by Pastor Shana Wise
Gen 13:14 And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward;
· “Lifting up your eyes”, means to shift your focus from temporal to eternal. It also means to change your current position of seeing things from you understand to God’s perspective.
· Like Abraham, God wants to take us places that we never been or seen before. He is always doing a new thing in our lives, however-do we see it?
· In the current time that we are living in the earth, it is imperative for the believer to not only “lift up their eyes to see” but also to hear and respond to what the Lord is doing.
· Have you been lately questioning the Lord on what you have been seeing? Rather it is your personal life, relationship, the current state of your local area, country or world; I am sure some questions have arisen within the year of 2020.
· Let us examine the book of prophet Habakkuk and see how he got to 20/20 vision.
1 The burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw.
The Prophet’s Question 2 O Lord, how long shall I cry,
And You will not hear? Even cry out to You, “Violence!” And You will not save. 3 Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; There is strife, and contention arises. 4 Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore, perverse judgment proceeds.
· Doesn’t this prayer/question reflect our present-day that we are living in? Habakkuk saw the condition of his community and the world around him (violence, sin, strife, contention, and injustice) and it caused him to cry out to God.
· When was the last time you saw something that you felt powerless about and cried out to God?
The Lord’s Reply
5 “Look among the nations and watch—Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days
Which you would not believe, though it were told you. 6 For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans,
A bitter and hasty nation Which marches through the breadth of the earth, to possess dwelling places that are not theirs.
(verse 7-11 continues to describe the Chaldeans)
· Jeremiah 33:3 3 ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’
· Noticed in the verses above Habakkuk told the Lord what he saw, but when the Lord respond he told him to look. Why did the Lord do this? Because His vision is from eternity and ours is from temporary (Chronos. vs Kairos time). Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. God’s vision Was, Is, and has Always been 20/20, because He is perfect and without sin. Our vision is continually being perfected by Jesus Christ. Knowing this, when we come to God with what we “see”, he answers us for “what it is”.
· Verse five, 5 “Look among the nations and watch—Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days Which you would not believe, though it were told you…” God is always working behind the scenes even if we don’t see it. Whatever we perceive to “see”, rather it’s good or evil, God is going to get His glory! God will raise up “unrighteous people”, to show off His righteousness in the earth. Remember Pharaoh and the Israelites?
· What are some things that God has revealed to you about what you have seen recently?
The Prophet’s Second Question
12 Are You not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, you have appointed them for judgment; O Rock, you have marked them for correction. 13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously?
And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours A person more righteous than he? 14 Why do You make men like fish of the sea, like creeping things that have no ruler over them?
(verses 15-17 continues Habakkuk’s detailed concerns)
· Even when God answered Habakkuk, he still had questions for God, because he still didn’t understand why God intervening with all the things Habakkuk was seeing. However, noticed how he address God this time around: O Lord my God, my Holy One, O Rock, and Pure Eyes. The lesson we can get from this is that when God answers us, we see more of a clearer vision of Him rather than the present situation or circumstance we are dealing with. We may have “questions” but as God continues to reveal as must as we can handle; our approach should change from the original issue to trusting more in His will.
The Just Shall Live by Faith
I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me,
And what I will answer when I am corrected. The Just Live by Faith
2 Then the Lord answered me and said:
“Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.
(verses 4-20 continues on with the Lord’s response with the impending judgment for the evildoers).
· Notice how, when the Lord answered Habakkuk this time, it was with instructions which were to write the vision and put it on tablets where people can see. We must remember that whatever is pricking our hearts (disturbing it) is part of our ministry assignment (purpose here on earth). Habakkuk was upset about the condition of his community; God gave him instructions on how to make it better. Habakkuk was the instrument that God chose to use to implement change in his community.
· We know that we have truly seen God's will for our lives when we can receive a Word and instruction(s) from Him.
· What was the last thing that God told you to do and have you done it?
The Prophet’s Prayer
A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, on Shigionoth. 2 O Lord, I have heard Your speech and was afraid;
O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy. 3 God came from Teman, The Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah His glory covered the heavens, And the earth was full of His praise. 4 His brightness was like the light; He had rays flashing from His hand, and there His power was hidden. 5 Before Him went pestilence, and fever followed at His feet. 6 He stood and measured the earth; He looked and startled the nations. And the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills bowed. His ways are everlasting. 7 I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction; The curtains of the land of Midian trembled. 8 O Lord, were You displeased with the rivers, Was Your anger against the rivers, Was Your wrath against the sea, That You rode on Your horses, Your chariots of salvation? 9 Your bow was made quite ready; Oaths were sworn over Your arrows. Selah You divided the earth with rivers. 10 The mountains saw You and trembled; The overflowing of the water passed by. The deep uttered its voice, and lifted its hands on high. 11 The sun and moon stood still in their habitation; At the light of Your arrows they went, At the shining of Your glittering spear. 12 You marched through the land in indignation; You trampled the nations in anger. 13
You went forth for the salvation of Your people, For salvation with Your Anointed. You struck the head from the house of the wicked, by laying bare from foundation to neck. Selah 14 You thrust through with his own arrows the head of his villages. They came out like a whirlwind to scatter me; Their rejoicing was like feasting on the poor in secret. 15 You walked through the sea with Your horses, Through the heap of great waters. 16 When I heard, my body trembled; My lips quivered at the voice; Rottenness entered my bones; And I trembled in myself, That I might rest in the day of trouble. When he comes up to the people, He will invade them with his troops.
A Hymn of Faith
17 Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.
To the Chief Musician. With my stringed instruments
· When your vision is 20/20, God will give you revelation prayers to decree.
· When your vision is 20/20, your response to God’s answers will cause you to see more of God’s character.
· When your vision is 20/20, it will cause you to sing songs of praise.
About the Author
Dr. Shana Wise is the Pastor and CEO of Wise Choice Ministries (est. 2016), a non-profit church ministry. She is the founder of The Well Christian Women’s Network (est. 2016). Dr. Wise is the author of women’s devotional, Acts of Intercession, and The Impact of Your Election which are both available on Amazon. She received a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2019 from St. Thomas Christian University. Her passion is to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, equip others to apply the Word to their lives, and demonstrate the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. Shana is married to Ron Wise and is the mother of four children.