The Holy Bible gives us a powerful example of a leader without a vision! It’s like church leader who preaches about God, but never act on the things God needs us to do!
Esau, Unfortunately Fails To See The Big Picture! Read: Genesis 25:29-34; 32:3-23; 33:1-20
Isaac and Rebekah’s firstborn son, Esau, loved the great outdoors from very early in life. He became a skillful hunter, growing strong and resourceful and as rugged as they come. But he lived so completely in the present, depending solely on his own strength and resources, that he repeatedly failed to clearly see the future!
SEEING THE BIG PICTURE
Esau succumbed to the kind of temptations that still entice Leaders today.
Take a look at Six Characteristics of Esau’s Nearsightedness and see whether any of them might trouble your Vision:
1. Esau focused solely on the here and now, convinced that tomorrow never comes;
2. Esau relied on his natural gifts and on his birth order rather than on God’s plan;
3. Esau’s shortsightedness prompted him to give up the ultimate to get the immediate (a single meal);
4. Esau, favored by his father, may have thought that Isaac’s love would bail him out of any poor decision he might make;
5. Esau’s limited vision caused him to marry a Hittite, a choice which grieved his parents; and
6. Esau’s clouded vision blinded him from the deception of his brother Jacob.
In a legacy symbolic of his life, Esau’s descendants became the enemies of Israel. Whenever you see the word “Edom” or read of Israel’s clashes with the Edomites in Scripture, think of Esau, for it is through him that these persistent opponents of Israel came into existence. The animosity between these two ancient peoples can be seen even in the Psalms: (Psalm 137:7, “Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites, that they said in the day of Jerusalem’s fall, Down, down to the ground with her!” AMP).
Today we remember Esau as a self-centered man with faulty vision.
Hebrews 12:15-16, tells us to examine ourselves or better yet: “Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look [after one another], to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it—That no one may become guilty of sexual vice, or become a profane (godless and sacrilegious) person as Esau did, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.” (AMP).
However, God Still Extends His Grace!
Before Esau died, he showed that he had matured. Genesis Chapters 32-33 describe a fearful meeting between Esau and his estranged brother. When the pair finally meet after years of separation, Esau embraces the deceiver Jacob and forgives him on the spot. Could it be that before he closed his eyes for the last time, Esau finally saw with clear vision? Perhaps. But imagine what might have been had he developed that vision sooner!
ABRAHAM SEIZES WHAT HE SEES! Read Genesis 12:1-22:4
While followers may obsess on the challenges immediately before them, Leaders See the Future From a Distance! They dream dreams not only about what can happen Now, but also about what could happen in the Next Year, the Next Decade, even the Next Generation!
When God told Abraham to leave the comfort of his home in Haran, his relatives, and everything familiar, so that he might start fresh in another land (Genesis 12), Abraham Caught The Vision!
God gave Abraham the hope of fathering a great nation; in fact, God said he would become the father of Many Nations!
And Abraham felt compelled to follow this great vision, Even When He Had Nothing Else to Rely on!
LESSONS FROM ABRAHAM ON VISION:
By observing Abraham in Genesis 12-22, we can learn the Criteria for a God-Given Vision.
