As I was praying for those in The Chapel and Warham today, I found myself praying for fresh vision. So often we rest in what is comfortable, what we know. For many of us the safest place to be is the most familiar place - but for God sometimes the safest place to be is in the middle of a storm or in a boat being rocked by waves that threaten to sink us. I found myself praying that I - and you - would never mistake 'comfort' with 'safety' in God's economy. As I worked through the various situations that each of you are facing - and others whom I know and love - I found myself praying that you would dignify the trial. I realised that I was asking God to give you courage, not to give you an easy ride. I prayed that He would take you through the storm, but not that He would let you avoid it altogether.
Then I began to pray for fresh vision. For the vision of David to see giants as opportunities. For the vision of Nehemiah to see ruins as the building materials for something beautiful and the faith to see a new dawn in the midst of the dust of past mistakes and neglect. For the vision of Amos that sees past the spectacle of church and into the altar of the heart. For the strength and vision of Job to look the world in the eye and say, 'Even if it means my life, I will still trust Him'.
Vision is a funny thing. Preacher rattle on about it all the time - and often we turn 'vision' into wish-fulfilment and self-indulgence. We turn vision into a privatised affair that is all about what we want, what we need and what we can acheive. Yet to catch the vision that God wants us to have, we must first immerse ourselves in His story and purposes - and we find those in Scripture. How's this as a starter for ten - a vision for your life and mine, which I can say, with a cast iron guarantee is God's will for our lives - because it flows right out of the Decalogue (most often known as the ten commandments of Exodus 20). Here's what I prayed as a vision for our lives today:
- May Your be the inspiration at the heart of our lives, before anything and everything else.
- May money, sex, power and ego be pushed off their thrones and You be given Yours.
- May we seek to live like Jesus - not just talk about Him.
- May our lives reflect His rhythm and Your will.
- May we honour those who have gone before us, and learn from their example.
- May we build others up, not butcher their character and trample on their dreams.
- May our relationships be beautiful, not tainted.
- May we never take the credit of another or exaggerate ourselves to block them out.
- May truth be a hallmark of our lives and attitudes.
- May we live contented lives - thanking You for blessings and rejoicing when others are blessed.
Praying that each of us will learn to build His Kingdom, not our empires