Has someone ever shared a dream that you instantly connected with?
A friend of mine has been working for years with a team to create a game that teachers can use in their classrooms to help students better learn music. She sees this as an opportunity to change the way that games and learning intersect. The research in this field is fascinating and is something my friend is immensely passionate about.
One day, while she was sharing all of this with me, my heart began to race and my eyes grew as wide as saucers. Both she and I could see some of the far-reaching ramifications of a project like this and how our educational system could begin to change. My friend and her team have longterm plans and goals that are lofty and impossible and could positively impact many. And I wanted to buy in right then and there.
Another friend of mine wants to start a coffee shop. She spent one evening telling me all about her desire to intentionally create a safe space for healthy conversations to be had and creativity to flourish and, of course, serve some amazing coffee. And, even though any sort of investment into the service industry is risky, I’m completely in. I connected with her vision, passion, and could feel the Holy Spirit all over that idea. Has this ever happened to you before?
What’s the last vision you connected with? Why did you connect with it?
Nehemiah knew the power of sharing a vision. He wasn’t afraid to tell the right leaders about his mission at the right time.
“Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work.” Nehemiah 2:17-18 (ESV)
First, Nehemiah needed to clearly state the vision to others. He didn’t shrink away from it, ashamed of the call that he felt was on his life. Nor did he shove his dream down the throats of others or guilt trip them into listening to him. Instead, he intentionally and plainly spoke to them. There was no manipulating, pleading, or begging. He trusted God enough to know that he would bring the right people at the right time.
Rarely (if ever), do people accomplish things on their own. There are benefactors like the King and the governors who provided for Nehemiah. Some people are like the Jewish officials who caught and supported the vision. Others are like those who built the wall alongside Nehemiah (we’ll talk about them a lot in the coming weeks). And there’s always at least one person like Nehemiah who’s willing to cast the vision and gather the resources and people to run with it. Each group has a special set of skills and fill an important position for fulfilling the mission.
Whenever I read these verses in Nehemiah, I think of Habakkuk 2:2 which says:
““Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.””
When was the last time you made a vision plain for others to run with it?
Now, we’re not all leaders of thousands or millions, but we’re all influential and we all have been entrusted with some sort of vision. Maybe it’s the type of family you’re raising or want to raise, the mission of the small group you’re leading, or the purpose of the blog, book, screenplay, or article you’re writing. No matter where you are or what stage of life you’re in, I suspect that there’s a vision you’ve been entrusted with. And it’s our responsibility to steward those visions well.
Do you have a vision for your life, ministry, business or community?
How can you share your God-given vision with others today?