Vision for the Journey

As the watchman looks out beyond the rubbish, his heart begins to leap! “Could this really be? Is this finally the day we have been hopelessly waiting for?”  Amidst the clouds of despair and stench of defeat, there is indeed the sign of deliverance. The feet of the herald are hastily approaching!

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” (Isaiah 52:7 NKJV).

Why is it that Isaiah’s attention was first drawn to the feet of this messenger? Positioned at the top of a mountain, we know that this herald would be too far away for Isaiah to notice the details of his feet. Even if Isaiah were able to see him closely, we can imagine that after a long journey, the appearance of his feet would in no way seem to be “beautiful.” No, the image that Isaiah is referring to is that of a herald leaping and running on a distant mountaintop at first sight of him! Without question, this messenger is carrying news of joy from a battlefield or from a distant land. Having this picture, we can clearly see that the appearance of such a man to those living in captivity would only be one full of excitement and joy! Obviously we know that a person bearing a bad report would not run with excitement and zeal to deliver such news of defeat to his people. At thefirst glimpse of him, the swiftness of this messenger has already proclaimed the great news before his voice had the chance to. The beauty in his steps was the first proclamation of victory!

Picturing the long journey of this messenger, we can imagine the many obstacles would attempt to hinder him from delivering this message. It is likely that he would run through times of extreme heat or severe storms. He may have lacked water at times or food. And what about the possibility of sickness throughout his journey? What was it then, that would continue to carry him through all these struggles to deliver this news? With every obstacle in front of him, he had to possess a greater vision. In the times when defeat and quitting would seem easiest, this vision would be fuel for his urgency. This herald saw those he cared about most. Perhaps it was his wife or children, maybe siblings or parents, who needed to hear that they would not live another day in bondage or fear, they were finally free! He knew the value of this message that he carried. Soon, he would be the voice to restore their joy, the first to tell them they would surely live, and not die! Nahum uses this reference and says, “… for the wicked one shall no more pass through you, he is utterly cut off” (Nahum 1:15 NKJV). Every minute this messenger was prolonged in his journey, was another minute that his people would live defeated, unaware that their victory had already been won. So, he continues to run, with haste, to proclaim that the years of captivity had finally come to an end. They had been set free!

“…Whom shall I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?…” (Isaiah 6:8 NLT).  Who can be entrusted with such a great message of deliverance for those bound in captivity? God searches for someone who will finish through trials of endurance. Many of us have lightly answered that call saying, “Here am I, send me.” As we examine our hearts now, where are we in the journey of delivering this entrusted message? Are we still swift and eager? Do we continue to push through the trials of life with faith? Are we allowing obstacles of rejection, offense, or unforgiveness to hinder us from delivering the untainted message? In this life, our greatest call and mandate is to be this entrusted messenger. The enemy knows that he has already been defeated, but if he can hinder or distort the message coming forth, he can still deceive people to believe they have no deliverer.

This call may not be easy and the journey may seem impossible at times, but be encouraged, God doesn’t lead you down a path if He knows you’re not able to make it. In the times when you feel like the storms are too great, that it’s too difficult to go on, take a minute to stop and refocus. The Bible tells us, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (Proverbs 29:18a KJV). When we lose our vision and purpose for the journey, zeal and urgency will quickly follow. Paul gives us the greatest examples of endurance in II Corinthians 11:23-28. Throughout his life, he had been beaten, thrown in prison, persecuted and betrayed, yet he continued to keep his eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of his faith (Hebrew 12:2 NASB).

There are dying people anxiously awaiting the sight of the beautiful feet swiftly approaching them. So many have heard the loud voice of the false herald in their lives, proclaiming to them that they will never be free, or even deceiving them to believe they are living in freedom as the chains continue to tighten. Meanwhile, the true voice of victory is being silenced by intimidation and insecurity. Too many believers have fought through the journey and climbed to the mountaintop, only to be timid and shy when it comes to declaring the message. When they finally get to the point where they are looking into the eyes of the enslaved, the enemy draws them to focus more on the appearance of the chains than on the power of their message. Often times these messengers yield to being more sensitive to their feelings rather than proclaiming with boldness that, “Our God Reigns!” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” (Romans 10:14-15 NIV). As His daughters, we must be the voice to proclaim, unashamed from the mountaintops, that our King has fought the battles and won!

A trustworthy messenger realizes the value of the message. Her feet are steady with determination, “and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15 NIV). Obstacles come her way, but she is not swayed to the right or to the left. Clear vision and purpose carry her through every storm that rages and every battle that threatens. She is unshakable and unmovable. Having received her freedom, no amount of timidity or insecurity hinders her from boldly proclaiming this message from her mountaintop. Even from a distance, those bound in slavery are captivated by her strength and endurance. The first glimpse of her joy begins to restore hope to those in bondage. The praise that overflows through her life continually defines the undeniable beauty of this faithful servant.

Originally published in SHINE Magazine, 7th Edition

SHINE Magazine 7th Edition

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