Vision is such a powerful thing. A direction to head in, a united sense of being together heading for the same goal. I think before today i knew that, but from today I have experienced the power of it and feel empowered by having it. Of course, as a Christian, we have the great commission. We all have a vision to aim for and a life to follow in what Jesus says. To me, that can feel very grand and big – and I can get a little lost in my role within it.
I wasn’t at Church this morning as my little lion is poorly, so I decided to make the roast and instead of watching Giuliana & Bill (sorry yes I do love that show) I would listen to the podcast from my church last week. The leader of my church is a man who is such a muddle of characters I find it interesting to pin him down. He is silly- I hear that in his office he does roly-polies and gives out chocolate Freddos, he is a very real & powerful speaker, he is sensitive although people often think he musn’t be because he is full of humour. I like the guy! I have always liked him, he happens to also be my Dad. But today he spoke on that podcast and I felt as though I wasn’t just hearing from him. I was hearing from God. That is my favourite thing about my leader, and something I think we should all expect in our leaders, he follows what God says. He follows even the biggest, scariest, wildest things he hears God saying, and acts on the smallest whisper too – He is not perfect, nobody is, but he follows Christ and so I can follow Him.
This vision. For me the whole thing is big, very big. So I will only share what I felt God reveal to me in it and explain where God is leading me as a part of this. Please do listen to the vision yourself. I will add a link at the end.
Anthony shared about how they (Ivy Church), as part of a bigger linked up organisation, ‘New Thing’ – are going to see a billion souls come to know Jesus. That’s the big bit! Linking with people all around the world and training and equipping people to plant and build new reproducing churches. For me though, the thing that caught my heart was how we have to be in order to see this. To see a billion, but also to see one.
He told a story of missionaries years ago, how there was a group (The Moravians) who wanted to reach out to slaves. Yet as free men they wouldn’t be able to help the slaves, they were not allowed to speak to them. So they voluntarily sold themselves as slaves, they gave up their freedom, literally gave their lives up for those they wanted to help save.
I have worked with women for a long time who are broken and in very dark places resulting in prison. I have seen them come to know Jesus, I have seen miraculous things in prison. The hardest thing though is once they come out of prison, the day to day-month after month-year after year ongoing struggles and hardships. I have a friend who rescues women who have been trafficked. He literally goes in and takes them out of the slavery they were in. This takes a lot of work and is completely amazing, but getting them out is just the start.
The struggle I have witnessed in his work is the same as mine. It is the day to day ongoing work. The addictions that are a constant fight, the patterns of behaviour which are so hard to leave, not through any real fault of their own but due to years of trauma most of us couldn’t possibly imagine. Yet for him- I see how he rescues her, again and again. he rescues her. Even years on if she finds herself back in a bar or somewhere she shouldn’t be he goes and gets her. He brings her into his family and looks after her, he keeps going. Recently God said to me “Watch Him, He is a reflection of me”.
I had thought this was just for that evening in that meeting when God spoke to me specifically that night. Now however, I see that God meant constantly. He is a constant reflection of Father God, of how we run away, yet God never gives up, He keeps saving us and pursuing us.
Therefore if we truly want to see so many saved, so many more knowing the love of God that we believe and trust in, then it will really cost us. It may not be glamorous, it may never be written about. The sacrifices this friend of mine makes are huge, it effects his whole family. His whole family have literally and beautifully given their lives for these women. To see freedom and to work each day to see change and transformation.
To me, it looks hard! It looks tiring. It looks a lot of work and they must ask some days, ‘Who knows if we will ever see the fruit?’ That is what saving truly looks like. I believe God is showing me what it truly takes is to be willing to give up your life. The promise in return is that you will find your life in Him, those who give up their life for His name will truly find it.
Here is a link to the big, scary, vision talk from last Sunday at Ivy.
I feel envisioned, empowered and fully ready for working with my Church to see many come to know Jesus. I am excited to work with people who are sold out ready to encourage and work alongside each other to see many more come to know this wonderful Saviour. The loving Redeemer who comes and gets us each time, who has given everything for us-so it is only right to give ourselves back to him. For me it will start by loving the one in front of me, being open to so much more.
I am in. Lets do this!