Turning Burden into Vision


“I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower and look out to see what He will say to me and what I will answer concerning my complaint. And the Lord answered me ‘Write the vision, make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For the vision awaits its timing. It hastens to the end. It will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it. It will surely come. It will not delay.” —Habakkuk 2:1-3 (ESV)


Vision changes the world.

Not only that, but vision changes lives, communities, laws, cultures. Vision changes the future while making sense of the past. (Ask Joseph!)

When someone has a vision for the future and is prepared to follow it, push it, determine it and be all they need to see that vision come to pass, that person becomes an awesome agent for change.

If that person happens to be a Christian who is getting their vision from God, the possibilities are infinite, magnificent, awesome, culture-changing.

The name Habakkuk means embrace. I love that Habakkuk is an embracer of the future. An embracer of God’s vision for what can be rather than what is.

Things in Habakkuk’s world were upside down. His world was in a mess spiritually, economically, sexually, governmentally, families were in chaos. Something needed to change.

I love that Habakkuk didn’t just sit down and try to work it out. He was prepared for a climb. He wanted to be in a place high enough above the clamour and the yelling and the anger and the discord and the opinions and the influences and the shoving and fighting and abuse. He knew he needed to see further, wider, deeper than he could see from his current vantage point, and knew he would only get greater vision from God.

A visionary is a guardian of the future and if you take on a role like that, you better not be going on your own opinion. 

The word watch means post or positioning. Habakkuk settled into the best position to listen to God and then he looked out, which means to lean forward, peer in the distance, observe. Hearing God requires positioning yourself to hear and leaning out to watch.

And then God answered him by pointing out that Habakkuk is a part of the solution. He’d been given a dream and vision that could change the nation. Following through on the vision requires an understanding of the character of God and a willingness to pray the price to see God’s purposes come to pass.

“Lord, I have heard of your fame, I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day. In our time make them known. In wrath, remember mercy.” Habakkuk 3:1 (NIV)

God, for whatever reason, has chosen to work through God’s people. I have no idea why, because it seems that working with us as co-labourers takes A.WHOLE.LOT.LONGER. First, God has to convince us that He’s talking to us. (Ask Moses.) In the process of doing what God told us to do, we have to deal with a whole lot of junk in our own lives. (Ask anyone who ever tried to do something for God.)

Then we have to find ways to inspire people to help us. There is a season for every vision and God has put that same longing into other people’s lives. When you put your vision out there, it calls out to other people, like calling out to a friend across the road. In those times, the vision ripens like fruit. It’s hydrated, becomes nutritious, sweet to the eyes and the taste.

When God and the visionary work together, many others are empowered to join. A vision may appear reluctant, impossible even, but as step follows each plodding, halting, difficult step, the vision will not fail. Wait for it. Don’t be discouraged. It will surely come.

Your vision has a voice that speaks like the voice of the Lord, influencing people to see more clearly. You’ll be amazed who it calls to. Don’t tire of waiting and don’t miscarry the preciousness of it by trying to force it in your own timing.

You have a burden? You want to know what God thinks about it?

The way to turn burden into vision is to get up high, away from the stuff that crowds in on your life and your circumstances. It’s there, with God, that you will hear the secrets of your call. God will enlarge your heart in every direction, to those you are called to and those who are against them. You will be given faith to fuel your impossibilities.

Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Your vision is much bigger than you. It’s about ushering the Kingdom of Heaven into reality. Don’t wait for it. It’s waiting for you.