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Vision

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you know we just in it's only been to two weeks since we've been back from Uganda it's kind of feels like a lot longer than that we've been back but we went there and and passwords were just kept on saying that they it was they couldn't believe that we had went to Uganda just two months after our oldest son passed away and they just were they were just always they just kept saying why I kept asking why would you I mean in the midst of your grief and and and to be honest with you sometimes we wondered like what are we doing you know but this is the thing and I told the pastor's this when we were there with them I said to them that that God told us literally I mean I know that he told us it was clear to Suzanne and me as we were praying about going to Uganda three months four months before chase died that he wanted us to go and that he wanted us to take our our middle son Kincaid with us and it was clear it was just a clear word from God have you ever gotten a clear word from God whether maybe you're reading the scripture in your prayer and you just feel like God is saying this he wants you to do this or that or whatever and we just we had one of those moments and then chase died so i asked the pastor's this so did God's will for our lives change did he know when he told us to go to Uganda that my son would die the theological correct answer is yes he knew he knew and see vision vision is is so important in our lives because it helps us to see beyond the momentary circumstances that would try to distract you from the purposes of God happening in your life and we allow so many things in this life to just kind of turn our heads and make us make us doubt the presence or the will or the purpose of God and and and that vision is so important proverbs says that without vision the people what the people perish Ibaka I love about you says that with that you need to write the vision down and make it clear and there's a reason why you have to write it down and make it clear so that others can run with it and and you do if you don't have that vision when the when stuff like what happened has happened to us comes you just you get off you get off kilter you don't know what to do you don't know where to go because you vision helps you keep your eye on the horizon helps you to see beyond what's happening in the moment for almost three years we've been talking about the vision of West Side church and I told you this story years and years ago the several years ago that I was standing in the in the hooker creek center in redmond with Nick voyage and there were ten plus thousand people in the stands and and and just hundreds and hundreds of people remember Casey hundreds of people coming forward to respond to the invitation I'm standing there just overwhelmed by just the just the amazing presence of God moving in so many people's lives and God told me right then that there would be a day in our future as it shirts that we would we would have the capacity to fill that entire amphitheater 10,000 plus people just so the people that are connected to this family of faith and I walked away from that moment saying I'm not going to tell anybody that that's craziness that's you know who you think you are all of that stuff and I just decided I don't care about what other people think what other churches think what other pastors think whatever what my family thinks what my friends think because when you get a vision from God you got to stick to and say okay Jesus what do you want us to do and how do you want us to get there how do you want us to see 10,000 people extending the life and love of Jesus to this entire world how do you want us to do that and as I've been just meditating on that over the last several months the Lord reminded me of three different metaphors that he gave me about a year ago that kind of described just another picture of this vision happening i want to share those metaphors with you and so I asked the team to get me the metaphors like in person so this is a ram's horn I I made it today I just I killed the RAM and shaped it and I mean look at this you guys can I not look more like a man right now I'm just saying the beard and this this I am feeling pretty good right now yeah it's good right so I'm so this this is an ancient Hebrew trumpet and and that's the first metaphor that guy got showed me about our vision is this idea of trumpets and you know God had Israel used trumpets to declare to proclaim to move the Israelis Israelites through the desert through the wilderness he he used trumpets to get gather people together to to kind of worn them as well and and God still using trumpets maybe not weird i can start blowing shofar seussical the shofar when i guess are blowing shofar is in our church but God still use he's still calling proclaiming declaring his purpose for his people if we have ears to hear in Luke chapter 4 if you guys have your Bibles go ahead and turn there Luke chapter 4 i'm going to go through we're going to hit quite a few scriptures and so if you don't you can write them down and look at him later but Luke chapter 4 Jesus makes a declaration of his purpose on this planet and Luke 4 verse 18 he quotes from Isaiah 61 he says the Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor to proclaim good news to those who are in poverty he has sent me he says to heal the brokenhearted to proclaim Liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind to set at liberty those who are oppressed to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord that means you are accepted that means he's declaring that you are in that you are welcomed into this family he's proclaiming some very specific things there's good news to those who live in poverty but those who have broken hearts will be mended that those who are being held captive by the things in their past will be set free that those who are blind and I don't think this just means spiritual blindness I think he's talking about physical blindness he came to bring sight to those who are blind to heal those who are afflicted physical to set at liberty those who are oppressed that he's proclaiming this the trumpet it's sounding there's good news there's freedom their site to be had for those who