ᅧ Visioneering: Your Guide for Discovering and Maintaining Personal Vision free download Visioneering: Your Guide for Discovering and Maintaining Personal Vision ᇍ Author Andy Stanley ሀ

ᅧ Visioneering: Your Guide for Discovering and Maintaining Personal Vision free download Visioneering: Your Guide for Discovering and Maintaining Personal Vision ᇍ Author Andy Stanley ሀ ᅧ Visioneering: Your Guide for Discovering and Maintaining Personal Vision free download Visioneering: Your Guide for Discovering and Maintaining Personal Vision ᇍ Author Andy Stanley ሀ Andy Stanley is a pastor, communicator, author, and the founder of North Point Ministries NPM Since its inception in 1995, North Point Ministries has grown from one church to five in the Atlanta area and has developed a global network of than 30 churches Each Sunday, than 33,000 people attend worship services at NPM s five Atlanta area churches Browns Bridge Community Church, Buckhead Church, Gwinnett Church, North Point Community Church, and Watermarke Church Andy s books include the recently released Deep Wide, as well as Enemies of the Heart, The Grace of God, The Next Generation Leader, and How Good Is Good Enough Andy and his wife, Sandra, live in Alpharetta, Georgia, and have three children.INTRODUCTION Visioneering A new word An old concept A familiar process Where definitions fall short, a story often achieves clarity So lets begin with a story On December 17, 1903, at 10 35 a.m., Orville Wright secured his place in history by executing the first powered and sustained flight from level ground For twelve gravity defying seconds he flew 120 feet along the dunes of the Outer Banks of North Carolina In the field of aviation, this historic event represents a beginning But for Orville and Wilbur Wright, it was the end of a long and tedious journey A journey initiated by a dream common to every little boy The desire to fly But what most children abandon to the domain of fantasy, Orville and Wilbur Wright seized upon as potential reality They believed they could fly More than that, they believed they should fly Wilbur described the birth of their vision this way Our personal interest in it aviation dates from our childhood days Late in the autumn of 1878, our father came into the house one evening with some object partly concealed in his hands, and before we could see what it was, he tossed it into the air Instead of falling to the floor, as we expected, it flew across the room till it struck the ceiling, where it fluttered awhile, and finally sank to the floor It was a little toy, known to scientists as a hlicoptre,but which we, with sublime disregard for science, at once dubbed a bat It was a light frame of cork and bamboo, covered with paper, which formed two screws, driven in opposite directions by rubber bands under torsion A toy so delicate lasted only a short time in the hands of small boys, but its memory was abiding This childhood experience sparked in the boys an insatiable desire to fly The only thing they lacked was a means So they immediately went to work removing the obstacles that stood between them and their dream They began building their own hlicoptres In doing so, they stumbled upon the principles of physics that would pave the way to their first successful manned flight In short, they began to engineer their vision They took the necessary steps to ensure that what they believed could be, would be This process captures the essence of visioneering Visioneering is the course one follows to make dreams a reality It is the process whereby ideas and convictions take on substance As the story of the Wright brothers illustrates, visioneering is the engineering of a vision If I were to boil it down to a formula, it would look something like this VISIONEERING INSPIRATION CONVICTION ACTION DETERMINATION COMPLETION Destinations Life is a journey And as you know, every journey has a destination In the pages that follow, we are going to spend some time discussing your destination Not heaven and hell Your destination in this life Where you will end up in the various roles you play what you will accomplish personally, professionally, domestically, and spiritually Everybody ends up somewhere in life A few people end up somewhere on purpose Those are the ones with vision They may have other things going for them as well But they certainly have vision Not necessarily avision singular Vision for each of the key roles they are assigned along the way Life is a multifaceted journey It calls for a multifaceted vision Whether you are aware of it or not, you have multiple visions for your life That is, you have a mental picture of what you want the various arenas of your life to look like down the road If I were to ask you to describe how you picture your life in ten years, chances are you could paint a fairly clear picture No doubt you could outline a financial profile You could describe what you hope to achieve relationally You have some idea of where you want to be professionally In other words, you would be able to look beyond what is and paint a picture of what could beand in some cases what should betrue of your life Thats vision A clearvision, along with the courage to follow through, dramatically increases your chances of coming to the end of your life, looking back with a deep abiding satisfaction, and thinking, I did it I succeeded I finished well My life counted. Without a clear vision, odds are you will come to the end of your life and wonder Wonder what you could have donewhat you should have done And like so many, you