Keri and I are in the early stages of following the Lord’s vision to plant a church in Mound. Holding fast to the Vision is of utmost importance for those called to the work of church planting.
In the beginning stages the Vision is all you really have — two flawed human beings with what seems at times to be a crazy dream to bring a new community of faith to a spiritually thirsty town.
When the Lord gives you a vision, you can be certain that Satan wants to steal it away. The Vision must be protected at all times. The ways the Evil One might accomplish this are manifold: recurring bouts of self-doubt and insecurity, being sidetracked by other cares and worries of the world, ensnared by secret sins, derailed by internal conflict and disunity, and a thousand other subtle attacks.
This particular calling and vision has been tested and confirmed over a long period of time — nearly five years for me! — and in a number of ways remarkable. The most powerful and consistent confirmation of God’s call comes repeatedly during my regular prayer walks through the town — usually late at night around midnight.
These prayer walks are my lifeline to the Lord. I am no prayer warrior, but these prayer walks consistently awaken in me a powerful sense of intimacy and openness to the presence of the living God. As I walk the streets of town, my heart is gripped by a spirit of holy desperation and urgency for the gospel to go forth in new and powerful ways. I feel a deep burden for the community, and grieve the inability of existing churches to break new ground in reaching those outside their doors — especially local teenagers and the young adult population (age 18-35).
My prayers are passionate. Tears often flow as I cry out to the Lord, begging Him to bring revival to my hometown. I experience regular rushes of excitement and confidence that the Lord is indeed on the move, setting the table and preparing the way for us to raise up a fresh community of faith.
But it is still just a Vision at this point. God-given, yes, but still merely a vision living in our hearts and not yet taking root in the community in any tangible, concrete way. These momentary surges of confidence are always followed by recurring battles with doubt. So, we need something tangible in the mean time to serve as a visible, touchable symbol of God’s faithfulness to His call.
The Lord has given me one such reminder, a tangible symbol to literally rest upon. Every night on my prayer walk I come down the same path along the Lost Lake public docks in the center of town. Right near the water’s edge there sits a massive flat topped boulder about the size of a Volkswagen bug. I have made it a habit to crawl up and sit on the large rock, and overlooking the lake under the starlit sky I pray. My prayer has remained largely the same everytime:
Lord, let this massive and immovable rock upon which I sit be a reminder of your unmovable promises and rock-solid faithfulness to your servant. May the Vision you have given to us be as immovable as this rock. May everything we do for you and the advancement of the Kingdom in this town be built upon the rock of Christ and not on the sinking sands of our own will power. As the winds of adversity blow and the waves of doubt crash against us, may your Vision be as solid as this rock in our hearts — my immovable rock. Amen.
While this may seem like a great act of faith, I am only entering into one of the most basic practices of our ancient faith. In the next few couple posts I will unpack the power of setting up visual symbols and memorials to remind us of God’s faithfulness. Stay tuned.
But let me ask you: Do you have any tangible symbols of God’s faithfulness in your life? Any trinkets of great spiritual significance?