When most people hear 2020, they think, “It’s the year of vision baby”. That’s what I first thought of when I started thinking 2020, and that’s what my husband thought, too.
Let me tell you, Christian loves him some vision. Our first phone call we ever had, were getting to know each other and asking all those random questions, like:
“How do you like your coffee?”
“When did you know Jesus?”
“What’s your enneagram number?”
THEN, Christian surprised me by asking, “Do you have 20/20 vision?” and I said, “Yeah I actually do have 20/20 vision, that’s kind of random…” and he responds with, “Oh that’s cool, I actually have 20/15 vision.”
Fast forward to the end of 2019, as a classic Christian Millennial, Christian and I were sitting in the Chick-fil-A drive through talking about our word for the year. I looked over at Christian and said, “Babe we really need a good word for the year because last year they were so challenging and powerful.” Then Christian looked over at me and said, “I am really excited about this one” and to no one’s surprise he said, “I’m going with vision, it’s 2020 baby.”
Now I have a little bit of my dad’s personality in me where I am a challenger in some situations. I am sitting there, trying to let my husband have his word and be excited about it, but I’m thinking “Ok, I just need to give a little push back.” So I say to him, “Look, vision is great, I love it, I hope for vision too, but let me just ask you this. Does that word really challenge you? You’ve been telling me all about the vision that God’s given you, we’ve been talking about vision we have together, so do you really feel like in 2020, you need more vision?” Christian responds, “You’re right, let me think about it a little bit longer.”
Another week goes by and now were at Passion Conference, and he looks at me and says, “Babe I got my word! It’s faith! What I realized is that you were right. We have a lot of vision, and now what I think we really need is faith for the vision.”
Now that’s a word! Faith for the vision.
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:22-32 (NIV)
When I read this passage of Jesus walking on water, I realized that what actually started as a vision problem from the disciples, turned into a faith problem. They thought Jesus was a ghost because they couldn’t really see, and it was nighttime.
But that is not what Jesus challenged them with. He said, “You of little faith.”
You see, we can come into 2020 with vision. We could have so much vision, but if we don’t have faith, nothing happens. If we don’t have obedience, nothing comes of it. We could have so much more vision than we did in 2019, but still the same outcome if we don’t start walking.
We have to walk into the vision. We have to get out of the boat.
As for us, none of us have perfect vision. None of us have perfect eyesight.
When I think about that and as I started looking up the definition of vision, I noticed a definition that I thought was powerful. It says that vision is, “a mental image of what the future will be or could be.”
I think that “could be” is an important phrase there. Yes, it COULD BE that God is going to give you this amazing vision, but you’re going to have to have faith for it to be truly great. You’re going to have to practice obedience and discipline for it to be developed. You are going to need confidence in WHO God is and WHAT he is going to do in order for that vision to happen. It’s what COULD BE.
2 Corinthians 2:5 says, “we walk by faith and not by sight”. Now that doesn’t mean it’s not scary, but it does mean we will need dependency on God.
I think about that moment with the disciples on the boat, and what really convicted me as I read was that everyone in the boat saw the same thing. It was nighttime for everyone, it was windy for everyone, the waves were big for everyone, but one of them walked on water that night, even though all of them had the same opportunity.
You see, in 2020 we could all be really excited about vision, we could all be hearing the same words and having the same vision, yet only some of us walk on water.
Why was it different for Peter that night? I think it has to do with the conversation Peter and Jesus had right after Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid.”
Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, if it is you, command me to me to come to you on the water.” I think this was such an important statement.
I think back to the things that I ask of Jesus. Had that been me on that boat, seeing something blurry out there wondering if it’s Jesus, I feel like what I would have said would have been, “Hey Jesus, come a little closer so I can see that it’s you. If I see that it’s you, then I’ll walk out to you”
Peter didn’t say that. He said, “if it is you, command me to come to you” Yes, it’s dark. Yes, it’s windy. Yes, it doesn’t make sense. But Peter knew if he heard his voice, he was going to go. God is inviting Peter into a moment and he didn’t want to miss it.
We have to pay attention to His voice, even when we can’t see it clearly.
Psalm 19:105 says, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet.”
Psalm 19 says, “Your commandment is enlightening to my eye.”
We need the faith to trust that his word is our vision in times that we cannot see clearly.
You might be thinking, “Well, Sadie, I don’t have good vision, I don’t have much inspiration, and I don’t really have a word.”
But I am not talking right now about an individual specific word. I am talking about THE Word being your vision.
The Bible is a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. These commandments are enlightening to the eye, and every single person, just like the people in that boat, we have the same opportunity to read those words. But the difference is going to be for the people who believe these words and take Him at his word and walk out of the boat to TRUST him on the water.
Verse 30 says, “But when he (Peter) saw the wind, he began to sink and cry out”
Now I relate to that part so much. Because it was actually the moment that he really got the vision that he began to panic.
I feel like a lot of us can relate to that. We pray for vision, get the vision, and then we start to see what’s really happening and think, “Wow that is wayyy bigger than who I am.” That happens to me all the time.
Even when we see it, we can’t fully comprehend it. Because what we really have to know when we’re walking into something with God is that even though we might be able to see a little bit, his ways are higher than our ways, his thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and he is going to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever dream of.
He is so much bigger. So, we might see the moment, but we can’t fully comprehend the moment because it’s something He can only do IN the moment.
As I write this, I think about my dyslexia. When I was younger, the teacher told my mom I was struggling in school, so I thought I must have an eyesight problem. So, I went to the doctor to get my eyes tested and I was frustrated because I could see everything just fine. When I was reading, I could see everything clearly, I just couldn’t comprehend it very well.
Years later I took a dyslexia test and my family likes to joke that it’s the only test I have ever gotten a 100% on. Dyslexia isn’t an eyesight or vision problem, it’s the way that my brain forms and processes the words. So how did I go through school? How am I able to read the bible?
Well, I learn how to remember the sound of the word. I don’t trust in my dyslexia to help me speak; I trust in my knowledge of the word. Sometimes we’re going to see it clearly, but we can’t comprehend it very well. But we know the character of who He is and we know the faithfulness of the word.
There were so many people in the bible that saw the vision very clear but couldn’t comprehend it, yet they trusted him at his word.
Think about Noah. He didn’t see a thing but started building an ark.
Joshua. He saw a huge wall but walked around it 7 times.
Sarah and Abraham. Saw their age but stepped out of their tent.
Moses. Saw an inadequate man who was not good at speaking, but he heard his name being called from a burning bush and went back.
Peter. He saw the impossible but heard the invitation and he walked on water.
They didn’t see it clearly, they couldn’t always comprehend it, but they obeyed his word because they recognized his voice.
In order for us to do this, we need to be familiar with his voice. If we want to start following the direction of the word, we have to start trusting the word. In order to trust it, we need to have confidence in it, and in order to have confidence, we have to know it and be in relationship with it.
We are always waiting for that last bit of clarity. If only he would come a little closer to the boat, if only I could see it a little clearer. But we have to trust beyond the clarity and beyond the vision, we need to trust the word before we have the full picture of what it’s going to look like.
If I would have known the full picture of my life, I probably wouldn’t have started walking. But it’s when I walk with him, these miraculous things happen and come to life.
AND to hear me give this message from Passion City Church, click HERE for the full video!