Having Vision Is Seeing and Living in the Now What Is Not Yet
Why do people want to follow visionaries? Because they can see what has not come to pass as if it already has. They are able to see how they want the world to be before it is that way. They are able to see the Not Yet as if it were the Now.
God called David to be king when he was just a shepherd boy. But it took several years before he actually assumed the throne of Judah. And then he had to wait another seven years before he became king of all Israel.
There were times that David stopped believing that he would be king one day—even though God had said it would happen one day. Circumstances made him believe that what God said would never happen.
If you have a God-sized vision in you, then you can learn from what David did right and what David did wrong when he was pursuing the Not Yet in the Now.
1. See through the eyes of faith (1 Samuel 17)
When David came to the Israelite encampment where they faced off against the Philistines, he saw that all the men of the Israelite army were in fear of Goliath. David didn’t see Goliath as a threat. He saw him as defying the army of the living God. David saw the situation not in the Now, but in the Not Yet. And David didn’t see Goliath as he was—a fearsome warrior—but as he could be—a vanquished foe—because David saw the situation through the eyes of faith.
David wasn’t a crazy dreamer. He did his homework in advance. He asked men in the Israelite army what would happen to the man who defeated Goliath (1 Samuel 17:25-27). David knew how he would benefit as a result of taking action if the opportunity presented itself. But he also realized it wasn’t about him.
David didn’t flaunt himself in front of others. Others saw his bravery and commended him to King Saul (1 Samuel 17:31). Even when King Saul doubted David’s ability to prevail against Goliath, David confirmed how God had prepared him for this moment. He knew how he had killed a bear and a lion. He knew how God had protected him then. And he knew how God could protect him again (1 Samuel 17:33-37).
David didn’t put his faith in what everyone else did. He refused King Saul’s armor and instead opted for how he knew God could move through him (1 Samuel 17:38-40). Despite how Goliath had all the human advantages over David, David prevailed over Goliath because he trusted in God and looked at the situation—and prepared accordingly—through the eyes of faith (1 Samuel 17:45-50).
Do not let circumstances affect how you see things. Look through the eyes of faith to see the Not Yet, and let God give you the sight you need in the Now to see things clearly.
2. Do God’s will God’s way (1 Samuel 24; 26; 2 Samuel 1:14-16; 3:31-39; 4:9-12)
Although God said David would be king, it did not happen quickly or in David’s timeline. And David accepted that—even though King Saul hunted David to kill him out of jealous rage, fearing David’s popularity (1 Samuel 18:8-16; 19:15).
Twice David had the opportunity to kill Saul. His men even encouraged him to do it. One time while Saul was hunting after David, Saul came into a cave to relieve himself, not knowing that David and his men were in the cave; afterwards, David showed Saul the corner of his garment he cut off to prove he meant him no ill will. Another time when Saul came after David, David sneaked into the camp at night and took the spear by Saul’s head to show that he would not try to harm him. Instead of lifting his hand against Saul, David trusted in the Lord to bring about God’s ultimate plan (1 Samuel 24; 26).
When Saul died in battle, a foreigner who came to the battle scene found Saul’s crown and brought it to David. The foreigner likely expected a reward when he told David that he killed the mortally wounded Saul at Saul’s request. Instead David and his mourned Saul’s death and executed the foreigner for killing the Lord’s anointed (2 Samuel 1:14-16).
If God has called you to something, then it will happen in God’s timing, not in your timing. And you do not need to rush it along by doing it your way.
3. Do not let circumstances bring you down (1 Samuel 27:1-4)
Even though David had been told he would be king—and even though David did eventually become king over Judah and then over all Israel (2 Samuel 2:4; 5:3)—David became discouraged. Twice he fled to the land of Israel’s archenemy, the Philistines (1 Samuel 21:10; 27:1). Because he believed that Saul would overpower him and kill him one day, David believed that the only way he would be able to avoid Saul would be to live in Philistine territory (1 Samuel 27:1). David lost sight of what God had promised him, and as a result David felt like he had to take matters into his own hands.
You can trust that God will do what God has said. You are supposed to live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Do not your trust—or project your fear—in the circumstances you see. Instead trust that God will bring about all that has been promised you in the Now by seeing and living the Not Yet.