can't see and God is sounding his trumpet to his church in this day an hour to rise up and do the same things that he came to accomplish and shirts come on this is what we're supposed to be about we get so distracted on so many other things but the vision is clear the horizon we can see it he came to proclaim freedom and liberty and healing to those who are afflicted several words we've received over the last three or four years prophetic words from people in our church leaders in our church who have that gift of prophecy and they've presented different words I remember once called follow the cloud it was back in 2012 the God was saying and I believe it's still applicable that there's a great movement in the spirit over our church prayer must be elevated we need to be discerner rather than deciders to walk in greater levels of dependency trust in faith in God another word called expand your territory was given to us just a ear or so ago that there was a man who was driving and I'll just me just read it he was driving he sent this to me i'm actually driving through a valley with Hills on every side except behind me and I'm kind of going up through a canyon but the valley is green and the valleys flourishing and its successful and good things are happening on all sides and I feel like the Lord is saying that's where you are right now good things are happening there's flourishing taking places green all around us and their success on each side and things are going well and you're in a good place and I just hear the Lord saying that he wants to expand your territory and expands your region and the picture came to mind that if you stay in the place you are at now there's good stuff there and it will be good but if you stay there you will never experience what's on the other side of those hills and then he drives on the other side of the hills and this is where I stand where I am right now there's a city on the other side of these hills and there's a lot more there than where I am at now and I sense the Lord saying that he's going to open up new valleys and new cities to you but you have to trust him and you can't be afraid I'm going to do something new and fresh God says it's going to be something that will bring great harvest and great blessing and great freedom and a follow-up word to that a few months later it was to get ready church his church's you know it will be changing continue to raise up leaders but with more urgency organized and prepare for an influx of new believers there will be a big need for disciple in a lot of new believers prepare to be a blessing in every sense of that word there are many people in your church that have heart to help but not just in your own area but in other regions and even other states and let me tell you let me just pause right there that's going to be a miracle for anybody get called out of Bend Oregon you know I'm saying man I've been like god this is a great place everybody wants to move here everybody seems to be called to Central Oregon what's up with that but God's going to God's going to put it on some of your hearts to not just reach this area but in to reach other regions and even to move to other states for his for Kingdom purposes maybe to plant a church or to plant a campus or to launch into missions the word goes on tell them to get ready and God will do his part to help them be a blessing to other communities afar off teamwork is of the essence your body of believers will need to come together like never before God is sounding the trumpet and we got to keep coming back to the vision that he has for us to see beyond the moment that we're in right now to see a horizon that is beautiful and expansive and will take every single one of us here's the second metaphor it's not quite right because this is way too pretty of a jar it's so perfect but it's so fragile I mean if I if I still want to just drop it right now and if I dropped it I'm pretty sure it would break but then if it did I'd be like look like a girly man so I didn't want to do I have to might have to shatter it it's interesting that the Bible calls us that kind of uses this analogy of jars to describe the people of God turn over to second Corinthians chapter 4 2nd Corinthians 4 verse 5 Paul writes these words he says for we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus the Lord and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus sake verse 64 it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ so God God sent his son to shine a light in dark places that that in the land of the of shadows a light has dawn Isaiah the prophet writes but we have this treasure he goes on verse 7 in earthen vessels what treasure the glory of God the glory of God this in earthen vessels this treasure that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us we are hard pressed on every side yet not crushed we are perplexed but not in despair persecuted but not forsaken struck down but not destroyed always carrying about in the body in us the dying of the Lord Jesus that that what the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body for we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus's sake that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in you this I don't I don't like this next part of what I'm going to tell you I don't like it I'm trying to find a way around it but as I think about I meditate on these words of Paul that we are like earthen vessels fragile but inside of this earthen vessel is this this beautiful light this glory of God and and I can't I'm still trying to figure out a way you know we like to say that you know our cup overflows and so we like to think that the blessings of god this is what we preach more often that the blessings of God will will fill us up and then they'll pour out that's when people will see the light and the goodness of God right can we say amen to that there's one other way that people can see the light if there was one in this jar sorry about that and what is that she drew tomb i'm gonna start wrapping and just looks like to play i'm bout it i'm right there should i just use a handheld yeah let's just use a hand what's the am i there am i there so what's the other way that people can see what's inside this jar to be broken oh man i wish there was another way so yeah i'm susana i wouldn't never