Without Vision, People Will Perish

January 13, 2002 AM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

...to the book of Habakkuk chapter two. The book of Habakkuk chapter two. And when you reach Habakkuk chapter two, just signify this morning by saying amen. Praise the Lord. It’s one of those books you got to be a scholar to find, isn’t it? Glory to God. Habakkuk chapter two. In Habakkuk chapter two and verse one, the prophet said,

1. I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.

2. And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon the tables, that he may run that readeth it.

3. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

4. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank and praise You for who You are and for what You do. Father, hide your son behind the cross, that Your people would see You and not me. Father, as I decrease, I ask that You would increase. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight...(tongues)...oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

God said, “Write the vision.” In Proverbs twenty-nine and verse eighteen the Bible declares where there is no vision, where there’s no redemptive revelation of God, the people perish. But he who keeps the law of God, which includes that of man, blessed, happy, fortunate and enviable is he. Glory to God.

We as a people of God have got to have a vision (glory to God) for our lives. And we’ve got to have a vision for the house of God. Anything that is going to be successful requires a vision.

The word “vision” means to be able to see things that are visible, and not only to see things that are visible, but to see things that are invisible. A vision is a glimpse of the end result. It’s a view of our purpose in life. Vision (glory to God) is like the finished product that you are about to produce. Vision is the source of discipline and self-motivation.

Many people are going through life with no idea of where they’re going. Many people in life are going places in life, but they’re allowing people to dictate where they’re going. But I don’t know about you, but I want to hear from God. I want God to give me direction. I want God to give me guidance. I want God to lead me and to guide me in the way that He would have me to go.

Without vision the people perish.

We as the body of Christ and people of God, we need to begin to set out by getting just a simple pad and pencil. When I begin to write down my goals, young people, when I begin to write down (glory to God) my vision, I can begin to see direction. I can begin to see where I want my life to go.

And (glory to God) if it’s not what God wants, I can leave room for God to make correction. But write something down.

He said write the vision. That’s the problem. We don’t write anything down. God will give us a dream that’s so detailed. It’s just like a movie. And we won’t even write it down. Six months and a year will go by, and we won’t even remember (glory to God) the dream and the detail of what God has showed us, because we didn’t spend time to write it down.

How important is your plan and purpose for this life? Those things that are important we attend to. I don’t know about you, but my life is important. So I’m going to attend to my path that I take.

He said write the vision. He said it’s going to speak, and it shall not lie. In other words, when God begins to show you something, it’s going to talk to you. If God is in the process of showing you something, it’s going to speak to your spirit man.

It’s going to begin to develop and build inside of you the revelation that, “I’m going somewhere.” The revelation that, “I got a plan.” The revelation that, “I got a purpose in my life.”

Just the other day as I was riding with my children, I began to explain to them about credit. I told them that if you get anything on credit, you need to pay it back. Oh, you don’t hear me today.

You see, many of us, the problem was, when we were growing up nobody told us about credit. We just thought things just automatically were there. We thought they automatically had somewhere to live. We thought they automatically had a car to drive.

And when you look at the people of God’s credit in the body of Christ, it’s all messed up.

Give your children vision. It may seem as though they don’t even have a clue about what you’re talking about. But one day they’re going to look back and say, “Mama said. Daddy said. Grandmama said.” Oh, hallelujah in this house today.

Without a vision the people perish. Without writing something down on paper, this finite mind is going to forget about it.

The vision, the vision. You see, we can’t see Jesus with our natural eye. But the Bible says in Second Corinthians four and six, “For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the (glory to God), in the face of Jesus Christ.”

It’s right here in the Word. He’s written it down, so that we could see who Jesus is. The Word gives us a vision of who Jesus is and what He was all about.

Even businesses and politics require men of vision. Company require CEO’s with vision. Countries require leader with vision. Without the ability to visualize, very little can be achieved. Are you listening to me?

You may not have the resources. You see, we live for today. We live for our pocketbook today. But I’m not going to let my pocketbook today dictate my tomorrow. I’m going to write something down. Oh, you don’t hear me today. I may not be able to get it now. But one of these old days...

Vision. Without a vision people perish. In the Lord’s work we desperately need an elevated vision of what it is all about. We need greater goals and greater objectives. Jesus had a great vision for the saving of lost souls. He had a revelation of what it was He was coming to do.

But in the midst of it there was stuff in between that He had to go through. Before your vision comes to fruition you may have to go through something. But don’t let that something stop you (glory to God) from reaching your end.

Without a vision the people perish. In John four and verse thirty-five it said, “Do you not say it is still four months until harvest time comes? Look. I tell you, raise your eyes and observe the fields. And see how they are already white for harvest.”

See, a regular person can’t see that the field is already ripe for harvesting. But a visionary done already seen the harvest. A visionary has already seen the breakthrough. The visionary has already seen the blessing. He knows (glory to God) that there is an end. Glory to God.

Saints, write something down. You may not have the means to obtain it now. But one of these old days...

Mile Monroe, he wanted to get a college education. But he did not even have a high school diploma. But he set a vision in his life. And he began to realize and deal with where he was already. And he wrote down that, “First of all what I need to get is my GED” Hello, somebody.

But then he wrote down, “After I get my GED, I want to go on and get my BA degree.” This was all before he even took the test for his GED. This was all before he went to school to get his GED. But he wrote something down concrete and on paper.

And he worked towards that goal of obtaining his GED. And he obtained his GED. And after he got his GED, he needed money for college. Somehow, some way the money was provided. And he went on to college and got his BA.

But while he was in the midst of that, something rose up in him. Because when you begin to taste impossibilities that made possible, you can’t stop there. You don’t hear me in this house today. Oh, glory be to God.

