the people: “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch God do his work of salvation for you today. Take a good look at the Egyptians today for you’re never going to see them again.14 God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut!”
• Calm your fear • Stand your ground • Shut your mouth
The waters split in front of them…They walked through the sea and into
a new land of freedom…a land of promise. The Egyptians who gave chase were swallowed up when the sea walls came back together Only God can do things like that! Shift Clouds and Angels…..part the waters and close the waters on our enemies!!
The Past has a way of Paralyzing our Present (past mistakes, past problems, past relationships)
(Lamentations 3:19-20 NIV) “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.”
“Your past is always going to be the way it was. Stop trying to change it.”
•Release Your Past
Philippians 3:12-14 NIV – Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Take your eyes off your past, because your past is not your potential! Choose to liberate your future!
Isaiah 43:18 NIV – “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
“Don’t freeze frame a certain time in your life and condemn your future based on that moment. God is not done with you”
You do not move ahead by constantly looking in a rear view mirror. The past is a rudder to guide you, not an anchor to drag you. We must learn from the past but not live in the past.
•Refocus Your Vision for Life
If you want to SHIFT where you’re going in life, then you have to SHIFT what you’re seeing for your future!
Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you are going, your likely to end up someplace else.”
Proverbs 29:18 KJV – Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Helen Keller said, The only thing worse than being blind is the one who has sight but no vision.
Vision is a picture. Anytime there is no VISION, the quality and value of life deteriorates. A marriage, a business, a church, a city, a nation, or a school will fall apart when they lack VISION.
I went to the eye doctor last week for my yearly eye exam and my prescription changed a little. I got my new glasses this week – how do they look?
When it comes to vision – there are 2 common conditions : Farsighted – a focus on things that are distant and Nearsighted – a focus on things that are close
This Got me thinking about vision – parallels for our lives and we need make some SHIFTS. Some have good vision – others don’t. Some are farsighted – you’ve envisioned the future, But lack the day to day disciplines to get you there. Some are nearsighted – know what to do today, But not sure where you’re headed
Life is a journey and every journey has a destination. Everybody ends up somewhere in life. A few people end up somewhere on purpose.
•Read “Oh the places you’ll go” by Dr. Suess
What is vision?
A Vision is born in the soul of a man or woman who is consumed with the tension between what is and what could be. Anyone who is frustrated, or brokenhearted about the way things are, in light of the way they believe things could be, is a candidate for vision.
A vision is a compelling image of an achievable future – Vision brings your world into focus. Vision brings order to chaos. A clear vision enables you to see everything differently.
Webster’s definition – The ability to force or perceive something not actually visible, as though mental or spiritual acuteness.
Get a vision for your life that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning! Why? Because you will never go beyond where you see yourself going.
The World is just waiting for you to….
Get a VISION of your life that is so big the hair on the back of your neck will stand up!
Get a VISION so awesome that your toes curl!
Get a VISION so big that 100 years from now, future generations birthed from you will look at your picture and say, “Thank you!”
God wants you to connect with His vision and His VISION is the force that invents your future!
(Ephesians 3:20 Message) “God can do anything—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!”
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future
How to manifest the Vision
Psalm 27:4 NIV – Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Ink it don’t just think it! A short pencil is better than a long memory
Habakkuk 2:2-3 NKJV – Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.
3) DON’T LET PROBLEMS OR PAIN DICTATE YOUR PERSPECTIVE. WHEN WE KEEP THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE NOTHING CAN STOP A HOLY SHIFT FROM COMING IN OUR FUTURE.
If you’ve had a setback recently….or suffered the loss of loved one….no one would fault you for having moments of grief or sorrow or discouragement in your life. But I want to encourage you to not let the temporary conditions of your life to dictate a permanent perspective… MOSES WAS SAYING….LET’S KEEP MOVING ON…
13 Moses spoke to the people: “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm…..and watch God do his work of salvation for you today……14 God will fight the battle for you.
Imagine the challenge in this….after years of slavery…Moses is saying “Don’t look back….look forward….keep expecting the answer to your prayers….Gods about to bring you into a new place…new season….greater day of joy and blessing in your life!!
The psalmist said it like this:
Ps 30:5-Weeping may endure for a night….but joy comes in the morning
Ps 30:11-He has turned my mourning into dancing.