Do we tend to accept or abort these visions? Do we pray or play God on our own?
A man that I know had this option when someone else cast a vision into his path. The pastor of the church he attended at the time, asked him to pray about doing a church plant. There was a little community church that needed some life and passion brought back into it. His immediate response was to abort the vision. He hadn't been saved for as many years as some and I'm sure there was a sense of inadequacy. I'm sure fear was involved. I'm sure the enemy had his whisper behind every doubtful thought that entered his head. But he agreed to pray about it.
That man is my Pastor. I'm so thankful that he did not abort God's vision for him. This community needs a man just like he is. Passionate about the lost. Stubborn for convictions he believes in. Feisty when he needs to be. Humble enough to say he doesn't know...and then to figure it out. Willing to believe for big things...even in small communities. Willing to cast God's vision for others to see and get excited about.
Who would have missed out if he had aborted this vision without genuinely praying?
-The 86 people that got baptized on August 18th of this year. (Two of which were my own children, one grandma-in-law, and two of my husband's cousin's children!) =)
-The many many salvations that he has been a part of personally...but also the ones that happened through other ministries within the church that he committed to bringing back to life.
-The man who was delivered from being demon possessed.
-The people who have been healed from sickness, disease, infection, virus, bacteria, illness, pain, depression, etc.
-The lukewarm who decided not to stay that way and became fired up because of his evident flame of faith.
-The people who come every week. The broken and bruised. The tired and weak. Those lost and without hope. Who leave encouraged. Inspired. Joyful. Secure. Filled with new hope.
-My own family would have missed out on new ministry opportunities, new friendships, new salvation, a new body of believers to war with and for, and blessings ga-lore! =)
-Last, he would have missed out on the greatest, most difficult and most fulfilling ride of his lifetime.
I am so thankful that he prayed. I am so thankful that he was willing to be stretched and strengthened in his faith. Because every area that he is weak, God is strong! Where he lacks...God was already preparing him warriors/friends to fill in and help him uphold and feed the flock. I am so thankful to be a part of a team that pursues God's vision no matter what! The enemy can whisper. The enemy can scream and slander even. But God! God's vision is still clear in my pastor's mind...and he will relentlessly cling to and pursue it. And we have committed to do whatever God asks to make vision...reality. We easily follow a man with such audacious faith. We follow because we pray for his steps, and we trust the Heart that guides his.
Back in August, the leadership team of our church was blessed to be able to go to 'The Global Leadership Summit'. It was an amazing two days of intense leadership-oriented knowledge and challenges. The application...ugh...not as easy as the note taking. Bill Hybels was the first speaker and boy he just dove right in. His message was by far one of my favorites! I found it interesting that without knowing before hand; my favorite speakers from that summit where all pastors. I learned the most about the type of leader I aspire to be from them!
Pastor Hybels was talking about this idea of aborting vision. He charged us to NOT be the type of leaders that Fed-Ex our God-given visions back to heaven with a cowardly note that says...return to sender. Or no thanks. Or send someone else. Instead he challenged us to be willing to pray Joshua 1:9. He said to pray it AS MANY TIMES AS IT TAKES!
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
Can you boldly proclaim that verse, as often and as many times as it takes, to move forward toward the vision God has given you? My challenge to you this week is to pray, fervently and passionately, about a vision that God has given you at some point in your lifetime. Pray if it is still His will for you to complete? AND tell someone that you trust to pray with you.
The following questions from Pastor Hybels, were a couple of the hardest for me to answer. I want you to answer them right now. Please don't just think about them. Don't just move past and forget. Give God a few minutes and answer so that you won't be content with just knowing. I want you to admit where you are and be passionate about NOT STAYING THERE!
Read these questions with a heart soft and willing to admit. Answer them with a heart plyable. Mold able. Changeable.
"Just because no one knows, or ever knew, about a vision you aborted...is it okay? What if your vision/your new ministry...is someone's ONLY hope? And when you stand before God and give an account for these things He asked you to do...what will be your excuse? What could you say to Him?!"
Be courageous my friend. Stand up and fight for these dreams God has given you. They are not silly. They are not too far fetched. God says..."I have immeasurably more for you! You can not measure what I have because your scale is not mine. Trust MY vision above what you imagine. I am God. You are man."
Today...begin to dare to dream big. Tell people your vision. And do not be a squelcher of other believers visions! Just believe God is God and He knows better than you. Let Him to His job...He is MUCH better at it!! =)