desire or wish or pray for for for any of us to be broken to be shattered to have your world collapse around you but but what I know what I've what I've learned and what I'm learning is that is that if I if I space some attention to what I fill my my jar up with if I if I fill it with the goodness and the glory of God and when I if I spend time in his presence and I and I soak like we've done tonight and I know it's not just a once-a-month thing but it's like an everyday kind of occurrence and I have that and I have that in my jar that when and if if and when when I guess not so much if but when my jar is broken what comes out of that not just tears but life hope we are we are fragile fragile people there this sometimes it takes it takes so little to break us doesn't it and what's inside of us see I think the church what we've done is we've created this idea that well let's just let's just make your perfect I mean there's no chips right let's get all the rid of all the chips and everything and what I've realized is that it's sometimes through my brokenness is when Jesus his light shines the brightest today when you know your momentary suffering has purpose or meaning somehow helps you see on it to a better place a more beautiful and expansive horizon last metaphor as I just this isn't mine I'm not even sure how to hold this thing I'm this oh here I'm gonna I'm gonna do it I'm gonna do it properly this is pastor Jerry's from sisters I think he has like ten of these and he let me borrow one of them he's a real man this arrows is another kind of symbolism of who we are in in God and let me just take one of these arrows out carefully these are like the real deal Jerry didn't like mess around with this everybody see that look in the camera zoom in on that those are sharp I'd if I touched him I would totally have started bleeding up on the stage that would not be good Psalm 127 David writes these words he says that if God doesn't build the house the builders only build shacks if God doesn't guard the city the night watchman might as well nap it's useless to rise early and go to bed late and work you're worried fingers to the bone don't you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves I thought about this God's the Builder the writers saying God's the builder he's the one that orchestrates things he's the one that gives you vision he's the one that that kind of gives you the mandates and the purpose he writes he's the bow right he's the one that that that holds you in his hands and his quiver and he goes on to write this author goes on to write don't you see that children are God's best gift so you think about how God builds he's describing this not only in a culture when it was written where children were very important to the future of a family but he's writing this in a spiritual sense that it's spiritual children the fruit of the womb is generous legacy like a warrior's fist full of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth oh how blessed are you parents with your Quivers full of children your enemies don't stand a chance against you you'll sweep them right off your doorstep the importance of spiritual heritage that the God has given us not just young people but can we be thankful for the young people right in our house I mean they're there yeah there are there are youth right now over in our student center with their hands lifted up jumping up and down praising the god of the universe understanding who he really is and these are these this these they are our legacy they are the people that are going to carry the vision of what God wants to do through this church to the next generation to the next generation and God wants to send but it's not just the young generation right we're all arrows in the hands of God every single one of us maybe your maybe you've decided well my purpose you know just a little too late for me I've gone through too many things and too many hardships and I can't use me anymore guy wants to revive this sense of that he's the bow and you are his arrow and he wants to use you to make a difference no matter what's your age no matter what's your station in life John chapter 20 we'll finish up with this John chapter 20 verse 21 Jesus looks over his disciples and it's getting towards the end of his time and it's about to leave he's been resurrected he's about to go back to heaven and any and he just wants to say a few last things and this is one of the most important things he said he showed them his hands in his side and and showed him the marks that of his crucifixion and that his disciples said they were says that they were glad when they saw the Lord and then jesus said to them this he said to them again when because he said this to them once before just peace to you as the father has sent me I also send you and when he said this he breathed on them and said to them receive the Holy Spirit if you forgive the sins of any listen to this the power of what it means to be sent by God if you forgive the sins of any they are forgiven them and if you retain the sins of any they are retained that he's gives us Authority and I started thinking about this and how did how did Jesus how was Jesus sent and what manner did he come Isaiah says that he was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief and he was bruised for our iniquities matter of fact if you saw him you would not think anything special of him he came into flesh just like us Suzanne I had no idea that our brokenness would bring so much light I'm sure I like the idea of that still to be honest but but I'm glad that God is using everything in our lives for his glory or they're good things or bad things whether you're up or you're down do you realize the power and the impact that God wants to have through your life or are you so caught up in the circumstances around you that you can't see the horizon the beautiful horizon where Jesus comes and he says I want to heal the brokenhearted through you I want I want to set the captives free through you I want to have you lay hands on the sick and they be made well I want to use you in ways that you've never dreamed of and no one is disqualified all are welcome to come to this place a surrender to him and say God I'm in God I want to be used by you whatever it means

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