Lighthouse: A Vision for Life
Posted by ssbg on May 7, 2006
How can we plan our future when the world is so confusing? What is the good of long-rang plans when the winds and waves of daily pressing crises keep blowing us off course? We need a lighthouse that shines in the storms and guides us through the uncertainties of our lives. The most secure things in life–God’s promises, His character and His eternal plan–do not change. His vision for the salvation of the lost and His passion for the holiness of the Church are constant. His unchanging vision becomes our driving force in a chaotic world. This unchanging purpose encourages and motivates us when we are discouraged and tempted to quit.
Vision is like a lighthouse keeping us on course during the storms of life. Lifelong vision is unchanging, rooted in God’s character and purposes. Daily strategies needs to change continually, but it should always lead us to accomplish our lifelong vision. The Apostle Paul received an unchanging vision on the road to Damascus. This helped him endure shipwreck, beatings and stonings. This vision was his lighthouse for the rest of his life. When he faced beatings and hunger, he knew the big purpose of his life. Even though he modified his daily plans in light of changing opportunities and unexpected opposition, he kept his eyes focused on the lighthouse of the Damascus vision.
The Apostle Paul looked to the leading of the Holy Spirit for daily guidance. For example, the Holy Spirit did not give him permission to move into Asia or Bithynia, but then gave him a vision for Macedonia. Paul’s Macedonian calling was a short-term purpose that fit his lifelong vision to turn the Gentiles from darkness to light. He learned to “play it by ear” with daily goals because his ear was in tune with the Spirit. He wasn’t sure how long he would stay in Derbe, Iconium and Lystra. In fact he had to be evacuated out of most of his “fields” during his first term. Through eyes of faith Paul still had daily leading because of his lifelong vision.
As missionaries, our daily “to-do” lists can be planned but must also be flexible and open to change. Who we witness to partly depends on who the Lord leads our way. What we teach in a Bible college class depends on how well students understood the last lesson. Daily activities for an administrator depends on which problems come up that day. But daily action always needs to be guided by the lighthouse of a lifelong vision. We need to ask the Lord to rekindle and sharpen our lifelong vision. There are still four billion people in the world who are outside of the family of God and about two billion who have little chance of hearing the Good News. Over one billion so-called Christians urgently need to grow in grace. God’s unchanging ultimate purpose acts as a lighthouse in a world of shifting currents and waves. We can be enthusiastic as we prayerfully reflect on daily vision because we know that it leads to an eternal vision of the Kingdom of God.
Dear missionary, if you are like me, there are times when you feel like quitting, wondering if it’s all worthwhile. It is easy to lose sight of the lighthouse vision when people aren’t responsive to the Gospel, when pollution levels and heat become unbearable, when cultural frustrations overcome us and when we long for the comforts of home and family. I pray that the Lord will rekindle in each of us a mighty lifelong vision. May His unchanging vision for the nations motivate and encourage us with a fresh sense of encouragement. In the midst of storms and crashing rocks on the shore, may a clear vision of God’s Lighthouse keep us rejoicing in hope, patient in affliction, fervent in prayer.