Summary: God has a purpose and a plan for each church and we need to be devoted to accomplishing it.
How Big Is Your Vision?
What is your singular, most passionate desire? The greatest achievements in life are usually accomplished by this intense focus. Do you have a ruling passion? If so, what is it? Bob Feller was a great major leaguer, one of the very best. As a child, he loved to throw a ball, and by the age of 5 he spent hours every day throwing a ball through a hole in the barn wall. At the age of 10, his father bought him all the necessary equipment and provided him with a playing field on the family farm. At the age of 13, he pitched for a local team and averaged 20 strikeouts a game. At age 17, he began playing for the Cleveland Indians. As a Major Leaguer he had 6 seasons as a 20 game winner and three no hit games; 11 one hitters, and 266 career wins; and he set a record of 348 strikeouts in one season. It was because of Feller’s desire and he and his father’s vision to be the best, that he excelled as he did.
How big is your vision? What is your passionate desire? Churches need to understand the desire and passion and vision of Feller. God has a purpose and a plan for each Church and we need to be devoted to accomplishing it.
The average Church today is like a football game. You have 22 players on the field in desperate need of rest; being watched by 50,000 fans in desperate need of exercise! We are not saved to be spectators, but participants in God’s Great Commission. Get His vision!
We know that the world is antagonistic to our beliefs in Jesus Christ. They reject our faith and values. The world is careening out of moral control and we are called to be salt and light to it. We are not to be running away from our God-given responsibilities regardless of what the world thinks or may do. The Church is not to be known for its harshness and condemnation, but for our Love and being dispensers of God’s Great Grace. We must never forget that the world is our mission field. Our focus is to live out the Christian life and win people to Christ. We are not to drift from our God-given call
As we look at this passage there are several key truths that we need to understand if we are going to accomplish great things for God.
Elisha is a chief prophet in Israel, and is in charge of the School of the Prophets. One of the widows of one of the sons of the prophets came to Elisha in need. Her husband had died and she had lost her source of income and support. She was now bankrupt and her creditors were hounding her, and were coming to take her sons as slaves until the debt was paid. It was the responsibility of the sons to care for the family and without them there was no possible way she could pay the debt. The only option was to sink deeper and deeper into debt and despair.
We need to understand that when we attempt to do every thing on our own, and in our own strength, we will end up in the same condition as the widow. When we try to be successful in our own strength and efforts, when we attempt to serve God on our own, we will be met with disappointment.
The key to accomplishing God’s purpose and plan is to be filled with the Holy Spirit; allowing Him to be in complete control, not us. I cannot be the Christian I need to be without the Holy Spirit. We cannot the Church we need to be without the reigning presence of the Holy Spirit.
We see the profound vision and faith of this widow as she relies on God and His power and provision for her life. If we are going to understand God’s vision for us, and fulfill it, we must understand this truth.
I. The Widow Trusted God v.1 “the wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha. “Your servant my husband is dead…”
A. She didn’t go to every other source, and then come to God. We do that don’t we? We believe we are entitled to everything, right now, even if we don’t have the money to get it. We put something on a credit card and say the Lord has blessed us. The Lord has not blessed us until we have paid the thing off. We’d be better off making do with what we have until we get the money we need to buy the thing we want. Debt should be something we enter because there is a real need, not a sincere want. The Bible warns us about going into debt because it can turn you into a thief and a robber. “No, not me, pastor. No not me, God.” But God says every time we do not pay our tithes, we have robbed Him of what belongs to Him. The moment we can’t pay our bills, we cut our giving to the work of Christ. God has a plan, but most of us won’t allow God to use it. He says if you quit stealing from Him, and bring the whole 10%, watch and see if I don’t open up heaven and pour out a blessing. It’s amazing we’d rather give the god of Visa or Master Card the 15-23% rather than the God of all Creation His 10%!