Hebrews 5:5 — No one can become a high priest simply because he wants such an honor. He had to be called by God for the work, just as Aaron was.
Hebrews 6:15 — Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised.
It seems as if a lot of people have ambition and want something — something big enough to drive them. Sometimes that is a house, a career, a goal of some kind, or a spouse. Personal desire can be a huge motivator — or it can be lust that blinds us to reality. On the other hand, sometimes God calls us to something that is even better than what we could come up with on our own. Often, the thing God calls us to is so big and scary that we actually run from it. Or, we’ll do something to sabotage God’s plan. We get impatient and take matters into our own hands (e.g. Moses, Joseph, Peter) or we run from the calling and create more heartache for ourselves (e.g Jonah). Sometimes, we think we have a better idea (e.g. Paul, Judas) and we cause problems for ourselves and others.
The fact of the matter is that God knows us better than we know ourselves and if we’ll just listen to Him, and wait patiently, we’ll be better off and His purposes will be better served.
Over the last two days Jen and I have begun this coaching process called, “Focusing Leaders.” This is the first of many meetings over the next two years. Entering this process I knew a couple of things. A vague idea of my personal core values and a general idea of my calling. In fact, both of these have manifested themselves in my relationship and marriage to Jen and my passion for church planting.
However, when it comes to actually knowing the long-term, specific vision for my life, I have always drawn a blank. I have always approached it with the attitude that God would show me each step along the way — and in fact, this is what He asked me to do. I left my career in emergency services, I moved to Southern California to complete my education, then I answered the call into full-time pastoral ministry, and enrolled in Seminary. I met Jen, got married and pastored in Wyoming and am now church planting in Colorado Springs. But God has never revealed the next step along the way — and I have patiently waited. This has been part of my humbling process — he has wanted me to wait, similar to His direction to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3.
But over the last couple of days, the facilitators of this retreat have taken us through a process that built to a crescendo yesterday. We were asked to write a personal purpose statement (why do we exist?) and then core values. Those were good exercises that were helpful. But late in the afternoon, we were to develop a personal vision statement. It was to be specific, God-sized, and a vision of the future. I drew a blank.
Then, with a little coaching, It began to come to me. I was afraid of being arrogant. I was afraid of nullifying the present. I was afraid of invalidating the present. I was afraid that it was too big. So, I began to write some thoughts. (I believe this journaling has helped) I filled a page and then gleaned ideas from that page and began to clarify. Then I got more concise and composed a vision statement that excited me and scared me at the same time. I realized how dependent upon God I am, but I am also excited that if God accomplishes this through me it will be awesome. It floats my boat!
As the other guys at my table shared, I was able to glean some more ideas and hone my statement. I was able to change some of the verbiage and be more concise. I still don’t know how this will happen, nor do I know what it will look like in five or ten years, but I am excited and I am greatly looking forward to the future. But, like the texts above, I know that this is not personal ambition and I know I have to wait patiently for it.
Father God, thanks for revealing this to me. Thank you for your love. Thank you for not revealing too much too soon. Thank you for giving me a gift yesterday that excites me and inspires me to do better and more for you. Thank you for taking the time and energy to reveal your will to me. You are awesome God.
Please continue to mold me and shape me, make me into the man who is worthy to be your servant. Perfect my character and hone my leadership skills in ways that will better prepare me to fulfill this vision. I am ready to be used by you. Please make me ready to be used by you!
Personal Vision Statement:
While living a balanced and disciplined life, I am courageously committed to the adventure of personal, local, and global leadership development in order to effectively reproduce true spirituality, authenticity, and excellence in local churches — wherever they my be found.
Pastor Gary Walter
PO Box 26498
Colorado Springs, CO 80936
"Experiencing God on Common Ground"