The best way I've found to study the Word of God is to put yourself in each of the situations. Imagine how the characters you are studying physically feel, what they see, and how what they may be feeling emotionally. It's easy to piece together their situation by examining their actions and reactions.
As we continue this week into our study of the seven stages in the chain of vision that are revealed in John 4, let us imagine ourselves in the situation.
For example, in John 4 Jesus is tired, thirsty and hungry. He was probably in need of some down time, because He sent all of His disciples to town to get some food.
"Alone at last!" —I know that thought. We've all had at least one moment in our lives of complete exhaustion.
Weariness is one of the greatest robbers of a leader's ability to impart vision to God's people. Jesus knew the importance of consistently taking time to be alone to hear the voice of His Father.
Jesus was not only tired, but He had an immediate need: He was thirsty. We can know this because they came from the city to draw water from the well, and Jesus asked for a drink of water.
That simple need of water is what begins the story of profound teaching on vision that gives birth to transformation for the women at the well, the disciples, and an entire city.
I see seven stages in the chain of vision that are revealed in John 4. Over the last few weeks, we looked at vision in relationship to:
- Observation of the need
- Conversation with the person
- Presentation of the truth
Today we are going to look at the fourth link of the chain of vision:
- Examination of the problem
Usually until people discover the importance of why they need to change, they will not. People rarely make any change until they want to.
It is impossible to know why people should change without a personal examination.
Notice that when we discuss examination of the problem we are really talking about perception and discernment. As spiritual leaders, exhaustion will deaden our spiritual senses.
How easy it would have been for Jesus to embrace cultural convention and totally ignore the woman. One of the greatest passages in the New Testament would have been missed.
Making time to recharge our spiritual batteries is essential. Jesus often carved out alone time. In this case, it was the middle of the day when the sun was the most intense. I believe we see the spiritual gifts in operation in this passage.
It is during these moments that we see God's vision through different lenses and appreciate what He is doing around us. Only then can we adequately examine the problems facing us.
Jesus is using the word of knowledge and discernment to unlock this woman's heart. In a moment the conversation goes from a natural level to a supernatural event.
As a spiritual leader in today's society, I encourage you to make time in your everyday life to recharge so you will be able to properly examine opportunities for God to move through you.
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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