The Discernment of Faith with Moses; The Hall of Fame of Faith Series #15
Dear Visionary Leader:
We will learn from one of the greatest visionaries of all time. His name was Moses. Because Moses saw the invisible, he valued the imperishable, and he did the impossible. He was a man that had an incredible vision. Faith is a bridge to the future. The title of this message is The Discernment of Faith.
Helen Keller, who was born blind, was asked by someone, “What could be worse than being born blind?” She said, “To have sight and not to have vision.” I wonder today, do you have a vision? The Bible says in Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
What is vision? We’re not talking about day dreams. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” We’re going to learn that vision is seeing the invisible and turning it into reality.
Vision will be the dominant factor of your life if you have a vision. It will determine your friendships. It will determine your relationships. It will determine your choices. Your vision is what your prayers are about. Your vision is what you’re giving your influence, your money, your energy toward. It is the dominating factor.
Somebody has called vision hope with a blueprint. Somebody else said that vision is a star to steer by. Do you have hope with a blueprint? Do you have a star to steer by? Has God put a vision in your heart? Do you have a bridge to the future? Moses had a vision!
Message Continues In Visionary Coaching
I think one of the best definitions of vision that I have heard is this: Vision is foresight with insight based on hindsight – seeing what has happened, seeing what ought to happen, and seeing it with insight.
There was a man, one of the brightest stars in the Hebrew heaven; his name was Moses. Moses had a vision and he built a bridge to the future. In Hebrews 11:24, we read:
“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. Through faith he kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
The wonderful miracles of faith that were rooted in a God- breathed, a God-given vision. Do you have a vision? Now without a vision you are existing, but you’re not living. All you’re doing is simply drawing your breath and drawing your salary, fighting to live while you live to fight, but you’re not going anywhere.
One of the greatest architects of the centuries was Christopher Wren. Christopher Wren designed a mighty cathedral in London, St. Paul’s Cathedral. As the cathedral was being constructed, Sir Christopher Wren disguised himself as an ordinary person and walked around among the workman just to talk to them. And he asked one man, he said, “What are you doing?” And the man said, “I am cutting a piece of stone.” He asked another man, “And what are you doing?” And the other man said, “I am earning five shilling, two pence a day.” He asked a third man, “What are you doing?” And the third man said, “I am helping Christopher Wren build a great cathedral.” Now are you just simply cutting stones and drawing your salary, or is there something bigger, is there something larger? Individuals need a vision. Your family needs a family vision. Individuals and families and churches and people need a vision.
This Scripture tells us that Moses saw the invisible. Moses sought the imperishable. Moses did the impossible. He did it by faith that was rooted in a vision. He had a discernment of the future and faith in God helped him to bring it into reality.
As I said earlier, I’m not talking about a daydream. I’m not talking about carnal ambition. When the Bible says in the book of Proverbs, “Where there is no vision, the people perish,” is sometimes translated, “Where there is no open revelation, the people perish.” A vision is a revelation from God. It is not what you simply dream; it is not your mere ambition; it is not what you see to do; it is what you see by faith from God as an open revelation and, therefore, you will not perish.
We Need To Foresee The Treasures
In Hebrews 11:24-26, we read, “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter [that is, he could have been a grandson to the king], choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than, to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”
Why? Because of the treasures he foresaw. In verse 26: “Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt, for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” Moses was no fool. Moses didn’t live on the negative side of the ledger, but on the positive side of the ledger.
In a vision there’s always a prize to possess. Why do we want to get to the other side of the bridge? Because of what is over there! Moses had been doing some estimation, and he saw the riches of Christ. Vision and values are always linked together.
Moses was calculating the present vs the future. He did some spiritual figuring. He saw that the reproaches of Christ were greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. The treasures of Egypt were incredible, and all of that was at Moses’ fingertips. He could have had it all: position, power, prestige, and pleasure, but he said, “I’ve got something greater than all of the riches of Egypt.” He looked at it this way: He could be a grandson of Pharaoh or a son of God in a grand way.
He would have the pleasures of sin or he could have the joys of Jesus. He could have the riches of Egypt or he could have the rewards of heaven. He could have that which is temporary or he could have that which is eternal.
Do you know what most of the people in this world need today? They need to stop, sit down, and think! Most of us never do it. We get up, go about the mundane things of life, and we never stop to ask ourselves where are we going? What are we doing? What is it all about? Most people spend more time planning for seven-day vacation than eighty years of their life.
When you get where you’re going, where will you be? I mean, you’re on a journey, like it or not. When you get where you’re going, where will you be? Moses saw the lean look and the long look. He liked the long look better! We need a vision.
Do you know why most peoples’ lives are not energized? There can be no power for the present if you don’t have faith for the future. It is a vision that energizes and infuses our lives.
The researchers show that 95% of us have never written down our goals in life. The 5% who have, 95% of them have achieved their goals.
A survey was conducted at Yale University. They found out that of the students at Yale University in a graduation class, 3% of the students that graduated had specific goals. That is, they had a vision. Because of their vision, they set goals. Later, the students came back and Yale found out that the 3% who had specific goals, had achieved more than the other 97% put together! That’s the power of a vision.
It is much better to look ahead and prepare than it is to look back and regret. Many of us are going to come to the end of our lives and we’re going to look back and say, “Well, what did I do? I didn’t make any preparation. I had no dream for myself, for my family, for my church.”
A man aboard the Queen Mary was talking to the captain of this great ocean-going vessel. He asked, “When you stop this ship, how long does it take to stop it?” The captain said, “If I were to shut down all the engines, all of the power, it would take me a mile to bring this great ship to a dead stop. A good captain looks at least a mile ahead.”
