In farming, there’s a time for sowing, a time for growing, and a time for reaping. It’s the same in God’s kingdom. One missionary tells of hearing a group of seasoned leaders discussing their shared experiences from which a fascinating five-stage process emerged.
Stage 1: The birth of the vision. Initially each of them was given a vision by the Holy Spirit, accompanied by an excitement and abiding awareness that it was from God.
Stage 2: The preparation. This is the stage where dreams are often aborted because we don’t want to do the necessary preparation. When God gives you a vision, there must be some action on your part or it will never amount to anything more than a passing daydream.
Stage 3: The wilderness and the struggle. One of our biggest misconceptions is that if something is really from God, there’ll be no struggle involved. That’s a myth! You can almost guarantee a significant amount of struggle will be required. This stage is the proving ground of our faithfulness, and there’s no substitute.
Stage 4: The realisation of the vision. This is where we finally get to enjoy the fruits of our diligent preparation and God’s faithfulness.
Stage 5: New beginnings and vision. These leaders all found themselves challenged again with fresh vision from the Holy Spirit. As a result, they concluded that their lives had been a continual cycle of ever-expanding vision, and as God entrusted them with more, it would take even greater amounts of preparation and the intensity of the battle would increase. Now you understand the stages of your vision!