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Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

February 26, 2014 - Can You See the Promised Land?

By Jerry D. Scott

"Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18, KJV).

Vision is what causes us to sacrifice, to reach higher, to achieve great things. Without it, people give themselves over to fighting, to selfishness, to indulgence of sensual whims.

Vision is an incredibly important part of reaching God's goals — for our personal life, our family, our church, our local community, even our nation! My life is pulled along by a God-given vision of being a man whose words and actions honor the Lord as a good and loving husband and father, and as a person who provides solid leadership to the local church God has called me to shepherd.

When that vision is sharp and clear, it makes saying "no" to certain things much easier. For example, when greed creeps up on me and whispers in my ear, I have two choices. I can start to look around and compare my pile of things with what others have. When I do, I am tempted by other more lucrative opportunities. But if I look up and renew the vision, the voice of greed falls silent and I remain faithful to God's calling.

As a pastor, I believe my greatest challenge, my most important work, is to impart vision, to help people see the "Promised Land." I don't just mean thinking about heaven.

God has charged me to help people see who they can be right now by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. He has charged me to help people see the world as God desires it to be, not as it is. Am I always good at that? No. I struggle like everyone else. I can get so taken with making sure the system is running smoothly that I don't see the "big picture" as clearly as I should.

Visions are powerful, yet fragile. They motivate people to change, but they die without constant tending. Most of us are not naturally visionary. It takes effort and inspiration to lift our eyes to see past our appetites, our comfort, our attachment to the present, to begin to love the vision of a new future! God calls on us to have faith and reminds us that without faith that "sees" His vision for life, we will never please Him.

To understand that, consider the story of the Exodus. When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, they followed him with excitement for a short while. But when things got rough and they grew tired, the vision of the Promised Land faded and they started to whine: "We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!" (Numbers 11:5,6, NLT).

They forgot the foods they remembered in Egypt came to them at the cost of their freedom, at the cost of the lives of their sons and daughters. They forgot they were slaves and remembered only the stuff they put in their bellies!

What vision has God given to you?

Are you keeping it sharp, tending it, renewing it by regular times when you reconnect with the Spirit who gave it to you?

Memory is deceptive and selective! Yesterday's victories and defeats must be left behind as we pursue the calling God has given to us. If we look back, a rosy glow will come over our vision causing us to long for what we can never have again. We will fall into sin as our vision is clouded with reminiscence. If we look forward, God will show us the "Promised Land" of His provision, drawing us to become holy people who honor His name.

Here's the promise for each of us: "I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on servants — men and women alike" (Joel 2:28,29).

Father, give me spiritual eyes that see the promise,
The possible, not just the probable.
Renew Your dream in me, causing me to see the Promised Land.
When I start to love my food, my TV, my comfort —
More than I love You, Your callings —
Forgive me and send me messengers who renew the vision.
Pour out the Spirit on me, like a refreshing rain that causes
new life to burst out.
In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

— Jerry D. Scott is senior pastor at Faith Discovery Church (Assemblies of God) in Washington, N.J.

 

 

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