may wonder if your life really mattered at all Vision gives significance to the otherwise meaningless details of our lives And lets face it, much of what we do doesnt appear to matter much when evaluated apart from some larger context or purpose But take the minutia of this very day, drop it into the cauldron of a God ordained vision, stir them around, and suddenly there is purpose Meaning Adrenaline It is the difference between filling bags with dirt and building a dike in order to save a town Theres nothing glamorous or fulfilling about filling bags with dirt But saving a city is another thing altogether Building a dike gives meaning to the chore of filling bags with dirt And so it is with vision Too many times the routines of life begin to feel like shoveling dirt But take those same routines, those same responsibilities, and view them through the lens of vision and everything looks different Vision brings your world into focus Vision brings order to chaos A clear vision enables you to see everything differently Specifically, vision weaves four things into the fabric of our daily experience 1 Passion Vision evokes emotion There is no such thing as an emotionless vision Think about your daydreams The thing that makes daydreaming so enjoyable is the emotion that piggybacks on those minds eye images When we allow our thoughts to wander outside the walls of reality, our feelings are quick to follow A clear, focused vision actually allows us to experience ahead of time the emotions associated with our anticipated future These emotions serve to reinforce our commitment to the vision They provide a sneak preview of things to come Even the most lifeless, meaningless task or routine can begin to feel good when it is attached to a vision Through the avenue of vision, the feelings reserved for tomorrow are channeled back into our present reality When I was in high school I never dated anybody who lived on my side of town Our church was located in the middle of Atlanta Consequently, we drew families from all around the city Being the preachers son, my primary realm of influence and acceptance was church So I dated church girls Unfortunately, none of the girls I was interested in lived near Tucker They lived thirty or forty miles away So I would put up with the traffic, the gas bills, and even leaving their houses early enough to be home by curfew Why It was worth it On Friday afternoon, the thought of being across town elicited in my teenage heart emotions that were strong enough to make the headache and expense of driving across town worth it Thats vision I was committed to what could be being on the other side of Atlanta as opposed to what was sitting at home in Tucker Lets face it, you did similar things as a teenager Thoughts of what could and should beand the emotions associated with those thoughtsdrove you to all kinds of extremes Some of which you probably regret But think about how powerful, how compelling, those thoughts and feelings were The emotions associated with being there wherever therewas were enough to motivate you through the drudgery of getting there Vision is always accompanied by strong emotion And the clearer the vision, the stronger the emotion 2 Motivation Vision provides motivation The mundane begins to matter The details, chores, and routines of life become a worthwhile means to a planned for end Dike builders are a motivated bunch Saving a town is enough to keep you working through the night But just filling bags with dirt for the sake of bag filling will leave you looking at your watch Vision driven people are motivated people Find me a man or woman who lacks motivation and Ill show you someone with little or no vision Ideas, yes Dreams, maybe Vision, not a chance Vision is a big part of the reason you completed college or graduate school A lack of vision is the reason many never finish Think of all the seemingly wasted hours of study and class time Even then you knew that much of what you were memorizing for tests was a waste of time and effort But you did it Why Because of what could be A degree And beyond a degree, a career For four or in my case, five long years you endured science labs, European history, research papers, and lectures And you hung in there through it all motivated by the thought of graduation and the rewards it would bring That is the power of vision 3 Direction Maybe the most practical advantage of vision is it sets a direction for our lives It serves as a road map In this way, vision simplifies decision making Anything that moves us toward the realization of our vision gets a green light Everything else is approached with caution I have loved music all my life God has blessed me with a measure of musical talent I played in bands through high school and college I have written a couple dozen songs Like most serious musicians, I accumulated quite a collection of gear recording equipment, guitars, keyboards, drum machines, and several miles of cable Through the years it became an expensive and time consuming hobby When Sandra and I were married, she allowed me the luxury of setting up a small studio in the basement of our condominium In that environment time stood still It was not unusual for me to retreat to my studio after dinner and emerge just in time for breakfast Four years after we were married, Andrew came along Twenty months later, Garrett was born As Andrew began to look less like a baby and like a little boy, I started to give serious thought to my relationship with my children I began focusing on what could be and what should