“Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” (ESV – Read the chapter)
Do you have a vision from God? Have you received one? How are you doing with this? God gives us a vision of the work He has for us to do as we seek Him in the routine, day-to-day of our lives. This vision will likely be a function of our passions, interests, abilities, and experiences. It will involve God placing us at the intersection of the world’s need and our passion. He will call us through this vision to the advancement of His kingdom.
When it comes to this heavenly vision, many people err in understanding just how it plays itself out in our lives. We think it will exhibit itself in some grand fashion. But, the more likely reality, is that it will play itself out in some small, seemingly insignificant fashion. If we are not pursuing the vision of God in the small of our lives, it will never work itself out in the big and flashy.
So what do we do? We commit ourselves to follow God in the small. We spend time in the Scriptures each day. We seek God in prayer ceaselessly. We surround ourselves with mature believers who can speak truth into our lives and help hold us accountable to God’s vision. We make practicing the spiritual disciplines a daily exercise. We train ourselves regularly and pursue Christ in the small so that when the vision from God comes, we are ready to respond.
As we pursue this path, though, we must know that God’s heavenly call will likely not be to something convenient and easy relative to what our fleshly vision for our lives might be. If He is calling us to be a light in the world’s dark places, it will necessarily involve facing some darkness and challenges. As Oswald Chambers observed, God will often use a storm to plant us. If we have not been doing the kind of work to keep ourselves always ready to respond to God’s call, we will prove to be empty seed pods, rather than potential plants that will grow up tall and strong to provide the shade of the kingdom to many.
Live so as to be always ready. God’s heavenly call will come when we are not expecting it. He has a vision for us. He has a vision for you. Whether or not we will go with Him to see it fulfilled is the question.
2 thoughts on “Morning Musings: Acts 26:19”
Interesting Musings this morning. Speaks to me. Especially the second paragraph–“some small, seemingly insignificant fashion.” Somewhere about 1995 I gained a huge interest in how churches can “do church” better. I began to notice books that dealt with organization, staffing, business practices, managing, leadership–all of them interests of mine. So many books are on theology and biblical and social development–as well as they should be. But I became interested in church growth, church health, the business side of church. I sought to work in the church in these areas, but nothing clicked; no body wanted me or caught my vision and concern. But books kept coming out on these topics and as much as I wrote the authors and asking where I can plug in on these matters, it went no where.
We moved to the Phoenix area in year 2000 to get out of Chicago’s ice and snow. And of all unlikely places, Phoenix had not one, but two, companies that produced monthly magazines devoted to the business, management, and leadership sides of congregational life. It took five years living there before I landed a job at “Church Executive” magazine, and for the following eight years I edited that periodical focused on large and mega churches–all of whom had a business office and concerns for managing and leading better. In that time I had the opportunity to influence (the key word) the church world in how it looked at its management systems and the trends of megachurch life (those of 1,000 attendance and more).
It wasn’t always big and splashy each month, but I had impact on what we published, what authors we engaged, what pastors might answer my phone calls. I spent ten years trying to speak into the life of congregations about managing and leading, and an unlikely move to Arizona provided that opportunity. It wasn’t Chicago or Washington, D.C. or New York where magazine publishers were usually located, but Phoenix where God gave me a chance. I haven’t always wanted to accept this “answer” from God (where is the big and splashy?) but now at age 78 and living in my native Pennsylvania, that was God’s answer and I did the best I could do with it And I did pretty good at it, I have to say so myself. For 88 issues during my time there, we did just fine, and I can hope that we made a positive impact on and for the church in that time. “When it comes to this heavenly vision, many people err in understanding just how it plays out in our lives.” God answered my prayers in an unexpected way–I had more influence on the church with a magazine than I would have had on a congregational staff. I received a vision from God, and He provided a way to work it through for those eight years. Today I continue to work in these areas as a blogger for BiblicalLeadership.com (formerly ChurchCentral.com). Hold onto your passion, work through the stalls and detours and disappointments. God is working at that vision of yours in often different and unexpected ways
Thanks for sharing that. The clear narrative of the Scriptures is that God often does some of His best work through the most unlikely of people living in the most unlikely of places. Who would have imagined that the King of Heaven would be born to a dirt poor couple living in a backwoods small town? Yet He was. Whether Phoenix or Nazareth or somewhere in between, grow where God plants you and you will be called successful by the person whose input matters most.