Today we are going to talk about the discipline of a church with a vision. This is the final installment in the series of the discipline of church.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Prov 29:18)
God makes it very clear that we are to have a vision of what He is doing in the world.
He’s not just talking about setting goals and going after it, but he is wanting us to see through His eyes what He sees
GOD ALWAYS LOOKS THROUGH EYES OF FAITH! NOT AT WHAT IS…BUT WHAT CAN BE.
God never looks at the checking acount and says, “We can’t afford it.” Instead he looks with faith that with Him all things are possible. GOD DRIVES BEAN COUNTERS CRAZY!
VISION AND FAITH NEED TO WORK HAND IN HAND. VISION SEE’S WHAT’S POSSIBLE, FAITH MAKES IT HAPPEN
God’s story in the Bible is a constant renewal of that vision he has for His people. We have a tendancy to be lazy and become unfocused on the things he is wanting us to do.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CHURCH HAS A VISION FROM GOD? FIRST WE LOOK AT NEHEMIAH
I. We need to hear God in a fresh way.
GOD TOLD NEHEMIAH HE WAS TO REBUILD HIS TEMPLE!
But that seemed impossible for him. After all he is just the cup bearer to the King.
Nevertheless, God made it possible by moving the heart of the king!
II. Vision Encourages us.
GOD’S HAND WAS ON NEHEMIAH AND THE KING GRANTED HIS REQUEST! Amazing right?
When we see God move after we’ve taken that first step of faith we are encouraged to press on! Besides, when we get that fresh vision from God we are encouraged to move on.
III. Vision gives us direction in life on what we are to do.
Nehemiah knew what he had to do, but had to take action and saddle up his horse and head to Jerusalem.
It’s not enough to know where we want to go. We have to take a step of faith to see that it happens.
IV. The Vision creates momentum
As we begin to move and people see the move of God and buy into the vision, momentum carries the vision forward.
Then, people want to be part of a moving, growing something!
I believe that God is moving, He is causing growth and giving vision to men all over the world! His Vision!
GOD’S VISION WAS BORN ON PENTECOST WHEN HE POURED OUT HIS HOLY SPIRIT. BUT THAT IS NOT A THING OF THE PAST, HE’S STILL DOING THIS TODAY, HE’S STILL CALLING US TO THIS VISION.
HE GAVE US DIRECTION FOR THIS AS HE SPOKE TO THE CHURCH IN PHILADELPHIA WHICH WE READ ABOUT IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION.
V. FIRST HE SHOWED THEM THEIR OPPORTUNITY
A. They were given the opportunity to bring in a supernatural harvest of souls
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, AN OPEN DOOR ALWAYS REFERS TO AN OCCASION OF BRINGING MANY INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
NOT ONLY IS THE DOOR OPEN, BUT GOD IS GOING TO SUPPLY THE RESOURCES THEY NEEDED TO ACCOMPLISH THE TASK!
The Winner of the 2000 Little League World series came from Maracaibo, Venezula. When the team arrived for the series they only had one bat and four of the players didn’t have proper shoes. As word spread a number of American sports manufactors heard and provided them with every kind of equipment they needed to play the game. They could have said, we don’t have the right equipment and quit early on.
INSTEAD THEY WENT IN THROUGH THE DOOR THAT WAS OPENED TO THEM AND WHAT THEY NEEDED WAS SUPPLIED.
IF GOD SETS BEFORE US AN OPEN DOOR, HE WILL EQUIP US TO PLAY THE GAME. HE WILL NOT WITHHOLD ANYTHING NECESSARY FOR A CHURCH TO EVANGELIZE IT’S COMMUNITY!
The first Christians had to realize it wasn’t in their strength that it was to be done. In fact they couldn’t UNLESS GOD WAS WITH THEM!
In like manner, we have to realize that it’s not in our streghth or wisdom that it’s going to happen. BUT IT WILL BE IN GOD’S POWER!
These first Christians had to learn to pray and fast and wait upon God!
WE MISS MOST OF OUR DIVINE APPOINTMENTS BECAUSE WE AREN’T LOOKING FOR THEM, BECAUSE WE HAVE NO EXPERIENCE OF THE POWER OF GOD IN OUR LIVES!
We have to experience God first hand, not as a story or just as a belief, BUT AS GOD, WHO INTIMATELY LOVES US AND DESIRES TO HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH US!
GOD IS NOT A CONCEPT! HE IS A PERSON WHO DESIRES TO HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH AND EVERYONE OF US!
These first Christians were obedient to God’s word. They read God’s word, they taught God’s word, they preached God’s word, loved God’s word and stood by, upon and under God’s word!
Did you know that God always blesses people who honor his word by conforming their lives to it? Their outreach wasn’t to get more people in their church, but their outreach was to get more people into God’s kingdom (that translated into more folks in the church).
WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY THAT MOST CHURCHES ARE ENVIOUS TO HAVE. More and more people moving to San Antonio, building houses and having families in record numbers!
We are to have a vision to reach out, not a vision to grow our church so we can pay our bills, so we can brag on our growth, but because this is the vision of God for us now. To reach out with the love of God to people who need the Lord!
VI. Press through the Opposition
There was opposition in the church in Philadelphia, and Nehemiah met with opposition as well, but they didn’t let that disturb them, they continued anyway for they new that opposition to the things of God is straight from Satan.
Rev. 3:9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars —I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.
He’s writing about people who are in the group but due to their opposition to the things of God are going to be stopped after they see our faithfullness and our determination. They are not to be stopped by discouragement, or lack of faith, or anything else the comes against them.
THE REWARD OF A CHURCH WITH A VISION THAT ACTIVELY PURSUES IT IS A CROWN FROM JESUS. OUR REWARDS MAY NOT BE HERE, BUT OUR REWARDS IN HEAVEN ARE JUST AS REAL!
Let’s pray for God’s vision, let’s all get on board! Let’s go through that open door he has for us RIGHT NOW!
John 4:35-36 Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.
WE HAVE AN OPEN DOOR. WE HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT AT WORK IN THE WORLD. WE HAVE ALL THE RESOURCES OF GOD.
Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.