Jeremiah 29:11 NIV1984 “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
That is VISION.
Do not read over this scripture casually as though you know everything about it. For years I thought that God has something good for me and it’s all gonna turn out all right… something nice that God has planned and it’s coming my way.
God gives us one piece of the puzzle of our life at a time… and the pace of our walk is in the pace of our obedience. The scripture plainly states that God already knows exactly what He created for us to accomplish… our purpose in life. “I know the plans I have for you…”
These are His plans… His thoughts… His ideas.
Luke 16:11 asks us a question… so if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth (the tithe), who will trust you with true riches? (wisdom and revelation knowledge of God)
All throughout the Old Testament God makes it very clear that the tithe is His. Since God says it is His… He’s God… it is His… with very little to discuss. Very little.
When we agree with Him by giving the tithe, we have started a relationship with the One who owns us. Owners don’t always get what they want… but they do get ownership rights. They get to make the rules and surely the owner of a person would be entitled to make some decisions about that person.
I had a vision one day of walking down a path… as a little baby in a diaper… with each hand in someone else’s hand as we strolled down the pathway. My little head kept turning from side to side… looking to see what they might say to me… maybe they would tell me something about where we were going. I wasn’t walking very well… but my hands in theirs kept me from losing my balance and stumbling. I was so excited in my little face as I looked up to the right and then back to the left.
Suddenly the vision enlarged and the person who had my right hand was Father God and the one who had my left hand was Jesus Himself. Now… suddenly… it didn’t even matter where we were going as we walked down the path because I was with them. The most important thing of all was earnestly listening to see what they might say to me. Somehow, that was more important than anything else in the world.
God gives you a piece of the puzzle. He won’t give you another piece until you step out and put the piece in place that He trusted you with… whatever unction He gives you to do… when you know it came from God… you have to do it before He gives you another piece. The question, as always… is Jesus Lord to me. We sing it… but He wants to see it in action.
Anything that God wants you to do… He wants you to do it for your benefit. He doesn’t need to grow… it is for our growth.
I prayed for a year about what God would have me do at our church as service to Him. The church is His training ground. When I prayed… all I ever saw in my thoughts was a picture of Pastor Catherine’s face… every single time. She was over the teen’s ministry. Uhhhhh! That’s all I have to say about that. But I finally went to see her and let her know that I was available.
As I sat across the desk from her, I shared that I wanted to come and help with her ministry. So Pastor Catherine asked me, “So, you enjoy teenagers and you enjoy being around them… would it be safe to say that?”
“No ma’am. I can’t stand teenagers… don’t have much use for them at all. They don’t listen, they talk 90 miles an hour and I can’t understand a word they are saying.”
She started out with a faint smile, but she couldn’t contain it… then she began to laugh. “Then why are you here… there must be a reason you are here?”
“Yes ma’am… I prayed for a year to see what God would have me do and all I ever see is your face, so I’m here.”
Pastor Catherine was still trying to hold back her laughter when she said, “Well it sounds like we’re all set then. I want you to go and greet the teenagers when they come in the front door and tell them that you are glad they are here… and tell them you love them too. That will be a good place to start. Make them feel like you are glad they came. Okay.”
So I went to the front door. I opened the door for them when they got close enough and I stuck out my hand to shake their hand… some passed me by with no acknowledgement of my presence… like I didn’t even exist. And I heard those words again, “And tell them that you love them… make them feel like you are glad they came. Okay.”
You have got to be kidding me. I’ll be glad when they go home. They don’t even know I’m here.