The People of God: A People of Vision
In 2 Peter 1, Peter is writing to the people of God telling them of the qualities (graces) that the child of God should ever be adding to their lives. After completing this list Peter says, that a man that “lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins” (2 Peter 1:9). Peter makes it clear that he people of God are to be a people of vision. Even though every child of God might experience a decline in their physical vision, Peter talks about possessing spiritual vision as we live our life for the Lord.
A Vision Based on God’s Word
In thinking about God people being a people of vision, it must be understood that this can only be true as long as one keeps and respects the authority of God’s Word. In Proverbs 29:18 we read, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” The wise man points out that the blessed man is the man with godly vision that keeps God’s law. Many might claim to be people of vision, but are doing things contrary to what the Bible teaches. As Peter and the wise man point out, God wants His people to be a people of vision, a vision based upon faith as the Christian sojourns through this life (2 Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 12:2). Paul writes to the church at Rome concerning faith saying, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Therefore, the godly vision is based on what the word of God teaches.
A Vision That Sees as God Sees
Godly vision, which is by faith, means that the people of God will begin to see things as God sees things. An example is seen when Samuel went to the house of Jesse to anoint a king of Israel. In 1 Samuel 16, the sons of Jesus come before Samuel to anoint the next king of Israel. The Lord told Samuel, “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). The vision of the people of God will be a vision that will see things as God sees things. How often our spiritual vision is based on our thoughts and desires. We look at the outward man and think we see clearly as God sees. We must learn that we may be pleased with self, but God may not be pleased. In Matthew 7:21-23, we read of people that in their view or vision of things were faithful and pleasing to God doing “many wonderful works.” Again in Matthew 25:31-46, we have the judgment scene depicted and people being told they had not done what the Lord required of them. In their view, they were serving the Lord, but the Lord said, “ye did it not.” When one sees as the Lord sees, he will see the eternal things as opposed to the temporal things or the inward as opposed to the outward.
A Vision That Looks Ahead
With godly vision, one will not be blind to the spiritual things and forget “that he was purged from his old sins” (2 Peter 1:9). Rather, he will see his forgiveness of past sins and will put to death these sins (Romans 6:1-2, 6). He will also see the new beginning he has in his life by the sacrifice of Christ. This godly vision will be the kind of vision of that Paul describes himself saying, “forgetting the things which are behind, and reaching forth unto the things which are before, I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). In the life of Joseph, he exhibited a godly vision throughout his life. Joseph was sold by his jealous brothers and became a servant in Potiphar’s house. He refused the advances of Potifar's wife resulting in her telling lies about him and having him cast into prison. While in prison, he continued to trust God. Finally, he was released from prison after interpreting Pharoah’s dream and is given a high position in the land of Egypt. After the death of Jacob, Joseph speaks to his brothers concerning the evil they had done against him in the past by saying, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” (Genesis 50:20). Joseph trusted God through all the struggles that he experienced and continued to look ahead for his reward. Truly, God expects His people to be a people of vision; that is a godly vision. A vision that will see as the Lord sees, not just seeing the problems and mistakes of the past, but the hope and assurances of the future. A vision that change our attitudes and our outlook during our pilgrimage on earth. May we ever strive to be the people of vision that God desires.