Scripture: Isaiah 50:4-9a
I wonder what it would be like to have a prophetic vision. What would I do with it? Would I keep quiet or would it stir in me such passion that I would proclaim it to the world? To be honest I don’t know what I would do. I have heard people speak as if they had seen a vision from God, yet usually I’m right in the crowd laughing when they are proven wrong.
I imagine the prophet in the Hebrew scriptures would probably feel like I do, just before they actually received their vision. Most probably did not want to be a prophet since there is only profit in it when people like what you have to say. To be honest the only reason we know what the prophets of ancient ages said is because people didn’t like what they had to say and it came to pass, so they recorded it as if to say, “oops our bad, sorry we killed you.”
Which leads me to think how well do I receive the words of other? If they say something I dislike or think is judgemental am I thinking that because they are being jerks, or is it because I am? I am guessing in my case I’m the biggest jerk.
Isaiah speaks of a vision, one that we see reflected in the final days of Jesus. I do not know if Isaiah himself faced this sort of trial but I wonder. Either way we have two people that gave all they had: their reputations, financial security, and lives for a cause. The cause to draw people back to God.
What do we give ourselves to? I consider my own life, I am a pastor yet I work outside the church too. Do I do this because I need the money or do I have other employment because I like money? You can judge me if you want. To be honest your words eiher way would have a prophetic ring to them. The point is we should encourage those around us to draw closer to God. Our words, actions, employment, and our leisure should be encouraging a deeper relationship to God, if we claim to be disciples of Christ. If we do things out of selfishness or personal profit we may not be encouraging those around us as much as we could. In the same breath we could live a life of total self sacrifice and not promote any spiritual growth either. How do we know if the life we are living is promoting the faith we claim? That is where taking time to spend meditating on scripture and listening to God is so important. If we are seeking God and being a prophet to those around us (proclaiming the Gospel) then we only need to please one person…well if you are married two.
I am reminded of a conversation between George Fox and William Penn. Penn wanted to become a Quaker, but they spoke against war and promoted peace. So he asked George about the sword he carried, Penn was of the noble class so it was fashionable to carry a sword. Fox gave probably the best advice he could. He knew that Penn was considering his faith and was developing a deeper relationship with God so he said to Penn, “carry it as long as you can.” No judgement, no proclaimation of right and wrong, he simple said carry it as long as you can. This meant that if Penn, in his pursuit of friendship with God, could justify continue to carry a weapon of war while learning about and embracing the peace of Christ he should carry the weapon. If you were to move forward in time you woul learn that William Penn stopped wearing the sword.
Do I live for profit or prophet? Do I live my life to promote a deeper relationship with God or do I seek my own desires. Jesus lived His life to bring honor and glory to God knowing full well that the message He brought of the kingdom would lead to His death. But it was too important to give up. It ment that there would be life, love and friendship between god and mankind. His followers too followed in his ways many of them lost their lives as well. The passion of Christ and His followers tell me that something is important here. And in the face of death they go down forgiving those that caused harm, and praising God.
What a life. So what would I do if God gave me a vision? I still don’t know but I can say I will I will continue doing what I am as long as I can. And if I need to change directions He’ll let me know.