I listened with admiration and fascination as some visionaries outlined what Northwest could become long before it actually happened. This took place at a retreat in the mountains near Estes Park.  Most of these men have gone on to their reward with Christ. They believed the adage, “what the mind can believe and conceive, the hands can achieve.”  They were able to visualize what later became the reality in which we now meet together as brethren and worship our God.

Some of our elders, myself excluded, also have the gift of visualizing great things for Christ’s church materially and spiritually.  This is different than daydreaming which is defined as, “fanciful notions, wishes or plans.”  The patriarch Joseph was accused of this by his brothers just before they sold him into slavery while he was still young. (Gen 37:18-28) Joseph dreamed dreams (Gen 37:5,9) (Gen 40:8) (Gen 41:12-16) but the interpretations were from God and all of them came true.

To visualize is to form mental images and to make things perceptible to the mind.  I have sometimes wondered if God does this before He speaks things into existence. (Gen 1:3-31) (Heb 1:10) Since He is not limited by time, that probably is not visualization and certainly not daydreaming.  His ways are not our ways. (Is 55:8-9)

God certainly planned our existence long before we were born. (Jer 1:5) He even allows us to know some of His thoughts by what He has revealed through the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 2:10-13) Through the inspired scriptures we have been able to learn things that even the angels long to look into. (1 Pe 1:10-12) Our task while here on earth is to fix our eyes on Jesus (Heb 12:2) and try to visualize our heavenly destination. (1 Cor. 9:25) (2 Tim 4:8)

—-Jim Bailey