A Vision Must:
1. BEGIN WITH GOD’S PRIORITIES (Genesis 12:1-2, “Now [in Haran] the Lord said to Abram, Go for yourself [for your own advantage] away from your country, from your relatives and your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you [with abundant increase of favors] and make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing [dispensing good to others]” (AMP). God Initiated the Vision, not Abraham. When Leaders start with God’s Vision, they can more easily maintain direction and keep their motives pure;
2. CONNECT WITH THE LEADER’S IDENTITY (Genesis 15:2-4, “And Abraham said, Lord God, what can You give me, since I am going on [from this world] childless and he who shall be the owner and heir of my house is this [steward] Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram continued, Look, You have given me no child; and [a servant] born in my house is my heir. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, This man shall not be your heir, but he who shall come from your own body shall be your heir” AMP). The Vision Abraham received fit him and Sarah exactly; it matched the needs and desires of this barren couple. Even better, its fulfillment would serve others. The Vision should identify with All Parties Responsible For Bringing It To Pass;
3. INCLUDE OTHERS (Genesis 12:2-3, “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you [with abundant increase of favors] and make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing [dispensing good to others]. And I will bless those who bless you [who confer prosperity or happiness upon you] and curse him who curses or uses insolent language toward you; in you will all the families and kindred of the earth be blessed [and by you they will bless themselves” AMP). A Vision from God always involves and blesses others. The Lord told Abraham he would be blessed in order to bless many nations, which is precisely what happened through the birth of Christ many generations later. Any Effective Leader Ensures That Their Vision Includes Others and Likewise, Blesses Others (A Selfish, Self-Centered Leader Is Always Ineffective);
4. BE BIGGER THAN THE LEADER (Genesis 17:1-8, “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, I am the Almighty God; walk and live habitually before Me and be perfect (blameless, wholehearted, complete). And I will make My covenant (solemn pledge) between Me and you and will multiply you exceedingly. Then Abram fell on his face, and God said to him, As for Me, behold My covenant (solemn pledge) is with you, and you shall be the father of many nations. Nor shall your name any longer be Abram [high, exalted father]; but your name shall be Abraham [father of a multitude], for I have made you the father of many nations. And I will make you exceedingly fruitful and I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting, solemn pledge, to be a God to you and to your posterity after you. And I will give to you and to your posterity after you the land in which you are a stranger [going from place to place], all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” AMP). While Abraham wanted to father an heir, God wanted him to father Nations. That hope went far beyond Abraham’s wildest dreams (and his own capabilities). Such a huge Vision would take more than a lifetime to fulfill. When Your Vision Is Bigger Than You, It Will Keep You Continuously Dependent On the Lord;
5. CONNECT WITH THE LEADER’S DEEPEST CONVICTIONS (Genesis 18:9-12, “And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, [She is here] in the tent. [The Lord] said, I will surely return to you when the season comes round, and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son. And Sarah was listening and heard it at the tent door which was behind Him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in years; it had ceased to be with Sarah as with [young] women. [She was past the age of childbearing]. Therefore Sarah laughed to herself, saying, After I have become aged shall I have pleasure and delight, my lord (husband), being old also?” AMP). The vision that captured Abraham’s heart mirrored his strongest values, including his desire for family and land. Effective Leaders Know Their Vision and Convictions Go Hand-In-Hand;
6. BE TANGIBLE AND EASILY COMMUNICATED (Genesis 15:5, “And He brought him outside [his tent into the starlight] and said, Look now toward the heavens and count the stars – if you are able to number them. Then He said to him, So shall your descendants be” AMP). God gave Abraham a Tangible Picture of the Vision: Look at the sands on the shore, He said, and at the stars in the sky. These objects served as visual aids to help Abraham embrace and fulfill the vision. Effective Leaders Know That The People Walk By Faith and Not By Sight, but as the Leader It Is Your Responsibility to Have a Vision That Is Tangible! Realistic! God Has Made His People a People of Intelligence, He Has No Where Declared That We Are To Blindly or Ignorantly Follow Man Anywhere! Therefore, Make Sure Your Vision Is Clear, Tangible and Realistic, Not To Mention Well Communicated; and
7. HAVE ETERNAL VALUE (Genesis 17:19-20, “But God said, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son indeed, and you shall call his name Isaac [laughter]; and I will establish My covenant or solemn pledge with him for an everlasting covenant and with his posterity after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard and heeded you: behold, I will bless him and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly; He will be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. [Fulfilled in Genesis 25:12-18]” AMP). Abraham’s Vision went far beyond his life on earth and included more than wealth and fame. If all you have a Vision for is to put money in your pockets, and to create cathedrals for your own glory and grandeur, then you’ve indeed missed the whole point of a Vision! You indeed are an Ineffective Leader With Impaired Vision! Abraham’s Vision would affect the eternal destiny of millions, and millions to come! If your Vision is not big enough to impact even after you’ve entered eternity…then it was never big enough to be beneficial in the first place!
So Are You An Esau Leader Whose Vision Is Too Small To See The Big Picture? Or an Abraham leader who seizes what he sees?
|Apostle Benson Musyimi|
+254 725 277915
Nairobi, Kenya 70405
00400 TOM MBOYA STREET