Abraham Seizes What He Sees
Genesis 12:1 – 22:4
While followers may obsess on the challenges immediately before them, leaders see the future from a distance. They dream dreams not only about what can happen now, but also about what could happen in the next year, the next decade, even the next generation.
When God told Abraham to leave the comfort of his home in Haran, his relatives, and everything familiar, so that he might start fresh in another land (Gen. 12), Abraham caught a vision. God gave Abraham the hope of fathering a great nation; in fact, God said he would become the father of many nations! Abraham felt compelled to follow this great vision, even when he had nothing else to rely on.
Lessons from Abraham on Vision
By observing Abraham in Genesis 12-22, we can learn the criteria of a God-given vision. A vision must:
1. Begin with God’s priorities (Gen. 12:1, 2). God initiated the vision.
2. Connect with the leader’s identity (Gen. 15:2-4). The vision Abraham received matched the needs of Abraham and Sarah and its fulfillment would serve others.
3. Include others (Gen. 12:2, 3). A vision from God always includes and blesses others.
4. Be bigger than the leader (Gen. 17:1-8). While Abraham wanted to father an heir, God wanted him to father nations.
5. Connect with the leader’s deepest convictions (Gen. 18:9-12). The vision that captured Abraham’s heart mirrored his strongest values, including his desire for family and land.
6. Be tangible and easily communicated (Gen. 15:5). God gave Abraham a tangible picture of the vision: sand and stars.
7. Have eternal value (Gen. 17:19, 20). Abraham’s vision went far beyond his life on earth and included more than wealth and fame. His vision would affect the eternal destiny of millions.
“21” Crucial Qualities of Christians: #21 – VISION
I. The Quality Defined
a. Prov. 29:18
II. The Vision of Abram
a. Gen. 12:1-7
b. Gen. 15:1-21
III. The Vision Given to Moses Lasted for Millenia
a. Exod. 12:1-29
IV. A Vision for All Time
a. Matt. 28:16-20
a. Prov. 29:18
“Traditions or Traditions?”
I. “Tradition” Has A Context
II. The Bible Speaks of…
a. Matt. 15:2; Mark 7:3, 5
b. Matt. 15:3; Mark 7:9, 13
c. Mark 7:8; Col. 2:8
d. Gal. 1:14
e. 2 Thess. 2:15
f. 2 Thess. 3:6
g. 1 Pet. 1:18
h. 2 Thess. 2:15; 3:6
i. 2 Tim. 2:2
j. Heb. 7:12-14
k. 1 Pet. .5:2-4; Heb. 13:17
III. Examples of This Include (But Are Not Limited To…)
a. 2 Tim. 2:2
b. Acts 2:42
c. 1 Cor. 11:23-28
IV. Examples of This Include (But Are Not Limited To…)
a. 1 Tim. 2:12
b. Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 13:15
c. Col. 2:12-13; Acts 8:37-39; Rom. 6:3-6
d. Acts 20:7
Esau Fails to See the Big Picture
Gen. 25:29-34; 32:3-23; 33:1-20
In Esau the Bible paints a powerful picture of a leader without vision. While the eyes of some folks may be larger than their stomachs in this case the problem was exactly the opposite.
Isaac and Rebekah’s firstborn son, Esau, loved the great outdoors from very early in life. He became a skillful hunter, growing strong and resourceful and as rugged as they come. But he lived so completely in the present, depending solely on his own strength and resources, that he repeatedly failed to clearly see the future.
Esau succumbed to the kind of temptations that still entice leaders today. Take a look at six characteristics of Esau’s nearsightedness and see whether of any of them might trouble you:
1. Esau focused solely on the hear and now, convinced that tomorrow never comes.
2. Esau relied on his natural gifts and on his birth order rather than on God’s plan.
3. Esau’s shortsightedness prompted him to give up the ultimate to get the immediate (a single meal).
4. Esau, favored by his father, may have through that Isaac’s love would bail him out of any poor decision he might make.
5. Esau’s limited vision caused him to marry a Hittite, a choice which grieved his parents.
6. Esau’s clouded vision blinded him from the deception of his brother Jacob.
Today we remember Esau as a self-centered man with faulty vision. Hebrews 12:15, 16 tells us to examine ourselves, “lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.”