As a church, we looked at the story of Nehemiah this week and learned about how he discovered a vision to sink his life into. Here was the process.
1. See what is (Neh. 1:1-4)
- This is dealing with the harsh realities of life. Things are not as they ought to be. We must face them and feel the pain of them and not run from the truth. Facing reality is one of the main ways we discover a vision.
2. See what could be (Neh. 1:5-9)
- This makes us frustrated. We see what should be, ought to be, could be, and yet isn't. Living between what is and what ought to be is painful, frustrating and fills us with passion.
3. Believe what could be (Neh. 1:10)
- This is what gives us hope. If we only have the first two, we will be angry but not do anything constructive to bring about change. If it is a God-sized vision, this is where we need to believe that God will join in.
4. Determine it must be (Neh. 1:11-2:4)
- Now we have a vision. Visions are born in the hearts of men and women who live in the tension between what is and what ought to be. They allow themselves to feel that frustration and look for a solution. Then they allow themselves to heat up until they boil over. They have what we call a Popeye moment, "That's alls I can stand; I can't stand it no more." And they are moved to action.
5. Persevere until it is (Neh. 2:5-end)