be Having spent ten years working with teenagers, I had a frighteningly clear picture of what could be and what should not be So, a few months before Garrett was born I made a decision It was one of the easiest decisions I have ever made But it came as a shock to those who knew my love for music I decided to sell my studio gear Why I could see a storm brewing on the horizon I knew I would be torn between my family and the studio Something had to go My vision for my family dictated that I put musical pursuits on hold There was no way I would be able to develop the relationship I envisioned with my children while pursuing my musical aspirations Vision will prioritize your values A clear vision has the power to bring whats most important to the surface of your schedule and lifestyle A clear vision makes it easy to weed out of your life those things that stand in the way of achieving what matters most Vision empowers you to move purposefully in a predetermined direction Once you have clarified your vision, or visions, many decisions are already made Without vision, good things will hinder you from achieving the best things My observation is that people without clear vision are easily distracted They have a tendency to drift from one activity, pleasure, or relationship to another Without vision, there is no relational, financial, or moral compass Consequently, they often make foolish decisions Decisions that rob them of their dreams 4 Purpose Vision translates into purpose A vision gives you a reason to get up in the morning If you dont show up, something important wont be accomplished Suddenly, you matter You matter a lot Without you, what could bewhat should bewont be A vision makes you an important link between current reality and the future That dynamic gives your life purpose And purpose carries with it the momentum to move you through the barriers that would otherwise slow you down and trip you up Your set of visions are unique to you No one else will share your particular passions for what could be Others may applaud them They may buy into the aspects of your vision that interface with their life And they may work with you in the areas where you share a common vision But your vision set is unique to you This uniqueness gives your life purpose You have a reason for getting up and showing up The Divine Element Granted, you have probably heard or read this type of stuff before Self help books are full of this kind of hype We have all read something about goal setting If you believeyou can achieve You know the drill But here is where we part ways with the secular motivational gurus of our culture The average person has the right to dream his own dreams and develop his own picture of what his future could and should be But at the Cross, those of us who have sworn allegiance to the Savior lost that right After all, we are not our own We have been bought with a price Remember the rest We are to glorifyor honorGod with our bodies 1 Corinthians 6 1920 Honoring God involves discovering his picture or vision of what our lives could and should be Glorifying God involves discovering what we could and should accomplish We were created and re created with his purposes in mind And until we discover his purposeand follow throughthere will always be a hole in our soul With that in mind, rethink the implications of this familiar verse For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them Ephesians 2 10 Dont let this slip by You are his workmanship Say it out loud I am Gods workmanship Do you know what that means It means you are the product of Gods vision God has decided what you could be and should be You are the outcome of something God envisioned And through Christ he has brought about, and continues to bring about, changes in you in accordance with his picture of what you could and should be But his vision for you is not complete You have a part Look at the next phrase We have been envisioned and then crafted for a particular purpose And that purpose is to do good works which God has envisioned us doing God has a vision for your life That is, he has a mental image of what you could and should be as well as what you could and should do In an earlier book, Like a Rock,I focused on his vision of what you could and should become In this book, we are going to focus on what he wants you to accomplish Honestly, I cant get over the fact that the God of the universe has something in mind for us to do After all, doesnt he have other things to think about But the apostle Paul assures us that God has prepared something specific for us to do More to This Life All that to say, as Christians, we do not have a right to take our talents, abilities, experiences, opportunities, and education and run off in any direction we please We lost that right at Calvary But then, why would we dream of such a thing God has a vision for your life What could possibly be fulfilling than that At the same time, we have no right to live visionless lives either Think about itif God has a vision for what you are to do with your allotment of years, you had better get in on it What a tragedy to miss it Missing out on Gods plan for our lives must be the greatest tragedy this side of eternity Granted, this world offers a truckload of options when it comes to possible visions to pursue But you were tailor made, carefully crafted, minutely detailed for a selected divine agenda It is what you were created and re created for Gods visions for your life are thethings that will give your life impact beyond this life For, as we