“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21 NIV). Within this simple, direct proverb, we are reminded that there can be a distinction between our plans and God’s plan for us. No doubt, all of us have specific plans that we hope to accomplish, and we work feverishly to realize those achievements. Look at our frantic schedules and the busyness they reflect. Now, I am not saying that we shouldn’t plan. The old adage is correct: “If you fail to plan, you should plan to fail.” But there is a great difference in making your own plans as opposed to following His plan for you! We can come up with multiple schemes and dreams, but it is our Lord’s purpose that has eternal consequence.
How we need to hear that in our churches today! So many of us pastors and lay leaders have devised our own plans which ultimately whither away instead of embracing God’s great vision for our congregations. Our Lord has a tremendous plan for each church, and He wants to use us to turn that plan into a reality. Think of Temple and our work for a moment. He knows exactly what He intends to do within us, and He is committed to empowering us to do it. We simply need to recognize that plan.
Often, we can speak of God’s plan as His vision for us. Many folks in the secular world use the term vision to describe their hope/intent for their business. But what about us in the church? Well, some have described it as “the picture you see when you look through God’s eyes” or as “what could be.” I personally like Dr. Reggie Ogea’s assessment: Vision is a “picture of what God wants to do and will do in His church if we get out of His way and turn Him loose to do it.”
As a church, we know what God “wants” to do in our lives because we have His divine revelation to unveil it to us. For example, the vision of Temple could easily be described in Acts 2:41-47. The early church worshipped, evangelized, discipled, ministered, and fellowshipped together. The image there was a powerful body of Christ that practiced those things that were purposeful and in line with Christ’s work. And to be quite frank, that is still His plan for us today. We may couch the purposes in more contemporary language, but the mission/vision remains the same.
I pray you catch the epic vision that God has for us here at Temple. He has placed us here for such a time as this and wants to use us! Pray for our leadership that we would seek Him and His agenda . . . especially this weekend as we gather for our Deacon Retreat. Pray for our church that we will have the discernment and courage to move forward as He prompts us. Just pray that we will embrace the vision!
Helen Keller, the famed overcomer, was once asked what was worse than her being blind, to which she responded, “Having sight but no vision.” My friends, we have a vision! It is a God-given vision that we can rally around! And thanks be to Him, His purpose always prevails! See you Sunday!