The Vision of Discipling People to Jesus

by Joanna Pierce on February 21, 2019

A God-Given Vision

A vision is an act in power or anticipation of that which is soon to be. Scriptures refer to visions as spiritual insight or dreams. To a believer, our faith is what helps give us vision: faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). In our Christian walk, every believer needs a God-given vision. That vision is reaching the lost and discipling them to Jesus.

We must be able to identify our God-given vision. Jesus has a plan and purpose in the earth: He came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). Scripture teaches us that redemption is God’s vision for all mankind. For this vision to be perpetuated on earth, we need to be a witness to this vision; however, for us to take part in being His witnesses, we need to see the big picture (God’s vision) that all of humanity needs salvation.

The Risk of No Vision

Where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18). If God doesn’t set the pace and give the vision for our lives, the church, the Kingdom, etc., it won’t work. If we can’t see God’s vision, we’ll personally become less than what God called us to be and do less than what He called us to do. Visions from God will sustain us and the work of our hands. He will make it successful!

Our Vision and Mission

We’re all commanded to go (Matthew 28:19): to preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). Where God commands, He always empowers; He will never ask us to do something impossible. Scripture tells us that God will give us power through the Holy Ghost to be witnesses for Him (Acts 1:8). We need to submit ourselves to the vision of God and allow Him to speak His vision into our individual vision/mission to reach the lost.

The Spirit Helps Us Become a Witness

The Spirit is the vital element that helps us to become (successful) witnesses for Christ. There are 3 benefits it brings to our witness. One, the Spirit gives us words we wouldn’t necessarily (or couldn’t) speak on our own. We see an example of this in Scripture when Jesus told the disciples not to think about what they would speak, for the Holy Ghost would teach them what to say when they needed it (Luke 12:11–12). Secondly, the Spirit gives us favor our own actions could never produce. Lydia was a woman who needed the Gospel. When Paul spoke, the Lord opened her heart to hear what he had to say. She wouldn’t have received the Gospel unless God gave Paul favor with her (Acts 16:14). And third, the Spirit will give us direction on when and where to act and speak. Philip had just finished a revival, and was translated in the Spirit to minister to an Ethiopian eunuch. Upon arrival, it was the Spirit that told him to minister to the specific man (Acts 8:29).

A Tale of 2 Visions

Acts 10 tells us a story of 2 important visions. When Cornelius, a devout man, was in prayer, the Lord gave him a vision. An angel instructed him to send men to find Peter. In a nearby town, Peter began to pray on a rooftop. It was here, God gave him a vision of a sheet with all kinds of animals. They were deemed unclean to eat according to the Jewish law. After seeing the spread, Peter heard a voice telling him to rise and eat. Peter was being instructed to go and do something that had never been done before. The story ends with Peter sharing the message of Jesus Christ to Cornelius and his entire household, and the Holy Ghost fell on all who heard the Word. While Cornelius received a vision that saved his house, Peter’s vision brought the Gospel to all the Gentiles and the door of salvation was opened to all people that day. This is why obedience to a God-given vision is eternally important to unbelievers!

Fear has a tendency to keep us from following God’s vision and working in His harvest. But, we cannot let this be a hindrance to us! Remember, we’re not only commissioned to go, but we’re chosen and ordained to go and bring forth fruit that will remain (John 15:16). In this Scripture, we see 4 key elements: 1) chosen—we’ve been selected to do something for God, 2) ordained— we’ve been set and positioned to do a task, 3) fruit—we’ll see results, and 4) remain—the results will still be around next year!

Ways to Go

There are many ways for us to go. Because we’re all fearfully and wonderfully made, with unique talents and abilities, our calling will be different. One person’s “go” maybe to wait in line for a specific cashier. Another may be to spend time cultivating a relationship with a neighbor. For a different individual, it may be to financially support missions. Going is very simple! If we don’t “go” we’re in disobedience to God. We need to be obedient, allow Him to work through us, and go where we’re called.

Knowing Your Field

Part of having vision for an empowered witness is knowing where or what is our harvest field. Our field isn’t hand-selected by us but by God alone! Each field will be different because we all have different spheres of influences. Even though our fields might look different, we all share the same vision: the one of Jesus Christ. Jesus read His personal vision and mission statement in Luke 4:18–19. He realized the world—with a lot of hurting people—was in need of Him. We need to look for broken, bruised, blind, and captive people in the world because everyone needs to hear the good news of the Gospel. Someone in our world (where we live) is broken and they need to know Jesus is able to heal them!

Obstacles to Vision

Vision for discipling people to Jesus comes with some some baggage. The biggest obstacle (or baggage) to the vision of our harvest is the lack of work in us and the church. We need to pray that God sends laborers into His harvest (Matthew 9:37); we all need to be ready and willing to work. An apostolic witness does not have a life of ease and leisure. A burden for the lost may cost us some sleepless nights, skipped meals, or time sacrificed when we rise to pray and/or meet with people to build relationships. Remember, not all seed will fall on good ground in our witness. It’s ultimately up to God to give the increase. A God-given vision of the harvest is a compelling force to empower us to be His witnesses no matter the obstacle. Paul summed up his life’s commitment by stating he didn’t care about anything else but ministry and loving Jesus (I Corinthians 2:2). This should be our commitment no matter what life (or people) bring.

Conclusion

Vision to minister to people can be activated quickly when we realize the need to share Jesus with those around us. Realize people can leave this world without God in their lives; if they do they’ll face judgment. We must have a vision for the harvest and to share the whole Gospel to the whole world!

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on February 20, 2019 with Pastor Nave