“So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.” —Acts 26:19
If we have received a vision from heaven it will energize us, bring blessing to others and will have an eternal dimension, but what happens next? What do we do with the vision?
When Paul (formerly known as Saul), presented his case before King Agrippa and the Roman governor, he first conveyed how he met Jesus on the Damascus road, and was told he would preach the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles. In his defense, Paul said, “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.” After receiving the vision, Paul immediately began preaching in Damascus, but then sought solitude in Arabia. It was not until 14 years later in the church at Antioch that Paul would begin to see his vision unfold. The Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (Acts 13:2).
The key to discerning God’s guidance is not in being skilled at discerning His will, but in walking humbly with God, which is what Paul did in the interim years. Abram received a vision of a nation that would come from his descendants, but it would be 25 years of walking humbly with God before his promised son, Isaac, was born. Joseph lived intimately with God, and the vision he was given of his brothers bowing down to him became a reality 22 years later in Egypt. Moses had a vision of saving his people from Egyptian captivity and 40 years later that came into being.
A wonderful work of the Holy Spirit as quoted from the prophet Joel and proclaimed on the day of Pentecost is, “Your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams” (Acts 2:17). This means that the dreams of the elderly look to a future they can encourage and support, but are too old to partake in. The young, however, will have visions of a work of God they will partake in.
The Holy Spirit is always forward looking, but God is never in a hurry. The best thing we can do with a vision from heaven is tuck it away and get on with our lives. If the vision is not from God it will die out, but if it is from God it will come into being. Mary held the world’s greatest secret for 30 years and treasured what she knew in her heart. That is what we need to do with a vision from heaven…treasure it in our hearts. We do not have to make it happen. A vision from heaven will absolutely have a life of its own and God will make it happen!