WHAT'S THE BIG PICTURE?
That's always an important question to ask when considering any type of planning - be it financial, strategic, construction, etc. If we don't have a clear grasp on what the ultimate objective is, we can get lost in the mundane specifics, and easily get off-track.
That's why having a vision is so important. Personal vision...family vision...company vision...even church vision. As soon as we have a clear picture of where we're supposed to end up, we can start figuring out the steps that will take us there. It's exciting to glimpse a "better future" in our mind's eye - it can motivate us, encourage us, and direct us!
But we can jump up another level higher in our thinking, and ask God: "What's the REALLY big picture?" That is, beyond my own life, my own ideas, or even - in a church context - beyond our congregational goals, what is all of this supposed to accomplish in eternity? What is God's vision for the future? For my life? For our church? If you and I can understand His ultimate aim, our next steps become much clearer.
What God is Excited About
This past Sunday, we began "The Big Picture" series by searching through the Bible to find God's vision statement. What is motivating Him, after all? Why did He create us to begin with? Why go to such great lengths to redeem us? What is He excited about in the future?
There are actually quite a few verses in the Bible that showcase God's vision - spread across the ages, embedded in God's promises throughout the Law, the covenants, the prophets, the New Testament letters and even in the ministry of Jesus Himself. In short, God's vision for humanity might be stated this way: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God and Father, and they will be my dearly loved people.”
Since the Garden of Eden, that's what God has been working to accomplish - His "dream" for the future. Here are some of the Scriptures that showcase this vision, which I'd encourage you to read for yourself:
Genesis 17:7-9, Exodus 29:45-46, Leviticus 26:43-46, Jeremiah 3:19-20, Jeremiah 24:7, Jeremiah 31:31-34, Jeremiah 32:38-41, Ezekiel 11:18-20, Ezekiel 14:11, Ezekiel 34:30-31, Ezekiel 37:23, 27, Ezekiel 39:28-29, Zechariah 8:8
John 1:14, Luke 13:34, 2 Corinthians 6:16-18, Hebrews 8:10-12, Revelation 21:3-7
To me the most exciting part of this study is the final text in Revelation - when finally, after all of human history, the dream comes true. As John records, "I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Look, God's home is now among His people! He will live with them..."
God's Vision = Our Purpose
Once we see clearly what our Creator intended for us, we can then understand the purpose of our lives. God made you and I so that we could have a personal, familial, eternal relationship with Him. Everything comes back to that!
Perhaps it would help to personalize God's vision statement - to catch a glimpse of what matters most to God. Imagine Him casting a vision for His future with you, and saying: “I will live with (your name) and walk next to ________, and I will be ________’s God and Father, and _______will be one of my dearly loved people."
Excited about the big picture,