Updated: May 17, 2019
By Peter McArthur
HEAVENLY PURPOSE and VISION
There is one outstanding factor we see again and again just prior to a revival or spiritual awakening: and that is, God-given vision returns to the Church! The absence of true heavenly vision accounts for so much that is dead and lost in the church today. However the presence of heaven’s vision brings a clear and definite transformation. There is, as-it-were, a swallowing up into God. When we see again what God sees, when we again have confidence in heaven and no longer pander to the things of earth, when we begin to stand, rather than wilt at the knees then, all things work together for good in a most remarkable way.
God’s purpose for us upon the earth is that we be governed by His Holy Spirit. You can call it by other names such as being led by the Spirit or Sonship or Walking worthy of the Gospel , but whatever we choose to call it, it’s neatly summed up in the phrase “being governed by the Spirit”.
The Father calls us to be a people who live under the Holy Spirit’s government. That governing is to do with the Father’s eternal purpose. But it’s simply not enough to be led by the Spirit (under His governing) unless we also love God AND know our calling.
Notice what Paul had to say : “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose”. (Romans 8: 28).
When we love God and respond to Him by being subject to the Holy Spirit’s governing, then indeed all things will work together for us! Hence we need to have a vision of the Father’s purpose, for His purpose governs all things, both animate and inanimate.
What is that purpose, that vision? Can we see it totally and fully? No! God does not divulge His purpose or vision completely in any one-given season. It’s a principle in Scripture that God-given vision simply isn’t given in totality at any one time. When the Book of Revelation finishes we are still left wondering, What happens next?
God’s vision is most definitely imparted to us, but in seasons of His choosing.
However, His vision is always subject to enlargement when and how He chooses. He doesn’t arbitrary change it to fit the circumstances; rather He reveals it when He sees hearts and minds receptive to the moving of His Spirit.
When this factor is present, God’s vision begins to be fulfilled through the next stage. In order for this to happen it s most likely that the vehicle used previously to bring in the prior part of His purpose will be succeeded by a new vehicle or means. God is indeed a God of enlargement, as it were. He’s always on the increase, blessing His people with an ever-expanding revelation of His person and purpose.
This actually means that men’s hearts need to accommodate for the enlargement of vision. The heavenly will constantly press in on us, and we need to accommodate for that increased spiritual knowledge.
The danger of any one period in the church age is that we hang back holding onto previous moves of God, making them our modern-day traditions. God is a God of Life and to hold back from moving on into further life will brings us into a death of sorts. God’s grand purpose and vision for His people is one that is heaven-centred, and it moves further and further away from temporal things.
This is one reason why a true saint of God will find less and less satisfaction in the things of the world, and more and more desire for the heavenly. Paul expressed it wonderfully when he wrote: “For this cause we do not faint; but though our outward man perishes, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day”. (2 Cor 4: 16).
This tells us that no matter what faces us in the earth realm, no matter what tragedy should befall us, no matter what crisis we are faced with, no matter what.
Keep the heavenly vision central and you will not wilt under the things of the temporal realm. God is not One who is limited whatsoever; He is not a God of reduction, limitation, incapacity or anything like that. He is the One who is Great beyond measure, the One who fills all things.
If limitation or reduction should come our way on earth, it is His pruning back in order that we might see clearly again. There is always a purpose to His work, and it is never, never limitation as the human mind would see it. Note for instance how Paul was limited from his travelling ministry and incarcerated in prison. Was this limitation? In the earthly sense, yes. In the greater, heavenly sense, absolutely not! Some of Paul’s greatest and most spiritually insightful letters were written when he was in chains.
Certainly we’re aware that the Adversary will attempt to limit us, reduce us, and even rob us. Yet even when this should happen does that make him lord? Not over us it doesn’t! We have One Lord who is seated in the heavenlies at our Father’s right hand. Even the schemes and moves of our Adversary cannot limit what is limitless within us. Christ in us cannot be suppressed. When we submit to the Holy Spirit’s governing over us we find the most wonderful place of safety and security. We have learned God’s purpose, for we know our calling and have seen the vision.
This kind of thing makes us people of prayer, people of vision, and a people of great testimony. The heaven-sent vision of God’s grand purpose becomes a dynamic thing within us. In this hour of the modern church how we need saints who have seen what heaven sees, who know the Father’s purpose, and who are willing to be governed by His glorious Spirit. At this stage in the earth s history we see Islam rising up in its attempt to force the world, particularly the West, to submit it to its rule. How shall this battle be won?
Most especially within the hearts and minds of the saints of God who know what it means to be submitted to God’s purpose first and foremost. Whatever the outcome is with Islam, it can never succeed, for it s a desert religion that can only make men thirst more and more for Truth. As God’s Word so wonderfully puts it: The truth is in Jesus (Eph. 4: 21)
Blessings and the Lord’s favour upon you,