I can’t even count the number of times, since around November 2019, that I have prayed, sung, or talked about this year being a year of 2020 vision. In countless church services, conferences, prayer sets, and worship times, I have heard dozens of prophetic words about 2020 vision: how the Lord was going to open our eyes this year, give fresh vision, bring clarity, give direction for the coming months and even years. It had been prophesied, sung about, prayed into, taught about, and preached about for months earlier.
In me personally, it stirred up pictures of Angels riding down from the heavens, laying out strategic blueprints for the Body of Christ, causing overnight unity, clarity of vision, and showing us how to take the land. In America, this could only mean bigger/better events, gatherings, and services. Personally, it meant God was about to give Sara and I clarity in ministry vision (western Christianity code for bring in more finances and expand our public platform). Christians everywhere were all hyped up and eagerly waiting for the year of 2020 vision and blessing to be unleashed.
Then in a matter of days, everything came to a screeching halt.
I was on our swing set with our kids several days ago at dusk, and I heard the Lord say to me, “I am giving you the 2020 vision that you said you wanted.” I realized immediately how absolutely profound and true this was and began to think about it and pray into it.
20/20 vision is a term used to express normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. If you have 20/100 vision, it means that you must be as close as 20 feet to see what a person with normal vision can see at 100 feet. The reason that a person has poor vision has to do with the shape and structure of the eye and the way that it reflects light (optometrists, don’t take offense at my drastic over simplifications). Basically stated and very oversimplified: If the structure of the eye is incorrect even by slight amounts, the resulting vision will be skewed and unclear.
I want to suggest that what is happening in this season of pause is that the Lord, in His wisdom and grace, is exposing areas of skewed structure and that He is doing this to prepare us for an immediately-following great revival. He is doing this at every level simultaneously in the Christian world: in our church structures, ministries, finances, priorities, and personal spiritual lives. We have built the American church by using the structures of the world. We have ordered our lives around productivity, busyness, and success. We have looked out for ourselves and not our neighbors. We have talked about the gospel and not lived it out in our own families. As churches and pastors, we are so busy building our own ministries that we have no concept of the Ekklesia (the regional church). And suddenly, in a matter of days, everything stopped. Things that were causing our vision to be clouded in these areas were all stripped away and all at once.
In the past week:
-I have sat down to dinner with my family 7 times, more times than in the past four months combined
-I have taken communion with my family 2 times which is 2 times more than we have ever done before
-I have talked more with my wife than I have since Christmas break
-I have spent more time with my kids than in the past two months combined
-I have clamped down on extra spending, since almost all of our income has been cutoff due to cancelled ministry travel, services, and conferences.
-I have changed my diet completely (to save $$) and I have saved food and eaten leftovers
-I have conserved resources that I would normally not even think about (soap, sanitizer, disinfectant, toilet paper, paper towels)
-I have deeply been drawn back to a place of complete trust in God as Father, protector, and provider
-I have seriously examined our ministry structure, purpose, calling, and priorities
And those are just the major ones…. there are more. Could it be that the 20/20 vision we asked for, prayed for, and prophesied about in late 2019, is coming to us in a form that none of us expected? Perhaps God in His Wisdom is shouting at us about serious foundational structural defects in our families, marriages, stewardship, and church/ministry structures that would keep us from being able to walk into sustained revival. Said in another way: perhaps God is showing us that our family health, marital health, church health, regional unity, and stewardship principles are directly linked to revival in America.
1 Peter 4:17 – For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
How many of us have sacrificed our family time on the altar of ministry or marketplace? How many of us have wasted resources (time, money, food, etc) because we don’t understand the reason we are blessed by God? How many of our churches are blindly building larger and larger platforms because that is the measure of success in the world’s eyes? How many of us have idolized stadium gatherings as the success standard of global revival?
Lord give us 20/20 vision in 2020.
Instead of declaring “JUDGEMENT ON AMERICA” I pray that we as Christians will see this season for what I believe it is – a pause for supernatural LASIK surgery. Supernatural surgery that is designed to prepare us for what is to come: both great revival/harvest and, Biblically speaking, even greater calamity. In this pause, let us actually allow ourselves to pause, examining and asking the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of blurred vision caused by incorrect structures.
Spend quality time with your families. Churches, don’t just plow past the pause shifting the same thing you have been doing to an online format or you might miss your LASIK appointment.
In all of this, may we truly allow the Lord to speak, hear what the Lord is saying, and receive HIS 20/20 vision for 2020 and beyond.