will see, Gods visions always have an eternal element His individual vision for your life is a small part of a plan he envisioned and put in motion long before you or I came on the scenebut now Im jumping ahead Without Gods vision, you may find yourself in the all too common position of looking back on a life that was given to accumulating green pieces of paper with pictures of dead presidents on them Granted, that is a vision Maybe that has been your vision up until now And you may have been vastly successful at the accumulation game But lets face it, at each milestone in your pursuit of stuff, you feel like you did as a kid after all the presents were opened on Christmas morning Is that all there is Chances are, the memories of your successes elicit little or no passion They are just memories After all, a closing is a closing A sale is a sale A deal is a deal Accumulating money or stuff is a vision of sorts But it is the kind of vision that leaves men and women wondering Wondering if there was Wondering what they could have doneshould have donewith their brief stay on this little ball of dirt You cannot wring enough life or meaning out of secular accomplishment to satisfy your soul The hole you are trying to fill has an eternal and spiritual dimension that only matters of eternity and spirituality can satisfy This is why it is imperative that you discover and participate in Gods multifaceted vision for your life It is what you were made for Your homespun visionsas challenging and demanding as they may befall short They will always leave you wondering We serve an intensely creative God We talk about the fact that no two snowflakes are alikebut God has never made two of anything alike Gods vision for you does not include pressing you into someone elses mold He is not in the business of conforming us to the image of other Christians Your uniqueness and individuality will reach its pinnacle in the context of your pursuit of Gods plan for your life Man made visions all begin to look alike after a while Unless you discover Gods unique vision for your future, your life may very well be a rerun _ _ _ In the pages that follow, you will encounter several features that will assist you in establishing or clarifying Gods vision for your life First, be aware of Building Blocks, which are concise, big picture markers to remind you of key aspects of visioneering a complete list of the Building Blocks is on pages 1718 At the end of each chapter is a section entitled Visioneering Your Life These exercises will give you a concrete understanding of your vision and how to see it activated in your life Here is where you can start laying down the details of a plan that will insure activation of your vision Finally, at the end of the book is a small group discussion guide A great way to actually do visioneering is to complement the process in community A small group will help you sharpen your vision and provide accountability as you pursue Gods plan for your life Having said all that, lets begin Our study will center around the life and vision of Nehemiah Several things make his story particularly relevant to our modern day situation The one I find most encouraging is that there are no overt miracles associated with his story This is a tale of hard work, prayer, and behind the scenes divine intervention Nothing out of the ordinary here Lets face it, if we could heal at will, part the Red Sea with the flick of a wrist, or walk on water, it would make the process of accomplishing our goals much simpler We are tempted to look with suspicion at the Old and New Testament heroes who had a supernatural ace up their sleeves But not Nehemiah He was just a regular guy who caught a divine glimpse of what could and should be And then went after it with all his heart C H A P T E R O N E A VISION IS BORN The soul never thinks without a picture. AR I S T O T L E What is a vision Where does a vision come from Vision is born in the soul of a man or woman who is consumed with the tension between what is and what could be Anyone who is emotionally involvedfrustrated, brokenhearted, maybe even angry about the way things are in light of the way they believe things could be, is a candidate for a vision Visions form in the hearts of those who are dissatisfied with the status quo Vision often begins with the inability to accept things the way they are Over time that dissatisfaction matures into a clear picture of what could be.But a vision is than that After all, what could beis an idea, a dream, but not necessarily a vision There is always amoral element to vision Vision carries with it a sense of conviction Anyone with a vision will tell you this is not merely something that couldbe done This is something that shouldbe done This is something that must happen It is this element that catapults men and women out of the realm of passive concern and into action It is the moral element that gives a vision a sense of urgency Vision is a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be Vision is a preferred future A destination Vision always stands in contrast to the world as it is Vision demands change It implies movement But a vision requires someone to champion the cause For a vision to become a reality, someone must put his or her neck on the line Vision requires visionaries, people who have allowed their minds and hearts to wander outside the artificial boundaries imposed by the world as it is A vision requires an individual who has the courage to act on an idea And that brings us to our story Once upon a Time Around 