Vision. Is. Powerful.
Victor Frankl was a holocaust survivor who used to travel and speak about how he survived the concentration camps. He would look at his audience and say, “You are the reason I am alive.” The crowd is naturally confused because they have never met Victor before. How could he know them? Then Victor would continue and say, “I have seen you a thousand times.” While in the camp, he explained that Victor would dream of the day when he would stand before crowds and tell them how he survived. Day after day, he would watch his friends lose their hope, and the next day, they would die. That is the driving force of vision; it can keep you alive as you move forward.
And God has given you a vision to accomplish for His purposes and His glory. This vision will help you push you past the hard times and the status quo to achieve what can be and what should be.
We have been looking at strategies for executing a godly vision by gleaning biblical insight from Nehemiah’s execution of building the walls of Jerusalem. First, it begins with birthing. What has God given you? I hope you have been able to get a picture of God’s vision for you, your family, your participation in church, your life! The second is discretion; You are to take hold of the vision and bathe it in prayer for the right time to share it. God’s timing is the best time to execute the vision!
What we find out this week is:
To execute the vision, you assess the situation.
Let’s look at what Nehemiah did next:
By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal Well and the Dung Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire. Then I moved on toward the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was not enough room for my mount to get through; so I went up the valley by night, examining the wall. Finally, I turned back and reentered through the Valley Gate. – Nehemiah 2:13-15
I appreciate Nehemiah because he was willing to do the hard work himself. He didn’t hand off the initial assessment – that would be unwise since God gave the vision to Nehemiah, not to others! To fix the wall, Nehemiah himself needed to see the extent of the damage.
The vision is the grand, finished product – Nehemiah can see it before it is completed. That’s the power of vision, right? He’s not becoming ‘lost’ in the details but is aware enough to make a plan of action. Nehemiah could be thinking through…
- “Who’s the best fit for this portion of the wall?”
- “How many people do I need for this section?”
- “This area requires a particular skill, which means I’ll need so and so… while this section is only moving rubble, so I can use the rest of the group…”
With our vision, we assess the situation to get the solution.
God gives you a vision to address a particular need. While you can see the vision fully completed in the future, the present reveals the work needed to make your vision a reality; the reality looks far different than the future! This tension between ‘what can be’ and’ is’ can seem daunting. Yet it is easier to execute with an accurate assessment and break it up into manageable goals and tasks. Remember, God will equip you through the process as you rely on Him!
I have found that people fall into two categories when it comes to vision: Dreamers and Doers. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses.
Dreamers have the God-size vision, which is always exciting to hear! You’re ready to join them in their pursuit as they passionately describe the big picture. “Without vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). What’s the problem then? If the vision is only talked about, it remains a dream – it goes nowhere. There’s nothing wrong with a great idea, but action needs to be taken to see the vision come alive.
Doers are ready to go and work hard. They are the blood, sweat, and tears that make things happen. The problem is that doers can get so focused on what is in front of them that they cannot see the big picture. Better yet, they rush into an idea without proper planning and create problems that could have been prevented. “Even zeal is no good without knowledge, and he who hurries his footsteps misses the mark” (Proverbs 19:2).
Here’s what is exceptional about Nehemiah: He balances both qualities of a dreamer and a doer. Nehemiah doesn’t ‘keep his heads in the clouds’ and only talks a ‘big game.’ He also doesn’t operate in haste and create problems. Nehemiah takes the vision that God has given him and sees the extent of the damage so he can find the solution.
Let’s look at our own life and assess where we are with the Lord.
Proverbs 25:28 says, “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.”
How fitting that we discuss Nehemiah’s building of the wall, and now we look at the ‘walls’ in our own lives. Walls are put up for defense – to protect what is inside the walls and keep the intruders on the outside. If there are ‘broken pieces’ of the wall, the enemy can easily sneak in without permission and cause harm.
This assessment is a call for honest self-reflection.
While it’s easy to look outward towards the grand plans God has for you, He also has a vision for you to have the character of Christ. As you assess your life, it could be to repair those areas where walls have been broken down; these are the parts of your life meant to protect you. Fear, insecurity, lack of vulnerability – you know what that is for you. Bitterness, a grumbling heart, addicted to the world’s cravings – God wants to remove these broken-down places and start building a defense so that the enemy cannot enter and cause havoc.
I encourage you to take time this week to reflect and seek out the broken walls in your life. Invite the Holy Spirit to search your soul and reveal what you can do to repair those gaps in the wall. The Lord wants to make you healthy and whole, which begins with a strong defense against the enemy! May you be blessed as you spend time praying for what our great God has for you.
God bless you in Jesus’ Name,