Throughout this year we will be focusing on our theme, 2020 Vision. It is simply a reminder to us, as a church and as individual followers of Jesus, to strive to stay in tune with what God wants for us. This morning I read these words from Oswald Chambers: “The majority of us cannot hear anything but ourselves. And we cannot hear anything God says. But to be brought to the place where we can hear the call of God is to be profoundly changed.”
I do not want to be in the majority of those who cannot or will not hear what God says. I want Him to bring me – and us as a church family – to the place where we are constantly hearing His voice. I want us to have God’s vision for Marshfield First Baptist. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision the people are unrestrained, but he who keeps the law is blessed.” No vision from God means we are unrestrained, unbridled, without God’s law. The King James translators interpreted unrestrained as “perish.” Where there is no vision the people perish. And that is the ultimate outcome of those who do not respond to God’s law and God’s plan.
On the other hand, to hear, to see, and to obey God’s vision for us means we are profoundly changed. God does His work in us and He transforms us into a new creation – we are changed, and others are changed. This thought is part of our vision statement as a church: “We exist to glorify God and to see lives changed.” When we live to bring God glory, lives are indeed changed! My life is changed. Your life is changed. Others, whose lives intersect with the gospel, are changed for all eternity.
“…he who keeps the law is blessed.” That is the rest of Proverbs 29:18. No vision from God means we cast off God’s rules and God’s plans for us. The result is selfish unrestraint. The Message paraphrase says, “we stumble all over ourselves.” On the other hand, when we see, hear, and obey God’s law – God’s vision – we begin to realize God’s blessing.
Knowing and obeying God’s vision isn’t just a matter of flipping a switch and suddenly we understand and obey. It is a growth process. It begins with a commitment to read God’s Word and put His truth in our minds and hearts. It is a commitment to communicate with God through prayer, talking to Him and listening to Him. As we practice these very basic spiritual disciplines, we begin to understand God’s vision. As we heed the vision, we begin to know God’s blessing.
I pray we join together and catch the vision!