587 BC, the Babylonians invaded Judah and destroyed the city of Jerusalem, along with Solomons temple This was the third of three campaigns into that region On all three occasions the Babylonians took a number of Israelites as captives and resettled them in Babylon Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were taken during the first invasion About seventy years after the first Babylonian invasion, Cyrus, king of Persia who had since conquered the Babylonians , 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 God had judged their ancestors for in the days of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar 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 fellow named Nehemiah heard about the plight of his homelandand he felt something In fact, what he felt, he felt so deeply that he wept And as we will see later, Nehemiah was not the sort of man who wept at the drop of a hat He wasnt weak And he certainly wasnt emotionally unstable But he was burdened And his burden drove him to a prolonged period of prayer and fasting Nehemiah 1 4 Little did he know these deep feelings were the initial birth pains of a vision that people would be reading about thousands of years later The point is, Nehemiahs vision didnt begin as a vision It began as a concern, a burden A burden for his nation and its people Building Block 1 A vision begins as a concern A God ordained vision will begin as a concern You will hear or see something that gets your attention A thought related to the future will generate an emotion Something will bother you about the way things are or the way things are headed Unlike many passing concerns, these will stick with you You will find yourself thinking about them in your free time You may lose sleep over them You wont be able to let them go because they wont let you go In fact, for anyone trying to clarify the right vision to pursue, a good question to ask is simply this What breaks my heart Most social reform movements that have made a positive impact in the world began with a broken hearted leader I think of Dr Martin Luther King Jr and his heart for the oppressed in black America Every significant nonprofit organization that has positively impacted this world began with a brokenhearted leader I think of the young man Bob Pierce in China, where an impoverished woman showed him an abandoned child and asked, What are you going to do Bob Pierce, heartsick, gave this woman his last five dollars, and agreed to provide the same amount every month so the woman could care for the child He then went on to found World Vision so the same kind of help could be offered to needy children around the globe Nehemiahs concern over the condition of Jerusalem consumed him It broke his heart Thoughts of what wasas opposed to what could bebrought tears to his eyes It changed his countenance Everyone who knew him was aware that something was bothering Nehemiah This was not a casual concern This was a vision in the making So what did he do Nothing He didabsolutely nothing He didnt steal away across the desert in the night He didnt fabricate a reason to leave Persia He didnt even share his burden with other concerned Jews But neither did he allow his daily responsibilities to distract him from the burden that had gripped his heart No, Nehemiah chose the third and most difficult option He chose to wait Nehemiah knew what so many of us have a hard time remembering What could be and should be cant be until God is ready for it to be So he waited Why Wait Why is this the case Why cant we just plunge ahead Developing or discovering a vision for a particular area of our lives takes time Visioneering is a process Sometimes it is a painful process Because of the time required, it can be agonizing But it is a process that yields a product worth every bit of the agony along the way Revving our vision engines at the starting line feels like a waste of time After all, there are things to be done People to rescue Organizations to begin What is the use of waiting This sense of time is awasting is the very thing that compels people To move out too soon The assumption is, since we arent moving on, nothings going on But that is not the case at all Three important things are taking place while we wait 1 The vision matures in us. Not every good idea is vision material But every vision begins as an idea Not all burdens are vision material But every vision begins as a burden Time allows us to distinguish between good ideas and visions worth throwing the weight of our life behind Waiting gives us a chance to examine our emotions and sort our minor concerns from major ones After all, if what concerned you yesterday is of little concern today, odds are that was not vision material I will give you several tips on distinguishing good ideas from God ideas at the end of this chapter Just as you cannot rush the development of a child in the womb, so we cannot rush the development of a vision God determines the schedule for both Acting too quickly on a vision is like delivering a baby prematurely They are always weak And in some cases a preemie cannot survive the rigors of life outside the womb So it is with a vision Immature visions are weak They rarely make it in the real world The world is hard on a vision After all, a vision is about change And change is not welcomed in most arenas of life For a vision to survive, it must be mature and healthy before being exposed to the cynical, critical, stubborn environment in which it is expected to survive And maturity requires time As a college