When The Vision Dies
When God gives us a VISION for what He plans to do in and through us, it is always much BIGGER than what we can accomplish in our own strength. The initial phase of our journey toward the vision is both inspirational and motivating. God gives us a picture of what’s ahead and we are totally convinced we have heard from him.
Last year, God gave me the vision of seeing 100 churches planted in the Northeastern USA within a 10 year period. I was totally pumped. Everyone I shared the vision with was equally excited. So much positive feedback.
I love the conversation that I have with new church planter who has just decided its time to make the move and plant a church. They feel such energy. There is great passion for a city and a people. They are totally convinced that this is a ‘God-thing’ and that nothing can stop this church plant from happening.
Then it happens!
At some point in the journey a challenge arises (or more likely a series of challenges) that make the possibility of success seem completely out of reach. Giving drops off. People leave. Criticism is levied. Tragedy strikes. Efforts to reach a goal fall short.
When these things happen, it seems as if the vision is going to die with the challenging circumstances.
This is when we have to go back to the place where we started and stand strong on God’s promise. We need to recognize that a God-sized vision requires God in to act in order for anything positive to occur. Difficulty doesn’t ever stop God from doing what He promised He would do. It does set the stage for Him to do it in such a way as to receive all the glory. I love what Paul says about his ‘death of a vision’ moment:
“For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers,ofthe affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-9
“…That was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead!”