Acts 23:11 – And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
Helen Keller was both blind and deaf. When asked what could be worse than not being able to see, she responded by saying, “Not having any vision.” She understood a deep truth that so many sighted people never learn. It is evident from his ministry that Paul understood this principle in a most profound way. And it is clear from our Text for Today that the Lord didn’t want him to forger it either. There we see a very strong reminder of that great truth as the Lord reminds Paul, in the midst of a very dangerous situation, what He had called and sent him to do.
While I know the Lord would have you to always be encouraged to pursue your God-given vision, please allow me to partner with Him in that endeavor today. While I don’t likely know the vision the Lord has given you for your life and ministry, I do know He wants you to be continually encouraged, and I am thoroughly convinced that I am being a pleasing servant to you and Him in writing this to you. I also want to encourage you to put into practice an art King David understood, and that is self-encouragement. Today, some people might call it positive self-talk. Regardless of what you call it, David used it. When pressures come in an attempt to strip you of your vision or make situations seem hopeless, do as David did. Ask yourself the question: “Why are you cast down, o my soul?” And having asked the question, follow through as David did, with your own answer, encouraging yourself to hope in the Lord, for He is faithful.
I can surely attest that anyone who has a God-given vision for his life will surely be tested by the enemy of his soul to give up and cast away your faith and hope in God. I have faced it, and so has every other man or woman of God that I personally know. You see, it requires words to paint one’s vision in one’s heart and mind. When that vision has come from the Lord, the Word of God will most certainly be deeply involved in seeding and painting a clear image of that vision. That being said, you can be assured that any amount of the Word of God you have in your life, Satan is out to steal it. And if He can steal the Word, he can surely steal your vision. But that is only one of his devices. He will use discouragement in every way possible. The key thought here is this: HOLD FAST TO YOUR VISION!
Manna for Today – Acts 23:1-11; Habakkuk 2:1-3; Proverbs 29:18; Acts 9:1-18; Psalm 42 & 43; Mark 4:10-20