For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. (Hebrews 6:10-11)
Relate: What do you hope for? What are your goals? What is your dream? What is your vision?
I was fresh out of Bible College in my first position as a youth pastor. Honestly, I wasn’t at that time a very good youth pastor. I was more than a little bit lazy. I had a solid group of kids but there was very little growth either in their lives or numerically. The worst thing about it, I didn’t even recognize that we were stagnant and that something needed to change. My cousin was in the car with me as we were talking about the group when he asked me some version of the question above.
He had caught me like a deer in the headlights. I had absolutely no answer to him. I had been going through the motions of being a good youth pastor but I had no vision for where we were going. I had no way to measure if we were headed in the right direction. I wish I could say that I had immediately learned from this and put in place a great vision and plan and have never looked back since. Not so. A few months after this I was resigning as a youth pastor and moving to another city to restart a flailing college ministry. Unfortunately, I was taking my vision-less lazy habits with me. It wasn’t until about four years later when I wasn’t resigning but rather getting fired from another failure that I was shocked and shamed enough to truly begin to learn.
React: In Proverbs, it says, “Where there is no vision the people cast off restraint.” Let me put a more casual translation to it: “Where there is no plan for the future, the people flail about in any direction.” That is the negative to the writer of Hebrews positive: “You have been working hard. Keep it up so you can get what you are hoping for.” I have learned the hard way that my self-discipline and diligence are directly tied to how closely I am working toward a vision of the future. I wish it was as easy as setting a vision and a plan down and then going for it. No. I need to regularly and consistently remind myself of that vision and even to break it down into smaller more achievable chunks for the immediate future. It is great that I desire to see that every single person in my city will hear an adequate presentation of the gospel, but who am I going to share with today? What do I hope for right now?
Give me Your vision. Don’t let me go one more day just muddling my way through this life. Don’t let me walk one more minute without direction. Give me purpose. Give me a plan. And then give me the diligence to keep it before me until the time You see fit to change it or to bring me home. I want to work. I want to work hard. I want to work hard for the things that stir Your heart.