I will climb up into my watchtower now and wait to see what the LORD will say to me and how he will answer my complaint. Then the LORD said to me, “Write my answer in large, clear letters on a tablet, so that a runner can read it and tell everyone else. But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. (Habakkuk 2:1-3)
How do we catch a vision from God? For some people, vision comes in the form of a dream while sleeping. For some, it comes while praying in the Spirit. For others, vision arrives while reading a book or watching a movie. God can send a vision to a person pretty much anywhere, anytime. And while we may be under the impression that we have to approach the Lord in a particular way in order to be “eligible” for a vision, we can even catch a vision when we've gone to him complaining and protesting. That’s what happened to the prophet Habakkuk.
Habakkuk lived during a time when the nation of Israel was living in exile in Babylon. The first chapter of the book of Habakkuk records the prophet’s frustration that God didn’t seem to be doing anything to rescue the Jews or to control the Babylonians. Habakkuk wasn’t timid in the complaint he brought before the Lord. He passionately engaged God, asking him why he was seemingly sitting on the sidelines while so much sin and suffering was going on.
When Habakkuk was done questioning the Lord, he said, “I will climb up into my watchtower now and wait to see what the LORD will say to me and how he will answer my complaint” (v. 1). The first key to catching a vision from God is expectation. Habakkuk fully expected to hear from the Lord. Many times when we approach God to voice a complaint, we stop at just that – complaining. But God doesn't respond to complaining; he responds to faith. People who believe God will answer, get answers. People who activate their faith can catch a vision for the perspective, strategies and solutions of God.
Habakkuk didn’t climb up into his watchtower for just five or ten minutes; the scripture says he had every intention of waiting on the Lord until he got an answer. That’s the second key to catching a vision: Decide you will wait until God speaks. Don’t give up! In today's environment, where we can have an answer to any question in seconds via the Internet, we need to develop a habit of waiting on the Lord to speak. What God has to say on a matter far surpasses any answer Google can give us. His responses – sometimes in the form of a vision – take into account not only the way we are made and the current circumstances, but also the future he has already designed for us. God sees the beginning from the end, and everywhere in between. We are wise when we wait on God for the perfect answer to our predicament.
After God speaks, what do we do next? God instructed Habakkuk to write the answer he received in large, clear letters on a tablet so that a runner could read it and tell everyone else (v. 2). When we receive a vision from God, it’s important to write it down clearly and in detail. This is a good idea so we can share the vision with others who are affected by it, but it is also necessary simply because we’re human and we forget things. One of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal in moments of doubt, despair or forgetfulness is a clear and detailed description of where you are going.
A vision from God is a roadmap to your future and a strategy for your prosperity. When you find yourself in a valley or feeling as though you’re not getting anywhere, you need a vision from the Lord written in large, clear letters on a tablet so you can remind yourself of where you are going. Be a person who waits, expects and documents. Position yourself to catch a vision from God.