Have you ever looked at a painting that you wanted to step into? Often preachers may use words to paint great pictures of the Christian life, but I always wanted to know how to step into that painting so that it becomes real in my life and not just a beautiful idea. A leader and mentor once said to me ‘always have a vision and a plan’. He was teaching me that it is not enough to cast a vision of what things should be like; we have to have workable plan about how to get there – and then work the plan. We must put the vision into practice. Otherwise, we are like those of whom God spoke to the preacher, Ezekiel:
Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.(Ezekiel 33:32)
The Bible makes it very clear how important it is to put the word of God into practice. Jesus said:
‘Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.(Matt.7:24)
‘My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.’(Luke 8:21)
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.(Phil.4:9)
Practice is what makes perfect. Not casting great visions.
That is why, in this coming season, we are going to take this idea of roots down and walls down that we feel God has been speaking to us about, and thinking about what that might mean in actual practice. What do I need to learn to do in order to get and keep my roots down? What do I need to put into practice to ensure that my walls are down?
And we are doing this because we have fresh hope of a new future in a world opening up. We are currently seeing sun and flowers even when its cold. Life might still feel cold and grey for you right now but there are signs of new life. The world is going to be opening up in all kinds of different ways in the future. Let’s be ready for the opportunities that will bring by making sure that we really are, in practice, keeping our roots down and our walls down.