Summary: It is what causes leaders to rise to the top of the bucket like cream. It is what separates leaders from followers, and separates mediocre leaders from great ones. Link inc. to formatted text, audio/video, PowerPoint.


Nehemiah 2:17

It is the #1 distinguishing mark of a leader. It is what causes leaders to rise to the top of the bucket like cream. It is what separates leaders from followers, and separates mediocre leaders from great ones.

Leaders understand the value of vision.

v. 17 Nehemiah said, you guys see broken down walls and charred gates, but I see new ones surrounding a sparkling city filled with much happier people. How did he see that? With his mind's eye!

The Bible says we walk by faith, not by sight. This means that we have a vision, not of the way things are, but of the way they ought to be.

Romans 4:17

17 ...even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

Look around you and see how things are. Now close your eyes and see what it's supposed to look like in here. Then leave this place and do the same exercise everywhere you go. Ahh, this is what my workplace is supposed to be like, this is what my home is supposed to feel like, this is how my off hours are supposed to be spent...ahhh, now I see it!

Proverbs 29:18

18 Where there is no vision, the people perish:

We often preach this as a soulwinning verse. If we don't get a vision for the lost, they will perish. That is a good application, but it's not the primary interpretation. It's really about us getting a vision or WE will perish!

1. The Definition of Vision.

from the Hebrew, chazon, which has 3 meanings:

• Open Revelation. People perish if there is no open revelation. Aren't you glad you have the full, open revelation of God open in your lap? It matters not if it is open to the book of Revelation or one of the 65 previous books, it's all the open revelation of God. It tells us all we need to know. We are sinners, and our sins must be paid for, and Christ took that punishment for us so we can be saved.

• Dream. Not like a dream you have in your sleep, but as in, an aspiration. Your 'dream home' is what you would have if money were no object. A young man talks about his dream girl...she's the one he would pick if, well, you know, if he didn't look like he did!

joke--I asked Bro. McKee if he ever dreams and he said, yeah, just last night I dreamed I was at the circus, it was great. Then he asked me if I had a dream. I said yeah, I was at the World Series, w/ 2 tickets right behind home plate, and the Cardinals were in it! He said, wow, and you didn't call me? I can't believe you had those seats and didn't call me. I said, I tried, but they said you were at the circus!

If people don't find something to live for that's bigger than themselves, some aspirations, they are going to perish!

• Mental picture. The ability to see in your mind's eye the way things ought to be. Not where am I at now, but where do I want and need to be.

Merge the 3 together and you need God to give you revelations, and reveal to you what aspirations and dreams you should have, and give you the eyes / vision to see it, and show you how to make it reality. It is the perfect picture.

If we don't have vision, we will perish, so what does perish mean? It does not mean to die or perish in hell, that's a different Hebrew word.

This is the Heb. para, which also has 3 meanings: to become naked, zero or barren, to go backwards.

So, putting Prov. 29:18 all together now we see that if you have no mental picture, you will go backwards, and amount to nothing! We must have goals, visions, dreams!

And so God raises up leaders with vision! Show me a church that is going backward and I'll show you leaders with no vision.

It all starts between the ears. We need the mind of Christ. That will give us the perfect picture.

Philippians 2:5

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Romans 12:2

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Right behavior is preceded by right thinking. You've got a brain, use it! And the opposite is just as true. Wrong behavior doesn't just happen, it is always preceded by wrong thinking.

This principle not only applies to behavior but also to achievement. It all starts in the mind w/ a mental picture of where we need to be...not our own brain's desires, but w/ the mind of Christ, the vision of God! We are not just going to stumble into success. Luck has nothing to do with it.

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