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Summary: I have a dream… I think. We talked about having a dream… but what if you’re not sure? Is your dream worth giving your life to? How do you test a dream to see if it’s God or if you’re just keeping up the Kardashians… or Jones’…

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I have a dream… I think.

We talked about having a dream… but what if you’re not sure?

is your dream worth giving your life to?

how do you test a dream to see if it’s God or if you’re just keeping up the Kardashians… or Jones’…

Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind. Eccl 4:4

So… how do we do something that is more than just chasing the wind?

RECAP

Bad news…

brother, friends

Jerusalem

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We’re going to talk about mission from God stuff… but you can just think about a dream or vision for your life. I might use some language that’s mostly for followers of Jesus… but I promise… I’ll hook you back in at the end. So don’t check out.

Nehemiah 1:4-11

When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:4

Nehemiah’s journey is roughly SIX MONTHS

Journey of conviction

Deepening passion

This is about getting serious… God might be waiting for you to get passionate about your passion.

Cultivate conviction

The people who make the biggest difference in the world and the people with the strongest convictions.

Previous generations: you did whatever your dad did

Recently: exposed to more

Today: exposed to too much

…paralyzing amount of info and options

“how do I know what I should do?”

“how can I be special?”

“how can I add value? Everything’s been done… every domain name has been purchased!”

Good news:

There’s no one like you. And there’s still something for you to do

Conviction can be cultivated

Nehemiah becomes more desperate and cultivates conviction in three simple ways:

Nehemiah CARES enough to…

MOURN

PRAY

FAST

For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.

Mourning

grieving for current realities or past injustice

this is what’s real

this happened

this is happening

I’m going to start by being sad about it

Prayer

setting aside time

praying constantly

When you’re cultivating conviction… do both—set aside time, and pray all throughout the day

If this is a mission from God, don’t you think that God would want to direct you… and give you clarity and courage?

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Another thing Nehemiah does is fast.

Fasting can help remove distractions and focus on God.

Fasting

Fasting isn’t just going without food.

Fasting is being more hungry for God than for food.

Fasting is being more hungry for God and what he wants for your life than you are hungry for what you want.

Fasting: Give up something to get something more

Questions to consider:

Do I care enough to fast?

Do I pray enough to care?

This is how get your WHY

People are motivated by why

If you’re not sure about “WHAT” you’re going to do… don’t worry.

START WITH WHY

what breaks your heart?

what needs around you connect to your own story/journey?

what gets you up in the morning?

Even if you’re not yet passionate, your passion can grow

That’s why we’re doing this series

EX: Taking over Mariners HB

only been to HB twice

walked…talked…prayed…

developed love for city and people—cultivated conviction, passion for serving here

EX: Raan and Shea Parton—Apolis

do good through for-profit retail

EX: Beth and Maggie

bible study and cooking lesson

Christian Cop-out: “Thanks for asking, I’ll pray about that.”

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When any opportunity comes up, you don’t have to say, “I’ll pray about that,” and walk away. You can say, “I’m praying about how best to engage in God’s ongoing work in the world all the time… and I have a pretty good idea about my mission—given my experiences, skills, passion, and what breaks my heart. So I have a guy instinct about this… but maybe I’ll give it some more thought to make sure I’m right.”

“I’m beginning to understand where I’m going… so I mostly know if every new idea, opportunity, and invitation fits into my larger mission. And to make sure, I will pray about it, and I’ve already started.”

Which leads us to the next thing Nehemiah does that is so important…

II. Connect to the bigger story

He Connects to the BIGGER story

5 Then I said:

“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel.

I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

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