Summary: When God places something on your heart to do, you need to know that He will supply all that is needed to accomplish it. When you are trying to get out of life's ruts, make sure you are looking that someone from the rut is not pulling you back down.
Godly vision and goal setting
Turn with me to Nehemiah chapter 2
It is in the Old Testament between the book of Ezra and the book of Esther.
I want to talk about vision casting and goal setting.
Most people have dreams/visions/goals as a young person.
They may want to be Astronauts, Sports figures, maybe even the president of the United States.
They could desire to be protectors like firemen, policemen, doctors. It gets challenging as they get older, realizing that their dreams become farther away as circumstances and situations come into our lives.
Sometimes it happens as we realize that though you may want to be a singer, you just can’t sing or you are just average at it. You may want to play on your favorite sports team, but once you see the competition you realize that it is just not going to happen.
Question to ask ourselves;
How do we acknowledge our dreams/goals and match them to our abilities and opportunities.
If that does not make it hard enough, we as Christians, have to factor in that God has a say in our future and has a say in our goal setting and vision casting.
In the text this morning, Nehemiah was a cupbearer for king Artaxerxes.
This was a high servant job that many people wanted. It is a great job unless someone is trying to poison the king.
He was responsible for testing all food before the king ate it.
He was expected to be uplifting and happy and meet all the kings needs.
He was expected to keep his personal life separate from the king because a bad attitude or bad day could have gotten him killed for raining on the king’s parade.
This will probably be a 2 part sermon on what we can learn from Nehemiah.
One- how do we acknowledge and bring to pass vision/goals?
Two- What do we do when we face opposition and it hinders us from accomplishing what God wants?
Nehemiah was sad because he was looking at city of Jerusalem and saw the walls down around the city.
These walls were down for over 100 years, but Nehemiah was pondering what he could do about it.
(2) “Why does your face look sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.” (depression)
Remember this could have been bad for Nehemiah because sadness and personal problems can get you killed.
“May the king live forever”
Common response to kings- and then he explains the ruined, un-walled city of Jerusalem and what he wanted to do about it.
Now get this!
(4) “The king said to me, what is it you want?” Then I prayed to the God of heaven and I answered the king. If it pleases the king and your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it.”
The king was interested in his troubles.
Before he answered the king of Israel, he prayed to the king of heaven. (Short prayer, It happened quickly between what do you want and his answer)
I want to rebuild the city wall of Jerusalem.
Again, the king is interested- how long will you be gone? (He had an answer and he set a time)
Letters of blessing for those who could help him accomplish the task.
(Protection and supplies)
Building blocks for the task (Write down)
#1- Vision begins as a concern.
You will never be able to do something productive for God until you are passionate about the things that God is passionate about.
If it is a Godly task, it will line up with God’s Word and God will get the glory for it.
What God puts on your heart, He will provide the resources needed to bring it to pass.
You will never put your all into anything until you are ready to pay the price of time and effort to see it come to pass.
Heart is used in Scripture as the most comprehensive term for the authentic person. It is the part of our being where we desire, deliberate, and decide. It has been described as "the place of conscious and decisive spiritual activity," "the comprehensive term for a person as a whole; his feelings, desires, passions, thought, understanding and will," and "the center of a person. The place to which God turns."
God used Nehemiah because on his heart he had a concern that he wanted to do something with.
He went from dreamer to visionary because he was willing to put feet to his concern.
Building Block #2 -Vision does not necessarily require immediate action.
There is no way any of this happens without prayer and planning.