Summary: How to respond to a vision from God
Responding to the Vision – Sermon 2
Nehemiah Patiently Served
Nehemiah Patiently Prayed
Nehemiah Patiently Planned
Respond by Praising
Respond by Presenting the Problem to the People
Respond by Proposing the Vision of the Lord
Slide 1 Slide 1
Have you ever thought of something and thought that would be great to do, but then you never did anything about it?
Maybe you have thought how it would be great to have a food bank
Or maybe a better run nursery.
Or a better way to be hospitable to new people
Or a way to integrate the different generations.
Something that you thought of and thought would be great if this were in place.
Most people want to do good. We have good intentions, but there are many times that those intentions remain just that, intentions.
Last week we began our study in Nehemiah and we talked about how to make an impact requires vision and that you don’t end up making an impact unless you do it on purpose.
But, I want to tell you that it requires more than just a vision and intentions to end up at the destination of that vision – It requires action.
It has been said that
“You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.”
You need to actually do.
Therefore, we spoke last week about Receiving a Vision from the Lord and because to actually get anywhere we need to do something,
This week I want to talk about Responding to the Vision from the Lord.
How is it that we should respond, once we have received a Vision from the Lord?
We are continuing our look at Nehemiah and I want us to see how he responded to the Vision he received.
We are going to be reading from Nehemiah Chapter 2. (p. 343)
There is a lot here so I am going to take this in pieces.
Slide 2 Nehemiah 2:1
In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes.
Hey didn’t ch.1 start out similar to this? Yeah it says
In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa,
There are about 3 months in between Kislev and Nisan so the elapsed time between when Nehemiah heard the report and talked to the King is anywhere between 3 and 5 months.
So the first way we need to respond to a vision of the Lord is probably one of the most difficult. We need to
Slide 3 Nehemiah was patient. Being patient, however, does not mean doing nothing. He was active in his patience.
As the Lord lays on our hearts what it is he wants us to do, we need to be patient, but we need to be active in our patience like Nehemiah was.
So what is it that Nehemiah did while waiting for God to give opportunity to the fulfillment of the Vision?
Nehemiah Patiently Served
Slide 4 Nehemiah 2:1b-3
1 In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before; 2 so the king asked me, "Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart."
I was very much afraid, 3 but I said to the king, "May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my fathers are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?"
Nehemiah continued to do the job that he had and he did it well. Notice at the end of verse 1 it says I had not been sad in his presence before.
Nehemiah wasn’t just going along hating what he was doing. He was doing his job faithfully.
When we are waiting on the Lord, we need to continue to serve in the spot where He has us.
Do you have a vision for something different than you are currently serving? Stay and be faithful to where he has you if there is not currently opportunity to move.
Maybe you aren’t doing anything.
Maybe you are saying, “I don’t have a vision for anything right now, so that is why I am not doing anything.”
That is surely not what the Lord wants from you.
He wants you serving.
He wants you serving where He has you.
The place where He has us is often times a training ground and a time of testing and growing for us.
When we can continue to be faithful where the Lord has us, He can trust us to be faithful with the bigger vision He is laying on our heart.