Journal Heb 11 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “For he (Abraham) was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” Heb 11:10
Observation: Am I cultivating a vision, a preferable future, the way that Abraham did in faith?
Analysis: I can look at Hebrews 11 and get caught up in the chapter of Heroes. Goodness, there are stories to be found in those references. What I tend to overlook is that many of the Heroes were celebrated, but just as many faded into the background, forgotten, overlooked, considered of no consequence to the overall Story—except God doesn’t see it that way. In probably all of the cases, the ones of ignoble endings are the ones that God especially celebrates.
The question that comes to me is “What do I see? What is my vision? What do I see as a preferable future?”
Looking into the distance is not one of my strong suits. For instance, I am more attuned to looking not much past my next paycheck. It is the same with daily Christianity. “Lord, please bless me today…” I will lay odds that I am not alone. But that is not what God recommends: “Without vision, people perish.” (Prov 29:18) It is not too far off the mark to think: “Without vision, people stagnate.”
But Abraham had a vision—a vision not based on his conniving or personal hopes, but on the Promise of God.
This is a personal challenge, akin to looking at the “man in the mirror.” Not only am I daily evaluating myself to see if I am walking worthy of the Gospel (not a practice of doubt, but of determining where I can be better), but I am also cultivating a vision to see where I want to be at the End of my Days.
In addition to that, what is the preferable future and how do I respond to the Church (and the local church specifically)? What is the church locally supposed to be? How are people built? How are people cared for? What is the practical outworking of the church supposed to be like?
Is it Sundays and checking into the 1:28 moments faithfully? Care Groups or Friend Groups—small groups meeting consistently with not only fellowship in mind, but prayer, teaching how to move forward in Christ, etc. Journaling and spiritual disciplines? Book studies? Can’t forget or neglect those instruments of Grace. Singing in small groups. What is the Vision that you want?
Some are ok with a meeting once per week and anything else is too much. I don’t want that.
What is the vision that God wants us to have; wants me to have?
Here’s something to perhaps hang the vision of the Church’s hat upon: “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.” Acts 9:31
Prayer: Father, is this old wine for these days or is it still new wine? How can I speak about the Kingdom of God for this generation? What is it that you want done and instilled in the breast of believers today?