When you begin to get a taste (glory to God) of what God has promised you, you can’t stop there. Once the vision gets started, it’s like a snowball effect. It keeps on rolling and rolling and rolling and rolling and rolling and rolling and rolling and rolling and rolling.

So he decided that not only did he want his BA degree. He wanted his Master’s degree.

See, the problem is, you don’t think you can do it. You’re right. You can’t do it. You can do all thing through Christ that strengthens you.

When you write it down and you pray over it, leave room for God to make corrections. Don’t begin to get stiff. Oh, you don’t hear me. You got to be able to bend sometimes. Flexibility takes agility, somebody. You got to be able to bend back and forth and to the side (glory to God) without breaking. But you’re going to stay on course.

The vision. What is it that you have for your life? Do you know where you’re going? Do you understand who you are? Do you have a plan? It’s one thing to know who you are and where you’re going, and don’t even want it. Hello, somebody.

People of God that have been called years ago, not accepting the call of God, going through hell, situation after situation, because He chose them and they refused to answer the call. That’s why the vision you got won’t line up. That’s why the vision you got won’t come to pass. You been scruffing and scranging and scrapping. Glory to God.

But if you would just submit to Him and surrender to what He wants, it’s going to work out for you.

Without a vision we perish. Without sight we perish.

In the Old Testament, in the book of First Samuel nine, nine, it said, “Before time a prophet was called a seer.” You see, that’s why the body of Christ has got to acknowledge the five-fold ministry.

You see, we’ve been bound by tradition for too long. And we think that the arm can do it all. But baby, give me some eyes. I need to see where I’m going. I need some direction. I don’t want to be stumbling around here trying to find my way, and if by chance I do find my way. I want to see where I’m going sometimes.

The vision. Two things may keep us from making the vision a reality. The first one is limitations. Once you write it down, stop putting limits on it. Stop limiting God and what He’s able to do.

See, when God places something in you, you’ve got to realize that you’re a spiritual being. When God places something in you to do, it’s bigger than what your mind can think about. It has dimensions that you can’t even comprehend if God is in it.

But we put limitations on it. We begin to put boundaries around it, as if it can only go this far. But once we get that far, we begin to look back and say, “Look how far I’ve came.” And then after ten and twenty years we’re still in the same place saying, “Look how for I done came.” I want to let the vision keep on going.

The second thing is, we think to general. We think to general. We think in the box. We’re afraid to get out of the box.

Let me tell you something. You taken a risk. Do you hear me? We’ve taken a risk on many different things. We’ve taken a risk about believing in God. And if I’m going to take a risk of believing in Him, why not take that risk all the way? Oh, you don’t hear me today. Why not trust in Him all the way? Come out of the box.

Listen. Your vision needs to be prayed over. Because as you pray over it, He’ll begin to show you things. And if you need other people in that vision, He’ll show you the other people in that vision. Do you hear what I’m saying? He’ll show you how to get what you need for that vision.

But take time out to put a little something on paper.

A lot of times our vision of the Lord’s work is even inadequate. We may have a vision to teach the Gospel all over the earth, but we still think too small about what can be done. A lot of times we get the vision, and we tell folks about it, but then we go home and sit down and don’t get a plan together.

After you have the vision begin to begin to put your specifics together. Do you hear what I’m saying to you today? Put your specifics together. Gather your information.

There are folks that can tell you... Let me tell you something. They can tell you where to go, who to talk to for this, that and the other thing. Why? Because they are the people that do their homework.

If you’re a person that doesn’t do your homework, then you’re going to miss out. And at the end, you’re won’t get your reward. You’ll get a F instead of an A.

Write your vision. Make it plain. It’s going to speak, and it’s not going to lie.

Saints of God, don’t just go through every day hoping that when you go to the mailbox tomorrow there’s going to be a million dollars. It ain’t happening. We have that mentality that that check is just going to be put in the mailbox.

Every now and then you may get a mailbox blessing. But you have got to show God something before that million comes. He’s not going to give a million to a fool. Hello, somebody. He’s not going to give you that million to destroy yourself. You’re worth too much to Him. You’re worth more to Him broke than you are rich.

Your vision, what is it all about? Doors open for workers. If you’re not a worker, don’t expect a door to open for you, especially in the Kingdom of God. If you’re just a pew warmer, don’t expect a door to open for you.

But if you’re willing to get busy and roll up your sleeves and get into the midst, then God will open up doors that no man can close. And the ones that you’re not supposed to go through, He’ll keep them closed.

How many... And don’t lift your hands today. How many of you have a vision? Have you given up on it? Have you given up on that vision? The Bible even says despise not small beginnings.

That business that you were getting ready to get into, that business that you have, you only got two customers. Are you despising it? Despise not small beginnings. Your vision may be great, but it may start out real, real small. Did you hear what I said? Your vision maybe colossal. But right now all you got is a dollar to your name.

But if I pray over that vision, if I fast over that vision, God’s going to tell me how to turn that dollar into ten dollars. He’ll show me how to turn that ten dollars into a hundred dollars. He’ll show me how to turn that hundred dollars into a thousand dollars. He’ll show me how to turn that thousand dollars into a hundred thousand, and so on and so on and so on.

But don’t give up on that vision. Stay there and work it until it can’t be worked no more. Write it down. And look at it every day. Hang it up on the wall, and put a check mark my every one that you met.

I wrote down my goals and my vision in my book. And every time I accomplish one, I check it off. Many people think that that won’t work. But it will work.

Write the vision. Write it down. Don’t worry about the resources right now. Just write it down. Don’t worry about the folks you need to help you right now, but just write it down. And after a while, it will come to pass.

Come on, give God a handclap of praise.

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