student, I had two friends who felt called to career missions Chip felt the call during a missions conference in our church For David, it was a sequence of events that tipped him off as to Gods call on his life Knowing these guys as well as I did, Im sure that if they had had the opportunity to sign up and ship out on the day they sensed Gods call on their lives, they would have both headed for the airport Fortunately, the system didnt work that way During the process of finishing college, Chip slowly began to lose interest After college he got married and took a job in another city His explanation I thought thats what God was calling me to do at the time I realize now Im to be a missionary in the corporate world Of course, that just sounded like a good excuse at the time But Chip followed through with that vision and became active in his local church and effective in the ministry of lifestyle evangelism David, on the other hand, went to the Philippines, where he and his wife, Kathy, planted churches Lets face it, a good motivational speaker can cast such a compelling vision that before you know it you feel like it is your own And in some cases, it may become your own Time will tell With time, you will be able to distinguish between Gods ideas for you and other peoples ideas As we wait, God will shape and mature ideas into visions that can survive in the real world 2 We mature in preparation for the vision. Not only does our vision mature, we mature as well Often, we are not ready to move out in pursuit of a vision The tendency is to assume that since I know what I am to do, Im ready to do it But the two dont always coincide God has to grow us into our vision Like a child trying on her mommys wedding dress, it doesnt fityet But in time, after some growing up, it will look like it was made for her If you saw The Empire Strikes Back,you remember the scene in which Luke wants to go rescue his friends before he has finished his Jedi Knight training Yoda begs him to wait Luke, you must complete the training But Luke has seen the future, and he knows his friends lives are in danger I cant keep the vision out of my head They are my friends I must help them Yoda finally issues a dire warning, If you leave now, help them you could, but you will destroy all for which they have fought and suffered But Luke is determined to go He is so locked in on what could and should be that he feels compelled to leave immediately So he does And do you remember what happened Everything worked out great But back in this galaxy, action before preparation usually spells disaster In the case of a divinely ordered vision God goes to work in you to prepare you for what he knows lies ahead Like Luke, the need often seems so urgent it seems foolish to wait But God is sovereign Keep that in mind Your vision is simply an extension of his vision And his timing is perfect The apostle Paul said it this way For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure Philippians 2 13 He is working in you to prepare you to act on his purposes And I think we can assume his purposes are in accordance with his timetable Maybe thats why he inspired the apostle to write the next phrase Do all things without grumbling or disputing verse 14 I assume all thingsincludes waiting on him Dont you hate that The complaint most associated with the process of visioneering is Gods timing Once the vision is clear we assume we are ready Otherwise, why would he have given us the vision in the first place My guess is that without a vision, our willingness to allow God to prepare us would be greatly diminished Who would suffer the headache of college or graduate school without the vision of job opportunities Your vision will enable you to endure the preparation Vision always precedes preparation Initially, your vision will exceed your competency Within the context of that tension, God will go to work on you Good Idea Bad Timing Remember Moses Poor guy He had the right idea, but his timing and methods were terrible His vision was to free his people from Egyptian slavery And that was a God thing if there ever was one So what did Moses do He went to work He killed an Egyptian Now I dont know if he actually sat down and calculated how long it would take to deliver Israel by killing one Egyptian at a time But at best, it would have taken several lifetimes So what did God do He sent him to the University of Sinai This was not a four year study program He was a freshman for ten years His sopho, junior, and senior experiences were equally as long And there were no spring breaks It took Moses forty years to grow into the vision God had designed for him Forty years Meanwhile, back in Egypt, another generation or two dies at the hands of Egyptian taskmasters What was God thinking Didnt he know the urgency of the matter Israel didnt have forty years to wait Why give a man a vision and then send him to the desert We could spend pages speculating as to why God does the things he does Suffice it to say, that is the way he works He did the same thing with the apostle Paul He told him specifically that he would be used to reach the Gentiles Acts 9 1516 And then he sent Paul to the desert as well Galatians 1 1718 So whats the deal with the desert I dont know But I do know the time between catching a glimpse of what God wants to do through us and the time when we are led to move out often feels like a desert experience The desert always feels like a complete waste of time It is only when we are able to look back that our desert experiences make sense Our Hero