Summary: This is the second in a series of sermons on vision within the church. It deals with idea’s of God’s guidance, protection, and provision as we fulfill His vision.
The Stewardship of Vision
Provision Along the Way
Exodus 13 ¡V 16
Last week we looked at Moses calling ¡V his burning bush experience and paralleled his experience with ours. We talked about Moses ¡V his calling, appointment, and anointing as the deliverer of Israel. We talked about our vision ¡V That God has appointed us as ¡§a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God¡¨. He has appointed us to be stewards of a vision. That vision is summed up in three very important statements.
„« Reaching Up ¡V Reaching up to God is worship ¡V finding in Him strength, hope, and direction for life. Living lives of worship that demonstrate tangibly to the world the Living Christ.
„« Reaching Out ¡V As a church we are called to reach outside of our own experience, to reach outside our own limitations, and grow into the people that God has called us to be.
„« Reaching People - We are not called to the task of building a big church or having the most programs, or even being the most talented. We are called to build the kingdom of God. We are called to the task of changing lives.
It was to this task that many of you pledged yourselves last week. I asked you if you were committed to the stewardship of this vision ¡V and willing to pay the price to see it accomplished. I found out this week that the price is often high ¡V and not easily paid ¡V but worth every ounce of effort. This morning I want to continue our look at Moses as he stewards the vision of God in his life and in that learn some wonderful promises for the stewardship of our own vision.
1) A Pillar of Cloud and Fire ¡V Exodus 13:21-22 ¡V Here is the first great promise to vision stewards. God will provide guidance for the journey. God could have said to Moses ¡V deliver my people ¡V How? I don¡¦t know you figure it out! Instead God provides guidance throughout the journey. In the early stages of Israels journey and for as long as they needed it God provided for them visual guidance in the form of a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. The people would camp where it stopped and move when it moved. There is a great lesson in this for us. God wants to share with us guidance for our vision. He doesn¡¦t leave us to go around willy nilly all over the place ¡V He steers a perfect course through the wilderness. While Israel had the fire and cloud we have been given something greater ¡V the Holy Spirit indwelling our lives. In the latter part of that Great Commission that we talked about last week Jesus says the most beautiful thing, ¡§Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.¡¨ Jesus reminds us that He is with us in this journey. He does not appoint us to a task that He will not lead us through step by step. Here is the rub though ¡V we have to be willing to follow where He leads. I told you last week that this vision requires labor, sweat, and even tears but God leads us through. The people of Israel had to go through a wilderness and the Red Sea before they got to the Promised Land, but God went with them till they arrived. That is the promise for us as well. He will be with us to guide our steps both individually and corporately on this journey.
„« Individually ¡V as we use our own spiritual gifts ¡V not someone else¡¦s to further this vision. Paul says to the church at Corinth ¡§God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.¡¨ That is why I said last week that I believe we take being the church far too lightly. We are individually the parts of the body of Christ and the body will only be as effective as we are effective at using our own individual gifts in the service of Christ.
„« Corporately ¡V God puts all of us together to accomplish what none of us can do alone. He guides us together to accomplish tasks too large for any one of us as an individual.
2) A Red Sea Experience ¡V Exodus 14:13 ¡V God provides protection from our adversaries. You know the story ¡V out of Egypt they came, but Pharaoh had a change of heart. He came out with his army to destroy Israel but God had other plans. The truth is that if we are going to be the church we will always have adversaries and adversity. All people who dream a dream or steward a vision face obstacles and adversaries. Some from without and some from within. Moses faced both ¡V he faced Pharaoh coming to kill them and He faced some of the men of Israel who shouted ¡§Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness?¡¨ But listen to the word of God spoken through his servant Moses. ¡§Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.¡¨ When we face Red Sea experiences here are some promises you can take to the bank.