Summary: This message focuses on the need for the church and the pastor to have a clear vision of where they are headed. Isreal was in a state of decline when the vision was given and this message offers hope for the church that may be in a state of decline as we
“Keep it Simple!”
Habakkuk 1:5, 2:2-3, 3:19
In the OT we find a tiny book there called Habakkuk. In my Bible it only consists of 3 pages, but they are powerful pages. I want you to meet this man Habakkuk so I want to share with you several verses from this book that have great meaning for us today.
* This book was written during a time when Israel was in a state of decline mostly due to bad kings and poor leadership.
* Habbakuk was man with questions. He begins by asking God a question. “Lord, how long will I have to call out to you before you answer? How long before you will listen to me? “ Do you ever feel that way? We could call him the doubting Thomas of the OT.
* This book is prophetic but it is written as a prayer set to music. It was to be read while stringed instruments were being played.
Now as i said Habakkuk was a man with questions. I count 16 question marks in this short book. Here is the thing we need to know. When you and I ask god questions he will give us an answer. This book is basically broken into 3 parts that I want us to look at this morning. The first part is Habakkuk’s complaint. Verse 2. He also brings out a 2nd complaint. “Your eyes are pure so why do you tolerate all the sin in the world?” You have made men like fish in the sea... (Which is true and it is why He has called us to be fishers of men.) But Satan is getting his hooks in them, catching them in his net and he gathers them up. “Why do you allow this? “ It is actually a valid complaint. I admit I sometimes wonder the same thing. Lord why?
Then the Lord answers and there are 2 responses i want us to see here. The first one is a promise to claim and we find it in verse 5. This is what God is saying...when you find yourself in a time of decline, when things do not seem to be going right, a time of disappointment, it is at that time you need to sit back and watch because I’m going to do something that is absolutely unbelievable in your lifetime. Now you will remember because we have said this before that these OT promises are not just intended for the prophets or for the nation of Israel. They are also directed to you and me and to the church...listen again to the promise. I am about to do something in your own lifetime that you will have to see to believe.
Now because Habakkuk had 2 sets of complaints God gives him 2 sets of answers. This is the 2nd answer. Chapter 2:2-3. The 3rd part is a prayer. Chapter 3.
There are instructions He gives us here to follow/obey. (1) write it down.
(2) Make it plain. Keep it simple. (3) Put it in a format that people can take it and run with it. (4) Wait but not for long. There will not be any delay. It will happen on time. But it will happen on God’s schedule not ours.
Our vison statement at Eagle’s Landing says our vision is to enlarge the size of heaven by taking as many people as possible with us. Read it with me aloud. We wrote that down 7 years ago. We believe it is because we have had this vision that God has led us to baptize 152 people.
I have written down a purpose statement that I want us to adopt and have revised it and here it is....our purpose is to build bridges to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. There it is. Written down. Plain. Simple. And now we need to take it and run with it. But before we do let’s make sure we understand how important this purpose statement is. View this video with me.
Now there were 11 questions that were asked in this video. Some of the questions are similar so I have taken them and grouped them into 4 categories.
The first group. How is our church unique? What makes us different? Who are we? These questions address our identity. Look closer at this one question-how are we unique? * we are open to everyone. * we are a very diverse congregation. We have many different people. Turn to the person sitting next to you this morning and say did you know you’re different? We are not carbon copies of one another. * we are still one of the newest churches in this area. Church in KY was over 200 years old. We are 7 years old. We are still kids. And because we are young we do what people do when they are young; they try new things. Sometimes that’s good. Sometimes it’s not. But you never know unless you take the risk. Som we are purpose driven. e churches are driven by tradition. Their favorite words are we’ve never done it that way before. In these churches you cannot talk about change. Others are driven by finances. Every time they get ready to do ministry someone wants to know well how much will it cost? Or how much will we save if we don’t do it? Listen, churches do not exist to make a profit. We exist to reach people. Other churches can be driven by one strong personality in the church or can be driven by events or buildings. Solomon said “many are the plans in man’s heart but it the Lord’s purpose that prevails.“