I will take my stand at my watchpost
and station myself on the tower,
and look out to see what he will say to me,
and what I will answer concerning my complaint.
And the LORD answered me:
“Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.
“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
but the righteous shall live by his faith.
My title this morning is Look and run, what I mean by this is that we have a focus in our lives, and move through life with purpose. Have a vision. When we live a life of faith and trust in God this brings us the key to our understanding of the purpose of God. Having a higher ideal such as God, we are positioning ourselves in the proper created order.
My points this morning are as follows
In this verse, he begins by saying I station myself in a place where I can see, second, clearly write down what The Lord is saying, third exercise patients.
This future goal sets us on a path, where we follow Christ, we set ourselves in the right direction and walk with purpose towards the end goal. The telos as it’s called in Greek was ideal, and Aristotle spoke to virtue ethics which asks us what kind of person we want to be. What would the ideal person be like and so we emulate that kind of person For Paul it was the new creation, the new person in Christ, looking into the future of the resurrected life and living that now.
“If we don’t know what port we are heading to, no wind is favourable.” Seneca.
When we have a purpose and we’re following our goals, everything is fine, we know where we’re going and all the troubles we address are obstacles to overcome to arrive at the destination, as they’re part of the journey. Life then is seen as an adventure a journey with purpose.
However not having a course, but drifting, day after day, is probably the worst condition we can face.
When we drift, everything seems pointless and when life is hard we have nothing we are aiming for so every problem is just a burden instead of a challenge to accept. when we look back and try to figure out the path we did, instead of seeing straight lines from where we left, showing a course we set and followed, we just see random lines or, worse, circles taking us nowhere.
So, when days are passing and they look, all the same, ask yourself: where I’m going? What do I want to achieve? Set a course and follow it. It’s ok then to adjust, making small or great corrections, even plot a completely new one — this means we are still in control and we’re not just drifting away, hoping to arrive somewhere.
- Station yourself
Position yourself in a place to hear what the Spirit is saying. Mixing the metaphor a little, the prophet says he positioned himself on the watch tower, the highest point to gain the best advantage. For Christ, the highest place was a place of prayer.
“But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Matthew 6:6 NRSV
We can take this seriously, sit on the edge of our bed, and pray, let us say your suffering, life isn’t going well, you are sad unhappy distressed and anxious.
So we ask God what am I doing wrong? Perhaps ask what is the thing I can do differently even if it’s small. Maybe it’s something that we know we should fix already, but we have been ignoring it, hoping things will change.
If we honestly ask to seek knock we will get an answer, it may be the difficult choices we have avoided.
“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and few find it.”
Matthew 7:7-8, 13-14 NRSV
What is it that I want to happen in my life? Have I let life happen to me and wonder why things spiral
What do I need to do to address these issues?
Like the prophet asks What will God answer about our complaint
Write it down and make it clear
Perhaps it is just the one thing, in some sense, it has to be a small list so it’s clear and you know when it’s done,
Sit down in your room, alone and ask.
What is the one thing that I know I need to fix and that I could fix?
When we know the one thing we can aim towards that, too many things to aim for we can end up not hitting any of them.
One Direction - multiple destinations multiple aims.
The way is narrow and few find it, to say that life can be a struggle and nobody need convincing that the road is narrow.
- Have faithful patients
Faith and patients seem to go together, if we are always looking back at the mistakes we have made, and the wrong path we have taken we lose focus. when we should be moving forward
If you know where you are going, and it’s clear then run with it
How can we run
Perhaps we need to stop telling ourselves that we are okay with who we are rather than who we could be
It is a problem to tell people to feel good about who they are today when we could be more interested in whom we will be, rather than who we are.
Through faith and patients inherited the kingdom of God.
We can tell if the vision has been mixed with faith see Hebrews 4 because if it’s delayed we don’t lose focus.
Look Listen write and run
Have we positioned ourselves properly to see what God is saying?
Are we listening? Listening to hear or defending some poor choices and blaming others for things wrong in our lives.
It would be sad if we are forever learning never coming to the knowledge of the truth
Are we moving forward with purpose, Jesus said once we put our hands on the plough we do not look back, if we can’t run with the purpose then we have not understood the vision.
Paul said to the Galatians you began well and you ran well what happened? Who hindered you and distracted you from the truth?
“You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them! For among them are those who make their way into households and captivate silly women, overwhelmed by their sins and swayed by all kinds of desires, who are always being instructed and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth. As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these people, of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith, also oppose the truth. But they will not make much progress, because, as in the case of those two men, their folly will become plain to everyone. Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and suffering the things that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But wicked people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:1-17 NRSV