Am I Missing The Mission?

AM I

Where there is no revelation [or prophetic vision], the people cast off restraint… —Proverbs 29:18

Carrots?

A vision is given to drive me beyond myself. Pushing and compelling, a vision holds a proverbial “carrot’ just out of my reach. The vision is meant to force me to know God and know myself and keep the priorities right: God first. It’s impossible to have a  real vision from God until I have a real vision of God Himself. Until I see Him clearly, every other “vision” is about self.

My efforts and exercise of faith cannot be found in my own strength but only in Christ. Placing my faith, hope, trust and love in Christ alone will keep the vision right in front of me and continue to compel me to the greater things God has for me and wants to do through me. When God gives a vision of Himself, I will see myself clearly as Isaiah (Isaiah 6) did and proclaim “Woe is me! I am undone”! It is then that I will hear God’s voice and know what it is He wants me to do. It may not even be a direct command per se but simply overhearing God’s heart and desires as I have seen Him.

Knowing Is Not Enough!

Even knowing the vision is not enough. I can know Who God is and what God wants (through His word), but until I understand that the vision God gives is not meant to just be a mission for me to accomplish but meant to also accomplish something within me, I will fail. Jonah is a great example of this as He was God’s selected prophet to go to Ninevah. Yet Jonah chose to try to escape the mission God was trying to work in his own heart by thinking that God would just send someone else or perhaps just save the people because He was a God who was “slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness” anyway.

I can clearly see from Jonah’s example that God is not content to give me a vision for someone else. The vision is meant for me; to work in me. The vision is to help me see that I have my own sin to grapple with whether it is in forms of racism, elitism, or just being a “complainer” all of which Jonah seems to suffer, or some other innate spiritual malady. Moral alignment is not all God is looking for. God is looking for people to love Him and obey Him out of love not a sense of duty.

Beyond Me.

God doesn’t put things within my reach…They are just beyond me. This is not taunting by God but compelling me to continue to seek His face, His wisdom, His goals and not my own. When the vision itself becomes the goal, I can become perfectionistic and fail to remember that God is the One I need to chase after. God is the One perfecting me and the vision. He is not concerned so much about the vision, as though it rested solely upon me. He wants me to KNOW Him. He is most concerned that I have the right vision of Him, knowing that He alone is the One I am reaching for. When God alone is my goal, I will practice discipline and restraint because of Who He says I CAN be and become all He MADE me to be. The right vision will give me the right mission and if that vision is anything other than God, I am missing the mission.

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Devotionals For Leaders: Right Before Your Very Eyes

fix your eyesright before your very eyes

32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24: 32

Sometimes it’s not what we see but what we don’t see that counts. The two that Jesus appeared to as they walked from Jerusalem didn’t know who it was talking with them. Jesus was right in front of their very eyes and they didn’t know it. They didn’t recognize Him. I wonder how often this happens to us? Jesus is all around and yet we miss Him. We miss the gentle words, the soothing spirit, the careful guidance that comes with walking with the Savior. We just miss it because we are caught up in the smaller stories, or the “shadow” stories of our lives. The stories that go sideways instead of up. The stories that are ending instead of beginning. And right there in front of our eyes, the Lord is birthing something new and lovely! And we miss it.

As leaders it’s really important to pay attention to what has happened in the past and what you may dream about in the future but certainly don’t neglect what is happening right in front of you! As these two walked with Christ their hearts burned within them but they didn’t know why. It was because they were missing something right in front of their very eyes! What are you missing that’s right in front of you? How is your heart burning…aching…longing? Maybe Christ is right there trying to say something to you? Show you something? Show you Himself?

Leaders need to be able to see Christ at work when others don’t. Leaders have to be able to look at things that are not and cannot be seen yet and know that they will be seen soon. It’s about moving from the present into the future. It’s about getting people from one place to another, which is what Christ did in this story. He walked with the two disillusioned disciples all the way back and then even stayed with them sharing a meal before they became aware. Sometimes, you will have to walk with people a fair little bit before they become aware of all that Christ is speaking into their lives. Walking into someone’s life means that you have to help them see and hear Christ who is walking and talking with them when you are not around. This is the essence of discipleship: not that people would rely on you but they become able to rely on walking with and recognizing Christ on their own.

Our task as leaders is to fix our eyes on Christ ourselves and then help others to see how Christ is working and moving and speaking in their world. Don’t miss Christ in the daily routine of walking from place to place, in conversations and dialogue, for it may be in those very things that Christ burns His Truth in our hearts.

Final Thought:  Focus on what God is doing now. What is He saying now? How do you see Him at work now? Enjoy the conversation with God now and you will end up in the right place then.