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Defining Direction

September 29, 2014

directionYou don’t have to have all the answers.  But you do have to have some direction.  It’s the same whether you’re going on vacation, planning your financial future, or planning on starting a church.  There are so many variables that I wish I knew the answers, but the truth is I don’t have them.  Maybe that’s by design so I will lean more fully on the Lord and trust in His direction and not my own intellect or ideas.  And like any plans, we have a tendency to place a utopian overlay which often leads to disappointments when things don’t go the way we thought they would.  Knowing all of that, I’d still like to lay out the nuggets God has placed in my heart over the last several decades.

These directional keys can apply to any location.  So while my heart is burdened for the western upstate New York area, they could be applied anywhere.  It’s possible you may have thoughts beyond these, but I did feel the need to get them down on virtual paper for clarity and prayer.

  • Get to know the pastors in the region.  Not just knowing who they are, but putting a face to the name.  Understand their heart, motivation, goals.  Ask them what they are doing to reach the harvest fields with the gospel and offer to help them.  Pray with them.  They are your brothers or sisters in Christ; fellow shepherds; co-laborers in His service.  Don’t take this step lightly.  It’s important that we learn to walk together even if we return to different homes [churches].  This means we’ll have to lay down some of our theological preferences while clinging to the core doctrines.  This is a major hang up for many in the body of Christ which is why the church is so fractured.

John 13:34-35 — A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (ESV)

  • Preach the gospel.  This cannot be stated enough.  Present it clearly.  Present it everywhere you go.  Encourage, exhort, extend mercy.  Be faithful in planting the gospel to everyone you meet, whether in word or deed, and trust that the seeds you sow or water will yield a harvest.  You can’t be a soul winner if you’re not offering the gospel to those around you.  Ask for God’s heart and learn to see the world the way He sees them: captive souls desperate for the liberating gospel of Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 55:11  so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (ESV)

Romans 10:17  So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (ESV)

  • In the beginning we’ll probably have to meet in homes for prayer meetings and ministry.  Opening ourselves and being hospitable is not only admirable, but required.

1 Peter 4:9-10 — Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. (ESV)

  • Those whom the Lord brings to you, care for them. Caring will include teaching and training.  Some will be wounded and seeking spiritual healing.  Be prepared for those who may be bitter, tender with those who are bruised, and protective of those who are hurting.  But remember the healing will come from the Lord, so be ready to speak His word at any time in any situation. Realize God is preparing those for His work, too!

2 Timothy 3:16-17 — All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (ESV)

  • Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t grow as fast as you planned.  Trust God for His work to be done through you when you’re fully yielded and obedient to Him.  It’s easy to look at small numbers and think it’s never going to be big.  Pray and ask for your borders to be enlarged, your dreams and desires to be increased, and press further into Him.

Zechariah 4:10 — Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” (NLT)

Ephesians 3:20 — Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (NKJV)

Think big, dream big, ask God for big then watch Him blow away your expectations.

While the Lord has laid all of this on my heart and for a specific area, I know that God can, and very well might, have me do this somewhere else.  Or maybe in multiple places.  In the dreams the Lord has given me, he’s had me doing this work and during mid-weeks going into other areas and preaching revivals and seeing the people catching the vision of what God is doing and wants to do through them.

And none of this is for our own glory, but for His glory.  That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow.  To see people set free; delivered from sin and made alive in Christ.  I’m excited to see His hand move and I want to be a vessel that will be used.

— Pastor Rick

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