Nehemiah, on the other hand, got off pretty easy by comparison By his account, he only had to wait four months before the wheels started turning But he had to wait nonetheless As the story unfolds, it becomes evident his service to the king of Persia was in fact his desert experience For this was a man with immense leadership ability who awoke every day to do a job that tapped little or none of those skills Can you relate Do you wake up every day to circumstances that have absolutely nothing remotely to do with the vision you sense God is developing in you Then you are in good company Joseph reviewed his vision from an Egyptian dungeon Moses spent years following sheep David, the teenage king, spent years hiding in caves And Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the very king whose ancestors had destroyed the city he longed to rebuild Be encouraged God has you there for a reason I dont know your situation But from what I read in the Scriptures, I would guess the time required for God to grow you into his vision for your life will be somewhere between four months and forty years And if you feel you are on the forty year track, heres one other bit of information you might want to chew on There seems to be a correlation between the preparation time and the magnitude of the task to which we are called Leading Gods people out of four hundred years of slavery required than a four year degree It required forty years of preparation But then again, we are still talking about it today 3 God is at work behind the scenes preparing the way. There is a third important process taking place between the birth of a vision and our pursuit of it In the case of a divinely ordered vision, God is working behind the scenes to prepare the way This is why it is so important that we wait on his timing Remember, your personal vision is only one small piece of the puzzle Ultimately, we are taking part in a massive assault that began one dark afternoon on a hill just outside of Jerusalem Gods vision for your life is much bigger than you Apart from his intervention and preparation, you and I are incapable of pulling off even our small part of the operation We dare not move ahead too early Nehemiah certainly knew how this worked And he knew that apart from divine intervention there was no way in the world he would be able to take part in the reconstruction of Jerusalem So he bided his time and prayed Oh yeah, and he did one other thing He thought about it a lot He dreamed about it In fact, as we will see in the next chapter, he went so far as to think through exactly what it would take to pull off a project of that magnitude And unbeknownst to him, God was working behind the scenes the whole time B U I L D I N G B LO C K 2 A vision does not necessarily require immediate action I talk to a lot of people with a lot of good ideas In many instances I sense God is in the process of birthing a vision in their hearts In almost every case, they are ready to start now Once they feel their idea is from God, they assume all systems are go and they need to quit their jobs, step out on faith, and begin But the story of Nehemiah, along with numerous other biblical accounts, illustrates the truth that a clear vision does not necessarily indicate a green light to begin In fact, I have witnessed a good many people with what seemed to be God ordained visions charge out of the starting gates too early And the result is always the same Failure Discouragement Disillusionment A vision rarely requires immediate action It always requires patience Authenticating Your Vision One of the most difficult aspects of visioneering is distinguishing between good ideas and God ideas We all have good ideas Everybody is concerned or burdened about something But how do you know which ideas to act on Certainly Nehemiah was not the only Jew whose heart was broken over the condition of Jerusalem How did he know he was the one to do something about it As a pastor I have counseled with dozens of men and women who were in the process of determining the source of a concern or burden they carried I have watched many of them successfully launch and maintain what appear to be visions forged in heaven While developing the material for this book I interviewed several Christian men and women who have visioneered ideas into successful enterprises You will be introduced to several of them in the course of our time together These encounters have led me to conclude two things concerning the distinction between good ideas and God ideas 1 A God ordained vision will eventually feel like a moral imperative. If it is God who has begun painting a picture of what could and should be on the canvas of your heart, over time you will begin to sense that not to follow through would be tantamount to an act of disobedience Your vision will begin to feel like amoral imperative As the burden in you grows, you will feel compelled to take action This is why waiting is so important Time allows your heavenly Father to transition what begins as an idea into a moral compulsion The vision simply will not go away Your only alternative to following through will be to say, No No, Im not going to move in that direction Im not going to pick up this burden and act on it 2 A God ordained vision will be in line with what God is up to in the world. A second indicator is that there will always be alignment between a divinely originated vision and Gods master plan for this age There will always be a correlation between what God has put in an individuals heart to do and what he is