Close your eyes. Think about your life ten years from now. What do you see? What do you see for your family? For your finances? For your health? Now, do you think those things you’re imagining line up with what God sees for you?
If so, you’ve got one extremely important trait of the uncommon life down—uncommon vision. This trait allows you to see through a lens other than your current situation.
I know it may not seem to make sense, but that’s because uncommon vision has little to do with what we see in the natural. It has everything to do with what we see when our eyes are closed.
When we live with uncommon vision, our lives will look and feel different, not just to us, but also to those around us. When others notice that what we see is different, it will draw them toward the One who saw it all along—our Father God.
Our Father always sees more in and for us than what we see in and for ourselves. I’ll never forget the day this truth was ingrained in my heart. I was on a trip with my wife, Sarah, her sister, Ruthie, and her father, Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty.
We were in the capital city of Freetown, Sierra Leone, on the way to a huge crusade, where my father-in-law was to be speaking. A few minutes before we pulled up to the site, Pastor looked over at us and said, “I’m going to be going on to another town tonight. You guys have the service in Freetown.”
I’m sure our expressions said what our minds were thinking, “Are you crazy?!” I know mine did because it eventually made its way out of my mouth! Pastor simply laughed and said, fully convinced, “Caleb, you three have what it takes. I see it in you.”
When I got up on stage in front of thousands of people, I closed my eyes for a few seconds and remembered my father-in-law’s words: You have what it takes. I see it in you. I tried hard to envision what he saw. As I preached that night, I truly felt a power I never had before, welling up from a deep passion inside me that I had never known existed. God moved greatly during that service, and not because I was a good preacher. He moved because I had chosen to see myself with uncommon vision—the way my father-in-law saw me. I saw his vision for me and that inspired passion, which lead to inspired action.
Just like I did on that stage, we see uncommonly when we close our natural eyes and see with our spiritual eyes.
Sure, what we see in the natural matters, but what we see in the spiritual realm matters even more. That’s because, as Isaiah 55:8-9 says, God knows much more than we do. His ways and thoughts are always higher than our own.
People with uncommon vision see promises instead of problems. They see opportunities in what everyone else calls obstacles. They see supernatural intervention in the middle of natural issues.
Children are the best at seeing uncommonly because they’re used to letting their imaginations run wild. Not long ago, my own kids reminded me of this. We were living in Oklahoma at the time. It was winter and in line with typical Okie weather, it was snowing. The kids were definitely over the snow. They wanted the sun to come back out so that they could swim. My wife and I heard about it nonstop.
In an effort to encourage them that warm weather was on its way, one afternoon my wife told them that we would go to the beach sometime after the season had changed. It worked. They squealed with delight and jumped up from the floor and out of their pity party.
Sarah was happy that her plan had worked. She went back to doing what she had been doing before the interruption when she heard footsteps running into the living room.
As she entered, she saw Isaac and Lizzie standing there in their swimsuits with a beach bag filled with their towels, floaties and pool toys.
“We’re ready for the beach, Mom!” they exclaimed when she walked in. Sarah’s heart sank when she realized she’d have to burst their bubble. “We’re not going the beach, now,” she explained. “But it will come sooner than you think.”
Their faces fell. They looked so discouraged. Then Lizzie, who was about five at the time, grabbed her towel, spread it on the floor and laid on it.
“What are you doing, Lizzie?” Sarah asked. “Did you hear Mommy? We aren’t going to the beach yet.”
“It’s okay, Mommy,” her sweet voice responded. “I’m just imagining I’m already there.”
How powerful would it be if we all would take this stance? I strongly believe that if we would “imagine we’re already there,” our promise would come “sooner than we think.”
See, Lizzie understood the power of vision—the power of seeing things as they will be before they are. In the same way, you and I receive promises from God. Promises that tell us that we’re healed, prosperous, loved and accepted.
Even though you may not have obtained the end result yet, I want to encourage you to take Lizzie’s stance. Act like you’re at the beach in the middle of a snowstorm. See your life for what it can be tomorrow, not just for what it is today.
I’ve heard it said that everyone ends up somewhere, but few end up there on purpose.