There are forces in your life and they’re taking you somewhere. You need to look to the future. In Proverbs 19: 2, we read: “Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good: and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.” If you don’t consider where you’re going and just keep on going there, you’re living in sin. Proverbs 24:3-4 remind us: “Through wisdom is a house built; and by understanding it is established: By knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” Do you have understanding? Do you have knowledge? Do you have a vision or is life just happening to you?
Proverbs 27:12 says: “A prudent man foresees the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.” A prudent man looks to the future. The simple, the nonchalant, the naive, just passes on.
Moses did all of this in the midst of a pagan and a materialistic society. He had to be different. He had to separate himself. He had to come out from the herd. We are going to have to think for ourselves. We cannot let our friends, secular society, fads and pleasures dominate our lives. Moses had to sit down and do some calculating. He had to do some honest thinking. Have you done that?
Years ago, there was a 10,000-meter NCAA race in Riverside, California. 123 of the 128 runners missed a turn. However, one of the runners, Mike Decalvo, saw what the right way was and turned around and beckoned to the other runners to follow him. Only 4 runners followed him and the rest of them laughed at him. They thought he had taken a wrong turn and gone the wrong way. 5 out of 128 runners took the right way. There are people who will laugh at us. They will say, “Hey, you’d better get with the crowd.” They will laugh at us if we set some standards. Let them laugh! Take the long look!
We Need To Forsake The Pleasures
There’s a price to pay. Why is it that some people do not live by vision? They will not pay the price. Here’s the price Moses paid: In Hebrews 11:24 we read: “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” He had to make a choice.
Do you know what a vision will do? A vision will help you at any given moment to forsake all that you are in order to gain all you can be. Did it sink in? A vision will enable you at any given moment to forsake all that you are in order to become all that you can be.
Moses in many ways had already arrived. I mean, he was a big shot in Egypt. He was heir to the throne. Yet, he turned his back on it all because he saw something greater. He had to figure the treasures and forsake the pleasures.
You pay now, or you pay later. You always pay. In life, there’s a price to pay. You can enjoy now and pay the price later or you can pay now and enjoy later. That’s just a principle in life. In health, you can live in indolence now. You can be a couch potato, eat everything you want to eat, drink whatever you want to drink, do whatever you want to do, sleep when you want to sleep, but you’re going to pay the price. Is that not right?
How do you take a nasty bone away from a dog? Suppose your dog has a nasty, smelly, stinking bone, he wants to bring in the house, and you try to get it away from him. He won’t let it go. As a matter of fact, if he’s not your dog, he may bite you if you try to take that bone away. However, there’s one way to get a bone away from a dog. If you put a steak down on the ground, that dog will drop the bone to get the steak. Why wouldn’t he? It is a matter of values.
There are certain things the Bible calls the pleasures of sin. Moses said, “I don’t want them.” Why? Who wouldn’t give up a nasty bone for a steak? Vision and value are linked together. The problem with many people is they have never really gotten a vision of what they could be, what they ought to be, of what the treasures of Jesus are.
We Need To Figure The Measures
A vision without a plan is a daydream. Notice the measures he followed. In verse 24 we read, “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God…” In your plan, first of all, there needs to be cooperation. For me to be all that I can be, I need to help you to be all you can be. Did that sink in?
Moses chose to suffer affliction with the people of God. His vision was not selfish. It was not self-centered. If you have a God-given vision, I will guarantee you, that it will include your family, others, your church and the world. If you have a vision that is egocentric and self-centered, it is not of God! It’s of Satan.
Many years ago, Vincent Lombardi was asked, “What does it take, Vince, to make a great team?” Here’s what this coach said:
There are a lot of coaches with good ball clubs who know the fundamentals. They have plenty of discipline, but they still don’t win the game because the third ingredient is missing. If you’re going to play together as a team, you have to care for one another and love one another. Each player has to be thinking about the next guy and saying to himself, ‘If I don’t block that man, Paul is going to get his legs broken. I have to do my job well in order that he can do his. The difference in mediocrity and greatness is feeling that these guys love each other.
Do you think of football players as loving each other? They do; they’re a team. With this in mind, how much more should the church of the Lord Jesus Christ love? We must love one another. We must take seriously the command of Jesus to love one another. Not because we’re lovely, but because He loves us.
Moses’ vision included others. The reason the Global Church Network has a vision, is for the church and the world.
Our visionary plan must also include courage. In Hebrews 11:27 we read, “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king….” If you’re looking for a cheap way, an easy way, a lazy way to be all that you can be, you will not be. The devil is the sinister minister of fear. He is your Pharaoh, trying to keep you in the land of Egypt, a life of mediocrity, to enjoy the pleasures of sin rather than to know the riches of Christ. It’s your vision that will help you to overcome this matter of fear.
Our visionary plan not only have cooperation and courage, but continuance. In verse 27 we also read, “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured…” “He endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”
So many of us start and we fail. We lose the vision. We lose the dream. We don’t pursue the plan. We don’t endure. What was it that kept Moses on track? What was it that enabled Moses to endure? He had a vision.
Moses, I believe, was the greatest man in the Old Testament. I believe Paul was the greatest man in the New Testament. They both had a vision. Paul, who suffered affliction, sorrow, heartache, tears, and trials, also knew triumph. The greatest church builder, the greatest missionary, the greatest Christian who ever lived gave the secret in Acts 26:19, where he said, “Whereof, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.”
It is one thing to have a vision; it is another thing, to go beyond a vision and have faith. Yet, at the end, there must be obedience. Today, we’re talking about vision. It’s a matter of saying we’re going to stay with it as an individual, a family, a church, and a ministry.
Let me tell you the center of Moses’ vision. It was Jesus. It was Jesus. “…he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” The riches of Christ.
Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Dr. James. O. Davis
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networking