Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

The Vision You Embrace

What you see is what you'll get.

And I was not a worthy or fit person for what the Lord granted me, his minor servant: that after such calamities and such great burdens, after captivity, after many years, he should bestow on me, in relation to that people, so much that I had never hoped for or thought of in my youth.

  - Patrick, Confession, Irish, 5th century[1]

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

  - Ephesians 3.20, 21

Patrick’s call as a missionary to Ireland came in the form of a dream. He saw an Irishman he’d known when he was a slave there, coming toward him, carrying a bundle of letters. One of the letters read, “Holy servant boy, come and walk among us.” He understood that God was calling him to return to Ireland and bring the Gospel to the Irish people.

Now Patrick might have responded to such a call out of his experience: “What? I’ve never done that before. How could I ever preach the Gospel? Besides, those people enslaved me for six years.”

That would have been a natural enough response. However, by this time in his life, Patrick was learning to live on a higher plane. He’d experienced God’s powerful deliverance, His miraculous provision, and His affirming presence. He had begun to understand God’s plan for the world, as he read about it in the Scriptures.

He had come to see that God has power to do exceedingly abundantly more in and through us than what we’ve ever experienced or dared to think or ask. Resting in that power, Patrick went to Ireland, and four centuries of revival followed in his wake.

I was once asked by a student whether I thought today’s church leaders were working up to the level of their ability. “Is this the best they can do?” he wanted to know. This question arose during a discussion in which it was clear the students were disappointed with the Kingdom progress they saw in many of their churches.

I answered that I thought most church leaders had good intentions and more than adequate skills. But they were working up to the level of their vision, not their ability. They had all the ability they needed for their work; they just didn’t have the vision to empower their ability beyond where they were.

And that’s a problem for most of us. We don’t have the same vision as God has of what He can do in and through us. We don’t live “exceedingly abundantly above” in almost any area of our lives. We’ve found our niche in the life of faith, and we find that to be good enough for us. We have no vision for anything more than the continuation of the status quo, with as little interruption or inconvenience as possible. We say, “Good enough.”

But God urges us to aspire to “exceedingly abundantly” more.

We say, “Oh I can’t see me doing that.”

God says, “dare to ask or think”.  

The witness of Scripture is clear concerning the power that is at work within us; but few of us have the kind of vision and faith as Patrick, and so few of us ever dream of or endeavor anything that might require greater faith.

What vision will guide your life today? God’s or yours? For the vision you embrace will determine the abilities you realize for following Jesus. Status quo or exceedingly abundantly beyond? You’ll have to decide.

For reflection
1. How would you describe your vision for your life in Christ at this time?

2. What might your life look like if you had more of an “exceedingly abundantly beyond” vision?

Psalm 9.1, 2, 11-13 (Diademata: Crown Him with Many Crowns)
I will give thanks, O Lord, with all my heart to You!
I’ll tell the wonders of Your love, so many and so true!
With joy to You I cry; Your glory I will raise;
Your matchless Name, O Lord on high, will I forever praise!

Praise then the Lord of Zion; declare His deeds abroad!
Praise Judah’s might saving Lion, the ever blessèd God!
His blood has washed us clean; He hears our plaintive cries,
He good to us has ever been and lifts us to the skies!

O Lord, give me an exceedingly abundantly beyond vision for my life with you, and help me today to…

A Kingdom Vision
Maybe you need a bigger vision of the Kingdom to which God has called you (1 Thess. 2.12). Order a copy of our book, The Kingdom Turn, and discover the broad horizons of faith and service God has in store for you (click here).

Thanks be to God!
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T. M. Moore, Principal
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All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


[1] Da Paor, p. 98.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
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