Abraham had a vision of “the city which hath foundations” and he looked for it, but he never found it on earth. He found it at last in heaven, but only as the climax of a walk which was ever upward. Ezekiel was another man of vision. In his “visions of God” he saw the glory lifting from the earthly scene and moving up and on, finally culminating in a spiritual house and river which find their counterpart in the final revelation given to John. It was heavenly, spiritual, universal. What a significant phrase that is about the house seen by Ezekiel, “there was an enlargement upward” (Ezekiel 41:7). God-given vision is always heavenly and always moves away from the merely temporal and earthly. To understand this is to be found in ways of vital fruitfulness.
God never works for reduction or limitation, even though at times He may seem to be doing so. When we are able to see as He sees we find that what looks like trimming and reduction is really His way of leading to more spiritual and heavenly enlargement. It was “the God of glory” who appeared to Abraham (Acts 7:2). It was “the pattern in the heavenlies” that was shown to Moses (Hebrews 8:5). It was “… above the firmament… a throne… and upon the throne… a man above upon it” that Ezekiel saw (Ezekiel 1:26). It was that “the heavens do rule” that Daniel apprehended (Daniel 4:26). These are not only sovereign factors in government, but heavenly conceptions in the nature of things.
What could have been voluntary with a minimum of loss has often had to be made compulsory with gains that are less than they could have been. This is because we do not from time to time stand back and in detachment wait upon God so that He can adjust and enlarge our vision. Many a work which has mightily served the Lord and been a great spiritual testimony has lost much of its glory and impact by becoming an organized routine which has made no provision for the further light from God which could have come from periods of retreat and waiting upon Him. Without renewed vision there can so easily be a leakage of spiritual power.
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