"Without A Vision a People Perish" PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 26 May 2012 14:44

 

November 1986

Without a clear purpose and aim to inspire one’s actions a nation or a group perish. This is the message of Proverbs 29:18.

Do you have a vision of the world’s need?

Before Isaiah could have a vision of God, he had to experience a vision of the evil that people do (Isaiah 5:8-6:8). Paul’s vision of the Lord included a vision of what the world outside of Christ really is — lost, blind, in darkness, under the power of Satan, bound, unforgiven, condemned and guilty (Acts 26:18).

Do you have a vision of hell?

Crawling around in a series of dark tunnels in a terrorist camp to hunt out the cornered killers. Stifling heat. Darkness. Danger. Filth. Rotting corpses. The smell of death.

Starving people in a devastated village of Mozambique. Crippled, sick, maimed and dying people. Fear and desperation as the communist troops return. The smell of burnt flesh and the hysterical screams of a little child.

The empty eyes of an eighteen-year-old girl who ran away from home to “live it up in Hillbrow’s bright lights.” Dirty. Homeless. Twice raped. All her possessions stolen. Used and abandoned by her friends. Alone.

That great missionary, C.T. Studd, had a vision of hell. That is why he declared:

“Some like to live within sound of church or chapel bell — I’d like to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.”

Do you have a vision of the world’s problems? Do you have any conception of the devastation caused by drugs and crime, terrorism and communism, materialism and loneliness, deception and apostacy, immorality and alcohol abuse, selfishness, greed and hatred? (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

Sin and Satan are cruel masters.

"Without a vision a people perish." We need a clear vision of the reality of a world in rebellion to God . . . going to hell.

Do you have a vision of God?

“I saw the Lord,” says Isaiah. “High and exalted.”

HoIy, Holy, Holy!

The Lord Almighty is Holy!

His glory tills the world.”

Isaiah 6:3

Do you see the Lord?

There are three directions we can look:

  • Inwards — at ourselves — which is selfish,
  • Outwards — at others — which can be critical or compassionate, or
  • Upwards — to God — which is worship,

“Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends.” Hebrews 12:2

Do you have a vision of who God is?

He is glorious and infinite — without limitation. He is eternal — without beginning and without end. He is Holy and righteous, just and merciful, all-powerful, all-knowing and everywhere present. Perfect. Creator of the universe. Sovereign Judge of us all. Wonderful. Awesome in Majesty.

What comes into our minds when we think of God is the most important thing about us. No person is greater than his religion and no religion is greater than its God. May we repent of thinking so little of God. God is greater than any of us have ever imagined or realised. We need to study the Bible more to realise how great and mighty is the God we worship. (I recommend in particular Nahum 1, Deuteronomy 32, Daniel and the Psalms).

He is a living God and He will rule for ever.

His kingdom will never be destroyed, and His power will never come to an end. He saves and rescues;

He performs wonders and miracles in heaven and on earth.” Daniel 6:26

Do you have a vision of what God can do?

He can do the impossible. He created all things seen and unseen. He can do a lot with a little. He fed an entire nation in the desert for forty years. He fed 5 000 with just 5 loaves and 2 fish. He controls nature. He parted the red sea for the entire nation of Israel to pass through. He calmed the storm. He raised the dead. He heals the sick. He forgives sinners. He changes lives. He answers prayer.

Do you have a vision of what God can do through a person?

When D.L. Moody heard the challenge:

“The world has yet to see what God can do with a man completely surrendered to Him,” he ran forward shouting, “I will be that man! I will be that man!”

When General Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, was asked about the secret of his success, he replied simply: “God had all of me that there was to have.”

John Wesley’s challenge still rings out to us today:

“Give me one hundred men who love God with all their hearts and fear nothing — but sin — and I will move the world.”

The Scriptures promise: “If anyone makes himself,clean from all those evil things, he will be used for special purposes, because he is dedicated and useful to his Isaiah 6:3 Master, ready to be used for every good deed.” 
2 Timothy 2:21

DO YOU HAVE A VISION OF WHAT GOD CAN DO THROUGH YOU?

