When you hear the word visionary does it automatically make you think of people like Sir Isaac Newton, Leonardo Divinci, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., etc? Living in a physical world it is so easy to relate and give an answer that is based off of what we know to be true physically. When we hear the word visionary it should cause us to think of the men and women we read about in the Bible, who when God asked of them, they gave everything they could and more to please Him! Visionaries like;
- Noah – who built an ark in the midst of a drought.
- Abraham – who left everything and set out for a land promised, with absolutely no idea where.
- Moses – who led Israel out of Egyptian bondage.
- Many others (Heb. 11) – Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Sarah, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets.
When we look at successful organizations from a physical perspective it does not take long to see that the reason they are where they are is because they had workers with GREAT VISION! Visionaries are simply those who know where they are going and know how they are going to get there. This same truth applies in our laboring for God.
Two Examples of Visionaries
The first example of a visionary is the prophet Isaiah. In Isaiah 6:1-7 he wrote, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2Above it stood seraphim, each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” 4And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. 5So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.’ 6Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 7And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged.” Looking at this text, we learn what the visionary Isaiah saw:
- He saw the Lord is King! (v. 1)
- He saw the Lord is Holy! (v. 3)
- He saw the Power of the Lord (v. 4)
- He saw the Glory of the Lord and realized his sinful state (vs. 4-5)
The second example of a visionary is the prophet Ezekiel. In Ezekiel 1:3 he wrote, “…the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was upon him there.” The underlined phrase means more than the fact that he was going to receive a message. It implies the power of God and the very submissiveness of Ezekiel. In the preceding verses he sees some pretty significant beings (like Isaiah), who always seem to appear in the most intimate relation to the glory of God (cf. Isa. 10). In this vision (apocalyptic in nature), Ezekiel paints a picture to describe what he is actually seeing, in order to help the reader to better understand the meaning.
Notice what Ezekiel writes in 1:26-28 “And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. 27Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. 28Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.” What did Ezekiel see? He saw the Glory of God!
Isaiah saw God as King…as Holy…he saw His Power…and he saw His Glory! Realizing what he saw in 6:5 he said “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes has seen the King, The Lord of hosts.” We can see two points within this logic. 1) You can’t be a visionary if you don’t see the King! and 2) We cannot come into the presence of the King in a sinful state. The prophet Isaiah wrote in 59:1-2 “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear 2But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” It is just like the seraphim touching the coal on the lips of Isaiah, God sent His Son to purify our sins so that we can come into His presence.
“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Romans 5:6-9).
Do you see the King? Have you seen His Glory? Examine your life…it’s only then that we can be Visionaries for God!