Habakkuk 2:1-3, reads “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the Lord answered me, and said, write the vision and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
Solomon, in his infinite wisdom, writes, in Proverbs the 29th chapter and the 18th verse that where there is no vision, the people perish. The God that we serve is a visionary, for back at the beginning of creation, when man was just an idea in the mind of God; he had a vision of our redemption. God gave Noah a vision of things to come so that Noah could be prepared for what lay ahead. God gave Abraham a vision of the promises of God, though it came with no evidence, yet Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as Righteousness. God gave David a vision of the blessings of God, though it came through many toils and tribulations.
God even gave Paul a vision of his plan to save all, and that plan caused him suffering and pain. I think you get the picture, that throughout the Bible, God has provided insight into his plan and purpose for his creation and for his people. God is still providing that insight today for his people and for his Church, and as in the past, he still provides it through his chosen vessels.
The Body of Christ called Fresh Start Baptist Church has been especially blessed during these perilous times, in that God has provided a vision, an insight into his plans to bless us. It is important to note here that God’s vision for his church is not contingent upon the number of people that you have, for Abraham was but one man. God’s vision is not contingent upon the structure you occupy, for David dwelled in tents. Neither is God’s vision for the church contingent upon the folks you get to hear you, for no one listened to Noah. The fulfillment of the vision that God gives to his people and to the church is contingent upon two things; they are Faith and Obedience. Faith is described in the Bible as “the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things unseen.” This simply means that we believe what God has put into the mind and spirit will become reality. Obedience is simply walking in the pathway that God has laid for us and not trying to create our own.
The Vision God has given for Fresh Start is seemingly simple: “Rise up and move from where you are to where I would have you to be.” To take a vision simply on its face value, would undermine the purpose and blessings of God, “for God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.” For every vision, there is a spiritual aspect and a physical aspect. The physical aspect of the vision is nothing more than a manifestation of coming into the fullness of the spiritual aspect. Most people, because of human nature, can only focus on the physical aspect of the vision. The mandate to rise up. and move, for many of us means getting a new building. The answer to that thought process is yes and no. The getting of a new building will be the manifestation of us fulfilling the spiritual aspect of the vision. Let me try to put it into context. When John the Baptist came on the scene he came with visionary preaching “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Many saw this vision only in its physical aspect; they saw palaces, royalty, pomp, and circumstance. Because they failed to see the spiritual aspect of the vision many became frustrated and fell away. Here at Fresh Start Baptist Church, we must not get frustrated and fall, for though the vision tarry, it will come to pass. Here is what we must do, fulfill the spiritual side of the vision and the physical manifestation will take care of itself.
The spiritual aspect of the vision is to first rise up, to accomplish this we must first unite as a body. Even though we are many members, we are one body; though we have many gifts and talents our purpose should be one and the same. The purpose; is to become who and what God has called us to be ” a light sat upon a hill that cannot be hidden, to provide the illuminating truth of God in the darkness of this city, state, country even the world. Unity is the foundational support upon which the revealed vision must be built. To accomplish this requires us to sacrifice self, (self-will, self-desires, and self-recognition), for the good of the common goal. Will we all yield to this sacrificial requirement? The answer is no; because of human nature, the denying of one’s self requires a spiritual maturity that some never get to. However, those of us who are strong in the faith must bear the infirmities of those who are weak.
Once we have reached a level of unity, the vision calls for us to move. Note that this movement is meant to be more spiritual than physical. To move physically, all that is really required is some labor and some equipment. To move spiritually will require us·to examine what we do, how we do it, and why we do what we do. God moved us out of where we were and created a Fresh Start because God wanted to do a new thing. If we are earnest with ourselves we are just a remake of what we were, just in another location. We experience the same problems, the same attitudes, operating under the same structure and we wonder why we are having the same problems. To move spiritually, we must look closely at our structure and our ministries and ask if this is how God would have us do it. Those things which are dead, we must eulogize, bury and place our emphasis on those ministries and other things which give life. This will bring about Spiritual renewal, revival, and restoration. Movement does not require us to know the destination or the outcome, but it does require us to have faith in God.
Finally, do I know, or fully understand the fullness of the vision? The answer to that question is a definitive no. My covenant with God, when he called me was “wherever you