Lessons from the book of Nehemiah
Definition of Vision:
“Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.” NKJV
“Without prophetic vision people run wild, but blessed are those who follow ⌊God’s⌋ teachings.” GOD'S WORD
A clear mental picture of a better tomorrow, given by God which moves a person to believe that it not only could be done but it should be done.
· Real visions come from God.
· Visionary people see the future.
Nehemiah 1: 1-4
The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:
In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
3They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
4When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
Around 587BC the Babylonians invaded Judah and destroyed the city of Jerusalem, along with Solomon’s temple. This was the third of three campaigns into that region. About 70 years after the first Babylonian invasion, Cyrus, King of Persia, gave the Jews permission to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Under the leadership of a man named Zerubbabel, these exiled Jews returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the temple.
Things were looking up for a while. It seemed as if Israel was on the verge of becoming a blessed nation once again. But the people refused to turn away from the very sins that God had judged their ancestors for.
The temple was not being maintained. Sacrifices had ceased. The Jews continued to adopt the religious practices and culture of the surrounding nations. By the time our story begins, the political, social, and spiritual conditions in Jerusalem were deplorable.
Meanwhile, back in Persia, a Jewish man named Nehemiah heard about the condition of his homeland. Nehemiah was so moved by what he heard that he wept. It’s not that he was weak, or emotionally unstable, but instead that he was burdened. In fact he was so burdened that it says in verse 4 he mourned and fasted and prayed for days. Little did he know that these deep feelings were the initial birth pains of a vision that people would be reading about thousands of years later.
Notice that Nehemiah’s vision didn’t start out as a vision. It began as a concern or a burden for his nation and it’s people. We serve a creative God and he has made a vision unique for each one of us. Just as no thumb print is the same, each plan for our lives is unique for us.
The most important thing in life is to discover God’s unique plan for your life.
A vision begins as a concern
TENSION: (What is and what could be)
DISASTISFACTION, FRUSTRATION by the state of things, being heart broken by the situation around you. CONVICTION: Where Vision is, there is an inner conviction to see change.
Vision always demands for a candidate to champion the change needed. CONCERN:
- Vision sticks with you it goes beyond the emotions.
- You think about it day and night.
- You are consumed by it. It breaks your heart.
- Real vision stays even after long time it goes beyond emotions.
A vision may not require immediate action
You may not need to leave school right now when you get that vision, you may not resign that job immediately.
WAIT. TIMING. This is important otherwise failure, discouragement and disillusionment may result.
Discovering and developing a vision is a process. It is in this season that you will know whether it is a vision or just excitement or only a burden. Patience gives us time to check our emotions. (That is why I discourage who talk about falling in love, such emotions need the test of time.)Vision is like a baby in the womb, it takes 9 months we do not want to have a premature baby.
In the fullness of time God sent forth his son.
WAITING: It matures the vision and matures us for the vision.
Learn to wait for his timetable. Phil 2:13-14
Moses had a great idea.
Pray for opportunities and plan as you wait.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE WAITING?
1. PRAYPrayer changes us, it helps us to open our inner ears and eyes. It keeps us in an expectant mode.
Prayer changes our dreams into visions. In a dream you are desiring for a better day, you are wishing that something happens, that someone does something about the situation.
Vision is where you see yourself as part of the solution. A pastor by the names of David Derry said: “Dreamers dream about things being different. Visionaries envision themselves making a difference. Dreamers think about how nice it would be for something to be done. Visionaries look for an opportunity to do something.”
2. PLAN Nehemiah began to develop a plan during this season of waiting. When the door opens, are you ready to enter in.
· During this time of preparation you may take time to go to school
· You may come up with a project proposal
· You may spend time exposing yourself to the people who have experience in the field of your vision.