Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.1 Samuel chapter 3, verse 1; from the New Living Translation.
Good morning and a sight disclaimer. What I am sharing today is a condensed version of yesterday’s message. Get back to that single word: Meanwhile! This means something else is happening at the same time. And what was it? Eli’s sons had gone their own way instead of God’s Way. Turn back to Chapter 2 Verses 12-13: Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the Lord or for their duties as priests. They were wanting what belonged to God and also to the people. Let me repeat that: They were wanting what belonged to God and also to the people. Sound familiar? And if you read further into chapter 2 you will see that they had disobeyed God’s sexual ethics.
Now, these alleged priests were doing things that God had clearly said that no one should be doing. They were living outside God’s Design—and worse—they were supposed to be the ones who were to share God’s Word. And then there’s the end of Chapter 3, Verse 1: Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon. Because those who were to be in charge had abandoned The Truth, God’s Message was rare, and God’s Visions were quite rare!
In order for God’s Message to be clearly proclaimed and clearly understood in the ways that transform people, communities, culture, and the world—we need to see clearly God’s Vision! And That Vision matches The Message. And The Message matches The Vision. But we are living in a season where human logic and human reasoning has Displaced God’s Vision—and thus Displaced God’s Word found in the Holy Scriptures. The definition of Displaced is: “Take Over The Place, Position, Or Role Of Someone Or Something.” Displaced Means That The Authority Of God’s Word—and Thus God’s Vision—has been removed in order for human logic and reasoning to take over what we see and what we say. So what does it look like when God’s Vision has been displaced by human logic and human understanding? I’ll Tell You 3 Things That Will Happen Without God’s Vision:
1. We Lose Our Direction
In travel and Navigation it’s absolutely essential to have some point that never changes. It’s Called True North. Magnetic North changes; True North never changes. If we’re in Alabama, going True North will lead us to the same exact location as following True North in Albania. To faithfully follow Jesus and successfully navigate the problems and traps that Satan throws at us, we need that clear sense of direction.The Direction In Our Journey With Jesus Is Firmly Rooted In The Bible And What The Bible Says.The Bible Is Our True North.
The Bible clearly tells us how to live—and live in a way that fills us with joy and peace. But without That Vision, Solomon says that we Perish! Do you what that Hebrew word means, I mean really means? It means A Lack Of Restraint! And God’s restraints aren’t in place to make us miserable and unhappy—they are there to keep us from being miserable and unhappy.
2. We Lose Our Perspective
Remember that Perspective Is How We See Life. That’s important because Perspective Ultimately Determines How We Live. And here is where we find our culture—and our beloved Tribe. Without Perspective Sin Doesn’t Look Like Sin Anymore. It’s how one was born. It depends on the situation one is in. There has ceased to be a Standard—and people have lost that Perspective of what it looks like to Follow Jesus. It’s all shaped by culture, pop psychology, and threadbare sociology. Without The Vision We Are Without The Message And The Result Is We’ve Lost The Perspective Of Living The Life Of Holiness That God Designed For Us To Live!
3. We Lose Our True Purpose
This is the saddest part of living Where There Is Not Vision. Oh, we have other purposes—but it’s not our True Purpose. We live out of a False Purpose.
- Our Purpose Isn’t To Blend In With Our Culture.
- Our Purpose Isn’t To Point Out The Sinners And Tell Them Where They’re Wrong. BTW—That’s The Work Of The Holy Spirit.
- Our Purpose Isn’t To Protect What The Church Used To Be.
- Our Purpose Isn’t To Just Survive Until Jesus Comes Back.
- Our Purpose Isn’t To Feel Smug And Better Than The Rest Of The World.
- Our Purpose Isn’t To Be Insulated And Isolated From The Messiness Of This World.
- Our Purpose Isn’t To Make The Church A Comfortable Place Where We Are The Consumers.
Our True Purpose is honor God’s Message and Vision in a world that is dying. I.E., to reveal God’s Redemptive Plan for fallen humanity! Ever since Adam and Eve messed up–God has been seeking to Restore!
In this time of disaffiliation and a broken culture, hear the Good News this morning: God Is Still Calling Samuels! People who will hear, answer, and follow God’s Vision in order to share God’s Word! And folks, this culture and our community needs a bunch of Samuels! And God is calling Samuels today. He’s looking for someone who says: “Speak, Lord. Your Servant Is Listening!” The Hebrews were in a spiritual wasteland—The Wasteland That God Intended To Be Their Promised Land! All because there was No Vision and thus, there was No Transforming Message. Be a Samuel!