up to in the world at large As we said at the outset, at Calvary we lost our right to devise our own plans and pursue our own agendas Like a good father, our heavenly Father has a vision for each of his children, a vision that lends support to his work in this world All divinely inspired visions are in some way tied into Gods master plan Whether it is loving your wife, investing in your kids, witnessing to your neighbor, launching a ministry, or starting a company, every divinely placed burden has a link to a bigger picture As a believer, there is a larger, encompassing context for everything you do It was Israels strategic role in Gods plan that made Nehemiahs vision so compelling As we will see, it wasnt the condition of the walls that broke his heart It was the spiritual condition of his people If the idea or burden you are mulling over is from God, there will be an overt connection between it and Gods providential will It will become apparent how the thing you feel compelled to do connects with what God is up to in this generation Initially, you may not see a connection If not, wait Your Part There are several productive things you can do while you wait To begin with, investigate In chapter 6 we will explore the importance of investigation in detail In the meantime, ask some questions Talk to people who have pursued similar visions Read Observe Learn everything you can Investigation will accomplish one of three things It will confirm the divine origin of your vision, give further definition and focus to the vision, or tip you off that you were mistaken about the vision altogether In chapter 2 we will discover what Nehemiah did while he waited Remember, with a vision, timing is critical Waiting does not reflect a lack of faith Usually it is evidence of wisdom VISIONEERINGYOUR LIFE 1 1 You have multiple visions for your life Some are clearer than others To begin clarifying what you believe your future should hold, write a one sentence summary of how you believe life ought to be in the following areas In other words, describe your preferred future Career Finances Spouse Children Ministry ___________________ 2 Visions are often born in the soul of a man or woman who is gripped by a tension between what is and what should be Are you gripped by a particular tension If so, take a minute to describe your dilemma Whats bothering you What is the solution What should be 3 Have any of your burdens begun to feel like a moral imperative 4 Do you see a connection between your various visions and what God is up to in this world Describe the connection How does your picture of a preferred future support Gods providential will Davos jargon A crime against the English language BBC News The annual World Economic Forum takes place amid freezing temperatures in snowy Davos, but inside myriad meeting rooms and conference halls, there s than a little hot air Some of this is Five Things God Uses to Grow Your Faith, DVD Andy Stanley Five Faith by an exciting small group bible study that establishes biblical case for five things uses grow unshakable faith you Imagine how different your outlook on life would be if had absolute confidence was with News InterWest Portfolio Companies Past, Present Future Leaders InterWest proud privileged partner visionary management teams who are shaping future Information Technology Healthcare Your Best Year Ever new book Michael Hyatt holds secret achieving greatest goals It Hyatt proven step plan finding clarity, courage, sustained commitment need make best year ever Trucks Sale at NextTruck Buy Sell New Used Semi Trucks For Lease Search Trucks, Trailers, Parts, Accessory classifieds updated daily dealers private sellers Omar Balkissoon Chairman Board Co Founder OGSystems OGS native DC Metro area, Mr career support our national security began early age internship Naval Research LabNorth Point Studio Have questions about North Point Wondering get connected or involved We d love help No matter where many times ve visited, we re here guide toward next like show description site won t allow us The Grace Communicator, author, pastor founded Atlanta based Ministries Today, NPM consists six churches area network around globe collectively serve nearly , people weekly Starting Over What do when it all falls apart career, marriage, dream How pick up pieces begin again Andy Sermon Notes W e second part series titled Starting Over subtitle ensure time last If just started something over, company, relationship, academically, financially, whatever starting over addressing so Do Not Be Surprised Adam Eve Stanley video clip has been circulating Stanley, Community Church Georgia, wherein popular makes some rather convoluted ambiguous statements creation, Eve, infallibility Scripture, Two preaching giants betrayal tore them Nov confers his father, Charles, First Baptist Atlanta, while son, Garrett, nephew, Matthew, wait side Review Ministries Article Bible Infallible Nor Needed Reviewing sermon he preaches Christians not believe inerrancy Scripture Seven Practices Effective Ministry Lane graduate Dallas Theological Seminary founding Georgia youthful congregation author Foreword Book finalist Visioneering, bestsellers Like Rock Next Generation Leader, recent Good Is Enough Visioneering: Your Guide for Discovering and Maintaining Personal Vision


    • Visioneering: Your Guide for Discovering and Maintaining Personal Vision
    • 4.4
    • 604
    • Hardcover
    • 288 pages
    • Andy Stanley
    • English
    • 07 October 2016

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