Text: 1. I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected. 2. Then the LORD answered me and said: "Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. 3. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.
The book of Habakkuk is only three chapters long. It is numbered with the Minor Prophets tucked between Nahum and Zephaniah. Minor in its scope but Major in it’s implecations to us. In Chapter One, Habakkuk begins to ask certain question of God. Why does the Wicked seem to prosper while the Righteous seem to get worse. Why is the Rich getting Richer and the Poor getting Poorer. O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear!
Also in this chapter God response, and the prophet is dumbfounded by God’s response. I see the wickedness in the Land, I’m not silent, I’m busy building up a nation that will come and disciple my children Israel. I will raise up the Chaldeans better known as the Babylonians that wicked heathen nation. In Chapter Two, the prophet says that he is going to get away from the problem for a while and wait on the Lord. There the Lord gives the prophet a Vision. In chapter three we find a prayer for comfort from this prophet.
What does Habakkuk has to offer us today. What lessons can we learn, what fruit of wisdom can we glean from this stalk of scripture, what message can we hear for right now, what revelation can be revealed to us today, for our particular situation? First, when you don’t know What, When, Where, or How hold on to Who. (Please insert first Amen after the beep) When you can answer the question of Who, you don’t always have to have the answer to the questions What, When, Where or How. Hold on to Who. Who can hold you in the time of storm, Who can keep you from falling, who can pick you up, turn you around, who can make a way out of no way, who? When you know WHO Created the Heaven & the Earth, When you know WHO parted the red sea, When you know WHO Delivered Daniel out of the Lion’s Den & the Three Hebrew Boys out of the fiery furnace, When you know WHO walked on Water, When you know WHO healed the Sick & Raised the Dead, When you know WHO died upon a cross and rose on the Third day. YOU CAN HOLD ON, WHEN YOU KNOW WHO
Second, we can learn from Habakkuk that God has a vision for us. That God is willing to share the vision, a glimpse of the future with us. (Please insert second Amen after the beep) Vision does not merely perceive, but allows you to see the broader picture; the larger scope of life. The ability to see God at work and how you fit in. Vision is being able to take a step back from the situation to gain a larger perspective. To see more than yourself but see others. Vision is the ability to around corners, up the street. Vision is being able to see the sunshine in the Rain. Vision is being able to see the morning coming while you are weeping during the night. Proverbs 29:18 says, "Where there is no vision, the people perish". There is a need to have God-given vision.
God gives the vision to one to share with all, the reason is if he gave one vision to the Deacons, one vision to the Mothers, one vision to the Choir, one vision to the ushers, that will cause Di-Vision – and we serve a God of unity and not division.
God has given Greater Mt. Moriah a Vision and it is up to us to “CATCH THE VISION”. What is the Vision God has given for Greater Mt. Moriah? The vision for this church is a body of believers making a difference in our community, a vision of a body of Believers trusting in God and winning souls for Christ. A Body of Believers that is feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and preaching deliverance to those held in bondage. This vision is capture in the theme: – Workers together With God. Habakkuk was told to write the vision make it plain, that those that run my reads it. Those who are too busy to attend business meeting, those who are too busy to make to time to find out what is going on, Write the Vision, make it plain.
The new facility in not the vision, it is tool that God is giving us to utilize to bring the vision to pass. If you think the Building Project is difficult. If you are getting tired now, you think this is hard, just wait. The Building Project is just Boot–Camp, Spring Training, and Off-Season Workouts. The real Spiritual Warfare has not even begun yet. The building project is just the Simulator, where if we crash and burn, we can recover. The building project is the warm-up exercise; God is just loosening us up, stretching us out. So we could be like Paul, 1 Corinthians 9:19-22, For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
We have to learn how to join forces, team up, work in partnership, pool our resources, cooperate with one another, and COLLABORATE WITH GOD. Beyonce & Sean Paul collaborated on "Baby Boy"; Helen Baylor & Marvin Winans collaborated on “My Everything”; Shirley Caesar collaborates with Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Oleta Adams, Kirk Franklin, Kim Burrell and Dottie Peoples on her new album “Shirley Caesar & Friends”. Surely we should be able to COLLABORATE WITH GOD
Now when you collaborate with God, God is the writer, the director, the producer, the chorographer, and the Lead Singer – We’re just the back-up singers, but thank God, because he does not need us, but we need him. He could call for the birds to sing back-up; the morning stars sung back-up on Creation morning. The angels sang back up on the night Christ was born, God does not need us, but we need God.
What hinders people from catching the vision? First, poorly thrown pass – That on the giver, the one who is responsible for getting the vision out to the people. As pastor I don’t want you to get to heaven and blame me for not delivering a clear vision. Check the Record, check with the tape ministry, I’ve preached several sermons about the vision. In September, “Ministry Opportunities”, in October, “Successful Witnessing”, way back in January, I preached on the Theme, "Workers Together With God."
