Monday, June 3, 2013

Upper Vision

"It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do." 1 Timothy 3:1 NASB

Here is a rough re-translation of this verse that reveals some of the Greek used in the verse. 'This is a word of faith. If anyone stretches in yearning towards what God has shown them from above that beautiful enterprise will have passion from above.'

An overseer is a visionary. One who sees and one who feels. Something has been revealed from above and they have been given a birds-eye view of it. Heaven's viewpoint has been imparted to a man.

"An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?)" 1 Timothy 3:2-5 NASB

This person must be a 'one woman' man. It isn't talking about the state of a marriage or necessity of marriage. It is talking about a loyalty of heart and mind.

The things listed are not requirements given like a checklist given in a job posting. God is not looking for strong men. He is saying that if a man has seen and desires to stretch out his arm to a work that is only possible by God's power there will be a passion and a stability and single mindedness that comes with that kind of endeavor. Stability will be produced because home life, the pursuit of pleasure, relationships with people and money have been revealed to come under the overarching importance of what God has done. The man has gotten a glimpse of the fact that God's will in Heaven can really be revealed in the Earth in some special way.

This man decides to give his life over for the cause that is produced by what he has seen. This man has seen a purpose greater than himself and his wants and needs and decides to put all his eggs in that basket.

Good administration will be needed to see the vision come to pass but it is not necessarily the order and organization of gifted administrator that is needed for the visionary. A person with those gifts can be added to the work as it unfolds. What is needed is the selfless life of a father who in grace leads his home and says, 'Our family is very important but we don't live for just ourselves. There are important things to do in life and we do them.' he doesn't have a 'I just want you to be happy attitude.' He says 'I have joy because I live for something bigger. I want you to have that joy and that dignity.' That man's children may not all embrace the vision of the family but it isn't because the vision has not been clearly set forth in grace. How can a man lead in the Church if he is not this way in the home? It will just be a job... God is not looking for more employees. He wants men who will see what He sees and not turn away from what they see. Men who will take the little strength they have and use it to stretch, not do, but stretch, yearn, dream and plan.

"and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." 1 Timothy 3:6-7 NASB

This person can't be too green. If they are they will confuse their ability with the work. They will take what God has shown them and write themselves into the script giving themselves titles and importance that just doesn't exist.

God's work is God's work. God's truth remains true with or without us. God uses us in spite of ourselves we add nothing. We are vessels of passion and we can be content to let God pour Himself into us and through us. If work is mingled in it will leave a place for the accuser to come in and condemn.

A visionary will see the value of perception. He will value what he sees and what others see. If he is so single minded that he runs over the people around him and the community he lives in he will be mocked and misunderstood. The endeavor given from God is a beautiful enterprise. The visionary becomes a communicator that imparts that beauty to others. He unveils what God has unveiled to him. His words and laid down life will produce a degree of respect in the community. Not everyone will feel that way. There are some who will oppose the work because it is a work of God. That is the way it is.

A visionary evangelizes people. He may not have the gift of evangelism but what he has seen is executed for the purpose of salvation and preservation. His individual gospel ministry will keep His vision in focus. His connection and desire to connect others to the above life is of utmost priority. Otherwise he will be bogged down in terrestrial details.

Let's not let the lists given in verses like these intimidate us. We are trees of righteousness. If grace shines on us and we refuse to turn away from it the new life in us will begin to stretch towards it like trees leaning and growing towards the sunlight. Our single mindedness is a series of choices we make not to turn away... even when other attractive sights demand our attention. Everything else will fall into place as we do the next thing by faith in the wisdom that is taught to us in the anointing. (see 1 John 2:27)

In grace God can show us His desires. Things that can be. Things that God wants to happen in the world. Any man can become a hero by grace. Christ in them is already heroic.

"After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:9-10 KJV

Yes God. Your will be done. Give us upper vision and upper passion for what You have already accomplished and what it can mean in people's lives in foreign lands and right here in our own homes. It is a paradox that Christ's finished work reveals to us how much work there is to be done in the world. Open our eyes Lord to see You and to see what is only possible by faith.

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