Living on purpose is a choice, and it’s kind of like playing a game of darts. When you play, you throw the darts at the target, hoping to get them right in the middle. The closer you get to the bullseye, the more points you receive.
In life, so many of us are hauling darts with all our strength, but we’re doing it in the dark. God didn’t create us to shoot blindly and aimlessly into the future; He created us to find our target and to shoot directly at it.
He wants to make the target clear to you so that you can see and shoot with clear vision.
Right now, I encourage you to ask Him to show you what He sees for every aspect of your life— you career, marriage, family, finances, health, friendship and so on. Write it down and see the target come into focus. Doing this, we have a much greater chance of hitting the bullseye.
Okay, so if you’re like me, after hearing all this information, you want proof that it actually works. And if you already believe it, then you want to know how to do it. How can we begin to see what God sees, uncover our target of purpose, and live with uncommon vision? There are three ways I’d recommend.
The first is to go to God’s Word. Not only will you find the proof that the truths mentioned here worked for others, but you’ll find part of your purpose in there too. As we study the Bible, reading stories of believers who came before us, we will be inspired about how beautiful our lives can become.
Second, we should spend time in God’s presence. The more you know someone, the better you know what he or she would think about a situation. It’s the same with God. The more time you spend with Him, the more you start to think, talk, see and act like Him.
The final way to live with uncommon vision is by spending time in God’s House. It’s amazing how connecting with like-minded believers can strengthen your personal walk. The Bible says that two are better than one. We are always better together.
When we start to see things the way God does, our vision sparks a deep passion in our hearts that then inspires action, just like it did to me on that stage in the middle of Sierra Leone. The Scripture gives us an example of it, too.
In Mark 6, we see the story of John the Baptist’s death. King Herod had him beheaded because of his faith. The Bible says that when Jesus found out about this, he withdrew to a quiet place. He wanted to grieve the loss of his cousin. But upon withdrawing, a great crowd followed Him.
Instead of getting annoyed with the people or getting frustrated with the disciples for not protecting Him better, the Scripture says that Jesus was moved with compassion. When he looked at the multitude of people, deep down inside of Him rose up a passion for them—a passion greater than the problem He was facing.
Think about that. Jesus’ passion was a direct reflection of what He had seen. And that vision produced passion, which inspired action. Jesus taught them all day long, and at the end of the day one of the greatest miracles we know took place—the feeding of the five thousand!
This principle holds just as true in our lives. When we see what God sees, we will be moved with a passion for His purposes. Even when we’re weak, He can work.
Sometimes, we think we’ve lost the passion for our marriage, family or career, when in reality all we’ve lost is our vision. If we’ll get our vision clear again, our passion will resurface. Vision always produces passion.
One of my favorite parts about uncommon vision is that it can be a catalyst for other uncommon traits in our lives—uncommon focus, endurance, and peace.
Uncommon vision helped Jesus to have uncommon focus. Even in a devastating time, He could focus on what the Father wanted to do. It also helped Him to have uncommon endurance. He was tired and weary. He just wanted to get away and rest, but still, He was able to speak all day long. Then, it gave Him uncommon peace. Even in the midst of deep pain, He found comfort. There were people waiting on the other side of His obedience.
So, there’s proof that choosing uncommon vision is vital to our walk. Learning to see the way God does can push us farther ahead on our journey than most lessons can.
Maybe there are some things in your life that feel dead, or at least dormant. Maybe you can’t see your way out of a tough situation. Well, I have good news— God can. If you’ll choose to adopt His uncommon vision by seeking His Word, staying in His presence and serving in His House, you’ll start to see the target He wants you to shoot at. Then, you’ll live with uncommon focus, endurance and peace!
This article was extracted from Issue 2 (Summer 2020) of the AVAIL Journal. Claim your free annual subscription here.
Caleb Wehrli serves as the Executive Director of Empowered21. He is known as a kingdom leader, mobilizer, and relationally gifted visionary. He has over 20 years of experience in executive leadership roles through missions, church planting, and leadership initiatives in over 65 countries. He is focused on helping ministry leaders from around the globe unite together in training leaders and fulfilling the Great Commission
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