The second thing that prevents people from catching the vision is Tight Coverage. That is when the cares of this world chokes out the word of God. We become so caught up with trying to make ends meet that we neglect spiritual things. Jesus gives a parable of the sower where he describes the word being sown among thorns. That is tight coverage. When you are in tight coverage, you have necessary adjustments in order to make a spectacular catch of the vision. Some individuals miss the vision because they don’t want to make spiritual adjustments – make adjustment in your time, talents and treasures. Jesus said to a man one day, Follow me and the man said, Let me first bury my Father. To another he said, “Sell all your possession and follow me” and he walked away sadly. Many people miss the vision because they don’t make the necessary spiritual adjustments. What are some spiritual adjustments, you should attend a 3:00 service every once in a while, Go with the church on an away service sometimes; attend a Business meeting at least once before you go to heaven. Attend an auxiliary meeting months before the Annual.
The third thing that prevents people from catching the vision is poor routes (being in the wrong position). We need to strive to get in the right place. God needs servants not Supervisors. Don’t let people get you out of position, asking you questions that the pastor should be answering. God has a place of service for each of us, a place that requires 24 hours and 7 days a week dedication. We don’t have time to worry about what everyone else is doing; we should be busy doing what God has assigned our hands to do.
Now that we have discussed what hinders people from catching visin, lets look at what helps the people of God Catch the vision. In order to Catch the vision, we must first get in the game. You can’t catch it on the sideline or in the stands. God needs more participator and fewer spectators. You need to get involved in the life of the local church in order to catch the vision God has for the church. The vision is not given to those in the stand but those that are in the game. The vision is directed to those that are involved, those who have a vested interest in the success of the ministry, and to those who are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to the achieving of the vision.
Secondly, you must keep your focus on the vision if you are to catch the vision. Don’t let distractions get in your way. Don’t let diversions blind you to the vision. Often people lose sight of the vision when they get caught up in the minor things. It is true that the Church needs finances in order to minister to the needs of people but finances is simply the tool the object is to minister to the needs of people, don’t get caught up worrying about where the finance is coming from and lose sight on the purpose of the finance. Don’t let Naysayers distract you. People who say, “That task is too great for us, we can’t afford that, what if it doesn’t work, do we really need to do that”. Pessimist people will hinder you from doing what God has called you to do. Remember the Children of Israel had their naysayers and it hindered them from entering the promise land.
Finally, if you are to catch the vision you need to be aware of the Vision defensive back which is the Devil. The Devil will try to do what ever he can to knock down the vision, intercept the vision or cause you to drop the vision. I remember when I was in school; I was trying out for the football team. There was a receiver that was very fast. I played defensive back and I knew I could not cover him or defend against him. I began a psychological attack on him. I would call him a “Can’t Catch Receiver” every time I saw him. The big day came and he ran past me. I saw his face-mask and the next thing I saw was the back of his helmet. When I saw the ball coming in our direction, I knew that I was beat, so I started yelling, “Can’t Catch Receiver.” And you know what happen, yes, he dropped the ball he missed the pass. That is how Satan tries to cover us, he knows that he can’t keep up with us because the bible says in 1 John 4:4“greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world”. The Devil can’t cover us, he is not fast enough, he is not strong enough, and he is not smart enough. When we collaborate with God, the Devil will be left in our tracks.
In Conclusion, God gave Habakkuk and he gives Greater Mt. Moriah Instruction & Assurance. The instruction is be patience, wait for it; though it seems like it is taking a long time to get here, Wait for it. This is the instruction that God leaves for us in to become impatient. We have do demonstrate faith in God that what He has promised us will come to pass. Then God gives us a word of assurance, it will surely come. The word surely represents a promise, a guarantee and certainty. It reminds of other times this word appears. The first time is when Jacob saw the vision of a ladder extending from heaven to the earth with angels ascending and descending he rose up the next morning and declared that, “Surely the Lord is in this place”. When we catch the vision God has for us, then people will come to this place and leave here saying, “Surely the Lord is in this place”. When people see us loving God and see us loving one another, see us loving our neighbors the will leave here saying, “Surely the Lord is in this place.” When we begin to feed the hungry, clothed the naked, and ministering to the needs of a hurting world they will say, “Surely the Lord is in this place.” Another time I remember seeing this assurance is in Psalm 23:6. After David saw the vision of The Lord as a heavenly Shepherd, who provides all our needs David ends by saying, Surely Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. When we become busy doing what the Lord has for us, Surely, Goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives. Catch the vision, Wait for the Vision, become involved in the Vision, for it will surely come to pass.