Do you have a vision of what God can do through a Church?

The Church at ANTIOCH (Acts 13:1-3) sent out Paul and Barnabas. Through these two missionaries the Gospel was taken to Europe, many churches were planted in Asia and Greece, and much of the New Testament was written!

A church I have ministered ti in Northern Mozambique has planted 5 other churches in 4 years — in spite of severe persecution.

In addition, of the 50 church members to have been forcibly sent overseas by the communists — 5 to work in the factories of East Germany, one to Russia and 4 to work in the sugar-cane plantations of Cuba. When I asked them how they felt about this, they replied: “We do not cry — we train all our members to be missionaries and when the communists decide that some of our people must go, we bring them before the church. They kneel and we pray for them — ‘We make you a missionary of our church’ we say. ‘We command you in the Name of our Lord Jesus — TAKE THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST TO CUBA - TO EAST GERMANY — TO RUSSIA!’ How many churches can have the privilege of 10 missionaries on the foreign fields of the world?”

Napoleon once said as he looked out over the vast expanse of China: “There lies a sleeping giant — let him sleep, for if he wakes — he will shake the world.” And I wonder if Satan could not be saying about your church — “THERE LIES A SLEEPING GIANT — LET HER SLEEP, ... IF SHE WAKES — SHE WILL SHAKE THE WORLD.”

The Gospel is powerful, the Church has been given the power to limit the influence of evil and to extend the Kingdom of God (Matthew 18:18-20). Can we truly be praying against wicked plans, standing up for the Lord and fighting the forces of evil — when we see that evil increasing? Do you have a vision of what God can do through your church?

Do you have a vision of what God can do through a prayer fellowship?

Count von Zinzindorff started a prayer chain in the MORAVIAN Church which lasted for 150 years! During that time of unbroken intercession that congregation sent out 2 500 missionaries to every part of the world.

Have you ever wondered why SOUTH KOREA stands today as the most Christian country in Asia, having successfully withstood 36 years of communist aggresion? And how did South Korea win where South Vietnam was defeated? The difference bet ween South Vietnam and South Korea lies in the power of the Word of God and prayer. Over half the South Korean army are Christians. At 5.00 a.m. each morning several million Christians gather in churches around South Korea for prayer and intercession for the land. The spiritual revival and missionary vision of the Church in South Korea is what makes that country safe from atheistic communism.

In 1979 a prayer group started in a South African army base, which met every night for Bible study and intercession. From this group coffee bars were started throughout the border, outreaches organised to nearby villages and military units, and a missionary organisation formed which has distributed tons of Bibles to persecuted churches in Angola and Mozambique. and undertaken film and literature outreaches to terrorist bases and Communist troops, bringing many living under Marxist tyranny to the joy of salvation in Christ.

Do you have a vision of what God can do through a country?

Through one man - Abraham (Genesis 12:1 -3) - God produced a nation — Israel through which God raised up prophets and apostles (Hebrews 1:1-3) — who were used to produce the Bible. Through one Nation God has blessed the world with the Word of God and the Son of God. Salvation comes from Jesus and the Lord came through one nation. No greater privilege or achievement could be possible. However, Deuteronomy details the blessings that will benefit a country which seeks to be obedient to God and the curses which will befall a disobedient nation.

The Word of God in Jeremiah 18:7-10 is clear:

If any nation turns away from evil God will build up and bless that nation. But, if any nation turns away from God then God will uproot, break down and destroy that nation.

Brother Andrew, in “Battle for Africa” has said: "GOD WILL INTERVENE IN THE COURSE OF HISTORY TO PRESERVE SOUTH AFRICA, IF HER PEOPLE WILL ACCCEPT HER RESPONSIBILITY TO EVANGELISE THE REST OF THE CONTINENT."

Do you have a vision of what God can do through you, in your church, through a prayerr fellowship, in and with and through our country?

Without a vision — a people perish”.

DO YOU HAVE A VISION — OF GOD — AND WHAT HE WANTS DONE?

 
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