Summary: This sermon was preached at 2003 South Alabama Annual Conference held on the campus of Lomax-Hannon Bible College, Greenville, Alabama.
9 October 2003
“‘This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’” (Matthew 6.10,11).
Vision – Seeing God’s Kingdom!
Vision is what causes us to not settle for the mediocre and mundane. But allows us to stretch, strain, and reach for the prize of the high calling which is in Jesus the Christ. This is so because we haven’t attained it yet though we are constantly forgetting those [mediocre] things that are behind us. It is this that brings us to our first point:
Vision – Seeing God’s Kingdom in our Hearts
1. Starts with a deep, abiding ache as God presses and impresses on us his will.
A. His will to be our Father not only in heaven but on earth.
B. His will to be revered and trusted and esteemed as the one with the holy name.
C. His will to be present in every heart.
Vision - Seeing God’s Kingdom in the Earth
2. The deep abiding ache as God presses and impresses on us his will takes on a
new form. It turns into a joyful hope for God’s coming kingdom.
A. With a joyful hope we begin to carry this burden of seeing God’s
kingdom in the earth in us.
B. With a joyful hope we begin to care for the burden of seeing God’s
kingdom in the earth in others.
C. With a joyful hope we begin to caress this burden of seeing God’s
kingdom in the earth in nature, God’s creation.
Vision – Seeing God’s Kingdom Through God’s Eyes
3. The deep, abiding ache as God presses and impresses on us his will causing it to turn into a joyful hope produces ultimately our ability to see
God’s kingdom through God’s eyes.
A. Seeing God’s kingdom while you’re experiencing a deep, abiding ache.
B. Seeing God’s kingdom while you’re experiencing a joyful hope.
C. Seeing God’s kingdom while you’re experiencing God’s kingdom.
Do you understand why the people perish because there is no vision? Because there is no deep, abiding ache as God presses and impresses on us his will, no joyful hope for God’s coming kingdom, and ultimately there is no ability to see God’s kingdom through God’s eyes. We want to see God’s kingdom through our eyes. Our eyes of materialism, our eyes of personal power and prestige, our eyes of selfish human ambition that drives us to develop a model of God’s kingdom while we are wearing tarnished crowns of gold, our eyes of replacing God’s will with our own will, our eyes of casting off the burden of the vision that God gave us and taking on a load that we say is easier to bear. But saints of God what he gives us to do is always bigger than we are because we aren’t the ones who will do it. Yes, we must understand that if we are seeing God’s kingdom through God’s eyes then we’ll be doing God’s work through God’s power. It all happens when we see God’s kingdom in our hearts, in the earth and through God’s eyes.
“Not by power (a deep abiding thirst to control by stealing and killing the power that works in us and others), not by might(a deep, abiding thirst) to destroy the deep, abiding ache as God presses and impresses on us his will to destroy the joyful hope of God’s coming kingdom, and to destroy our ability to see God’s kingdom through God’s eyes) but by my Spirit saith the Lord”(Zechariah 4.6). Only by God’s Spirit can we become a part of God’s kingdom. Only by God’s Spirit can we experience God’s kingdom.
This is how vision works with God. There was a businessman who lived during the depression. In one moment he lost his business, his family, his wife, and house. The only thing he had left to hold on to was his faith. While out walking one day he observed some construction workers building a stone church. One man had a triangular shaped piece of rock in his hand and was working with a chisel. “What are you going to do with that piece of rock?” asked my friend. “You see that space way up near the spire” he said, “I’m shaping this down here so it’ll fit in up there”. Isn’t that like God to shape our thinking, believing, following, obeying, doing, walking, talking, seeing down here among the mediocre and mundane so it’ll fit in up there where there is the vision of God waiting for us to catch hold of it? Up there to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple, i. e., to seek him. Up there vision is ripe for the taking by the one who has that deep abiding ache for it. You see this man’s friend had to come understand why he was going through this ordeal at this time. He left that construction with tears in his eyes and thanked God for the message from this construction worker.