Summary: How to determine and follow God’s vision
This sermon series is based on the book “visioneering” by Andy Stanley. Parts of this sermon are taken directly from the material contained in his book.
Vision – Part 1
March 16, 2003
Life is a journey and every journey has a destination. Everybody ends up somewhere in life. A few people end up somewhere on purpose.
A clear vision, along with the courage to follow through, dramatically increases your chances of coming to the end of your life, looking back with a deep satisfaction and thinking “I did it. I succeeded. I finished well. My life counted.”
Without a clear vision, odds are you will come to the end of your life and wonder what you could have done – what you should have done. And like so many, you may wonder if your life really mattered at all.
Vision gives significance to the otherwise meaningless details of our lives. It’s not always about what we’re doing, but rather why we are doing it.
How many of you would be excited to spend all day today filling bags with dirt?
How many of you would be excited to spend all day today filling bags with dirt to build a dike around your city to keep it from being flooded?
There’s nothing glamorous or fulfilling about filling bags with dirt, but saving a city is another thing altogether. Building a dike gives meaning to the chore of filling bags with dirt.
The same is true of vision. Too many times the routines of life begin to feel like shoveling dirt. But take those same routines, those same responsibilities, and view them through the lens of vision and everything looks different. Vision brings your world into focus. Vision brings order to chaos. A clear vision enables you to see everything differently.
Granted, we have all heard or read about vision before. There are plenty of self help books out there that tell us how to set goals and have vision. They teach that if you can believe, you can achieve.
Read “Oh the places you’ll go” by Dr. Suess
While the average person may have the right to dream his own dreams and develop his own picture of what his future could and should be, we as followers of Christ have surrendered our lives to follow Christ and His plan. We gave up our right to be in charge when we accepted Christ and agreed to follow Him.
Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”
God has a vision for your life. Why would you want to think up and do your own thing? What could be more fulfilling than the plan that God has for you?
In Andy Stanley’s book Visioneering, he says - “Without God’s vision, you may find yourself in the all too common position on looking back on a life that was given to accumulating green pieces of paper with pictures of dead presidents on them. Accumulating money or stuff is a vision of sorts. But it is the kind of vision that leaves men and women wondering. Wondering if there was more. Wondering what they could have done – should have done – with their brief stay on this little ball of dirt.”
As Christians, any vision that we can think up, will always fall short and leave us wondering.
We serve an intensely creative God. We talk about the fact that no two snowflakes are alike, but God has never made two of anything alike. God’s vision for you does not include trying to fit into someone else’s mold. Unless you discover God’s unique vision for your future, your life may very well be a rerun.
Over the next several weeks, we will be looking at 20 essential building blocks for vision. These come from the book “Visioneering” by Andy Stanley that I mentioned just a moment ago.
We will also be looking at the life and vision of Nehemiah, in relation to these 20 building blocks. The one thing I find most encouraging about the story of Nehemiah is that he was just a regular guy who caught a divine glimpse of what could and should be. And then went after it with all his heart.
What is vision?
Where does vision come from?
A Vision is born in the soul of a man or woman who is consumed with the tension between what is and what could be. Anyone who is frustrated, or brokenhearted about the way things are, in light of the way they believe things could be, is a candidate for vision.
In fact, that is how the vision for this church began. I was on staff at a good church, but was becoming more and more frustrated with the way things were, versus the way I believed things could be. God was giving me a vision for a new church.