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If you sit in the pews of a local church, you may have a thing for your local pastor. You may naturally envision him to be a mighty man of God with a bold vision for the local church, which you presume will work towards the greater cause for building the Kingdom of God. The churches that I believe are growing in a Godly direction are churches who are empowering the congregation with a biblical approach of the Scriptures through expository preaching, whilst being open and respectful to the anointing power and spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit.

However, it’s only when you regularly attend and serve in various capacities over the years that the good intentional thinking is not all that is meant to be. Thus, some of us experience slow growth among churches today, as internal powers of human positioning and worldly views overshadow the full potential in reaching out as part of the body of Christ we read (and passively preach) from the Holy Scriptures.

So what happens when you see God call out believers as He bestows individuals with a life-changing vision for His glory… a vision that essentially ministers to the poor outside the crumbling walls of a physical and local church?

Personally, I see a radical approach to a desperate revival outside our very doorstep, because one is relying on listening intently to God’s absolute voice to lead and respond to that unique calling and/or vision. In a local church context, there is unfortunately church hierarchy, which hinders the greater works of the Holy Spirit due to the pride of men (and women) and the desires for superficial power.

As with any new responsibility, being given a vision from the LORD is a wonderful and indescribable privilege. The utmost daily challenge however is to work towards the vision accordingly, whilst seeking out the LORD for His continuous guidance, provision and divine confirmation. There must be a fear of the LORD not to seek God’s vision for our personal gain, but ultimately to strive to please the LORD and give Him the glory… even if it means that we may not be around to fully see the fruits of the sown seeds.

I have shared before my desire to pursue this Kingdom-focused vision in a way that I hope I am not forming of my own imagination. I recognise this is not likely the case as the days and weeks fly past. However, as I am still human, I need to ground myself to learn how to proceed this Kingdom-focused vision in a way that I want to honour the LORD my God.

There are a few nuggets that I am learning, which I find new, yet exciting – all at the same time!

I am learning to exercise Godly wisdom, learning to recognise God’s discernment through prayer from His perspective and trusting in Him, as He places me in new situations and among people I have never met. The latter could ultimately be a hindrance or God’s leading. That I find testing, as this entrepreneurial mindset is relatively new, but not fully alien to me.

Do you trust your gut reaction?

Do you trust your human logic?

Do you trust in the leading of the Holy Spirit?

Seriously!

I am aware of my weaknesses, more than I recognise my own strengths. I say this not to be humble, but simply because I have been hampered in recent years in who I am in Christ. And yet, I have enough peace to not allow mindless things trouble me, especially my much-needed beauty sleep.

My genuine fear that I have with this whole Kingdom-focused vision (which I’ve shared countless of times) is that worse-case scenario is that this is wholly manufactured through my own imagination – and yes, I recognise that it is also a lie (due to God’s intervention). But I know, it would seriously trip me up big time, especially when people outside looking in will think this is the only string that I have left to pull in life, even though I was given this vision 6-7 years ago when I was in a time and place when I had “perfect” health, a progressive future, whilst holding a job and even growing in a relationship with a female friend. Fast forward to 2015 and I really am nothing without Christ. It is He who gives me the love, strength and grace to press on and persevere, as He has a purpose for me that is obviously beyond my knowledge and understanding.

And yet, I think this is how the LORD uses us best, when we literally hit rock-bottom and our knees are grazed from the constant prayers and cries. They are the ones who are likely to carry a huge cross from place to place, because they have nothing to lose and lugging around a huge cross on public display is an appropriate response to trust in the LORD to protect them from harm.

How often do you see high-flyers give up their lavish lifestyle and comforts of life simply to please the LORD? Hence why Matthew 19:23-24 exists.

And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

It is why I value and respect the long-term missionaries who serve in troubled nations.

It is why I am in awe of Christian families who have so little in possession (material-wise), yet they praise the LORD like they have won the lottery.

It is why I was amazed to learn of a Christian bloke who suffered much financial debt – who then used his experience and testimony to establish a Christian charity to help others pay off their debt for good.

As a young friend shared with me once, “God uses losers.” I recognise the flimsy choice of words, but there is significant truth if we truly humble ourselves before the LORD, especially when we are indeed nothing without Christ.

How to wrap this reflection?

As I quietly like to learn from others, we must not overlook that God calls us all as members of the body of Christ to serve for His greater Kingdom. We often associate God’s works with the physical buildings of a physical gathering of a local church. Hence why churches are often more keen to invest in marketing and social events, than disciple and baptise people of all nations (in that biblical order). Priorities change, and often it starts from the top management if you will.

So really, if the LORD truly calls us to serve and build for His Kingdom, we should be living in constant fear to not waver from the Godly vision that He bestows to believers. If we make God’s vision for ourselves, the LORD will watch you crash and burn… like we have seen among American Christian pastors, whose names I shall not mention. It doesn’t mean local pastors are unlikely to crash and burn. They are human like the rest of us, but you can just tell when they lose sight of God’s vision, especially when God’s people are not growing corporately and the church is instead functioning like a business, as opposed to a registered charity. You can just tell…

With that in mind, *I* personally want to strive to live in that constant fear for the LORD so my eyes remain fixed and focused on Him and not on me. We even see that with Peter when he stepped out of the boat and walked on the waters of the sea to meet with Jesus. The moment, we fix our eyes away from the LORD, we will surely sink.

Our time on earth is certainly short, but we should all be learning to actively listen to God and truly see Him as our Heavenly Father and not a red alarm box to break or smash in case of emergency.

~Richard