Having a church vision statement is only helpful if it is a prophetic vision. One that prevents perishing and encourages fruit. As we mentioned in our post on Proverbs 29:18, this type of vision must incorporate the application of God’s Law. To have “vision” is to have Law. So where do we begin? How do we create a “prophetic vision” for the Church today?
Starting a church vision
Before we create a church vision, we must begin with the Law of God. Here is a list of commands that we are to do, and examples of how we should interact with, the Law of God:
Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2; 119:15, 23, 27, 48, 97, 99
- Meditating on God’s Law informs what God requires of us, and how we are to do it so that we can receive the Covenant blessings in Deuteronomy 28.
- Meditation on God’s Law is to be frequent practice (day and night).
- We can figure out the ways God would have us go by meditating on His precepts (commands).
- God’s Law should be present in our mind while enemies and adversaries come up against us with force, plotting, or slander.
- God’s commands will remind us of all His wondrous works (creation, redemption, providence, etc.).
- The Law of the Lord is a cause to worship, and meditation is an aspect of worship itself.
- We meditate on God’s Law because we love it.
- As successive generations meditate on God’s Law, they will outstrip previous generations in understanding.
Deuteronomy 5:1; 31:12-13; Psalm 119:7, 71
- We are to hear and learn the Law so that we may do it. Our learning and doing is to be “careful,” meaning “with much attention.”
- The Law is to be the curriculum for all ages. It is something to be proclaimed openly and publicly to all. God’s commandments teach us how to fear God, and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Obedience is a promise of inheritance to future generations.
- Learning the “righteous rules” revealed by God will lead to praising God from the heart.
- Affliction should drive us to the studying of the Law. The promises of blessings in history for the obedient will encourage us to follow God even when the wicked come against us.
Ezra 7:10; Nehemiah 8:13
- The study of God’s commands is for the end of doing it and teaching it.
- Fathers, ecclesiastical leaders, and civil leaders should do the study of the Law. The study of the is not only a personal endeavor but a communal one as well. In churches, there would be much benefit to having experts in the Law (i.e., Ezra).
Numbers 15:39-40; Deuteronomy 5:15; 8:2; 16:12; 1 Chronicles 16:15; Psalm 103:18; Malachi 4:4
- We should have reminders of God’s Law around us. These will remind us not to follow our sinful desires.
- We are commanded to remember God’s gracious salvation, and this required remembrance demands us to do God’s other commands.
- Trying times are to humble us and make us remember God’s faithfulness, and spurns us to loyalty to Him.
- Recognizing God’s grace leads us to obedience.
- Remembrance of His rules is a generational task.
- Covenant faithfulness to God is following His Law.
Deuteronomy 6:9; 11:20; 17:18; 27:3; 27:8; Proverbs 3:3; 7:3
- The Law of God should be prevalent in your home, both in the private life of the family and the treatment of guests.
- The knowledge of the Law is something you should look for in your leaders.
- There should be a public testimony to God’s commands.
- Covenant faithfulness (steadfast love) should be written on our heart. Earlier in this listing, we covered a text that showed covenant faithfulness is following the commandments of God.
- The Law of God is to be written on our hearts.
Bind & Lay Them Up
Deuteronomy 6:8 & Deuteronomy 11:18
- We should always have the Law with us.
- The Law should reside in our hearts.
- God’s commandments are to be desired and rejoiced over.
These verses tell us what our disposition is to be towards God’s Law. With some quick points from those verses, it’s apparent that we should desire the Law and write it on our hearts. Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Start reading the Pentateuch – the first five books of the Bible.
2. Understand that the Ten Commandments are expressions of God’s character. Thus, the case laws are applications of those characteristics in all areas of life. The study of the statutes of the Lord deepens our relationship with God.
3. Fix (repent of) your predispositions towards God’s Law (e.g., cruel, hateful, unrighteous, barbaric, etc.) by reading how God views them. A great place to start would be the Psalms, especially Psalm 119.
4. Use helpful resources, which have the same view of the Law as God has. Here are two examples on the book of Deuteronomy: Volume V of Commentaries on the Pentateuch and Inheritance and Dominion Volume I.
5. Ask better questions. Instead of, “Does this even still apply?” ask:
- Who was the Law directed to (individuals, families, businessmen, priests, the magistrate, etc.)?
- What was the punishment of the Law (civil sanctions, communal sanctions, providential sanctions directly from God)?
- Does this law have to do with the specific plots of land divided to the original 12 tribes of Israel?
- Does it have to do with the separation of marriage and bloodlines between the tribes of Israel?
Starting with these tips, you’ll begin to catch the prophetic Church vision God has revealed for us in His Word.