Preface: Richard Branson started a magazine at age 16. At 20, he established a mail-order business. At 22, he opened a chain of record stores known as Virgin Records. Then he went into the airline business with Virgin Atlantic. Now he’s established a company called Virgin Galactic, which will transport tourists into space. SpaceShipTwo is due to be launched this year from its own spaceport in New Mexico. In its first year of operation, Virgin Galactic will put more people into space than have ever been there since the beginning of space travel in 1961, which is just over 500 people. That’s the power of vision. We can’t all be visionaries quite like Richard Branson, but we can all have a personal vision. And for those of us who are Christians, our vision is even more out-of-this-world than Branson’s. It’s more galactic, more heavenly, than that of any entrepreneur. It is God-given, and it is eternal in its impact.
Scripture Text: Nehemiah 2:12: I set out during the night with a few men. I had not told anyone what My God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem.
Introduction: A “vision” is what God puts in our heart for us to do. Notice how Nehemiah put it: “My God…put in my heart to do.” It’s the burden, desire, or dream that He gives us. Someone defined vision as “Hope with a blueprint.”
1. What a Personal Vision Can Do for Us
- A Personal Vision Gives Us Motivation Rather Than Apathy. Why do the quarterbacks and players in the football playoffs work so hard? They are motivated by a vision of the Super Bowl.
- A Personal Vision Gives Us Discipline Rather Than Laziness. It gives us a purpose for living, a reason to get up in the morning and to keep going through the day.
- A Personal Vision Gives us Youthfulness Rather Than Obsolescence. According to Isaiah 40, Psalm 92, Joel 2:28 (quoted by Peter on the Day of Pentecost), a personal vision keeps us young. We’re never too old to have fresh vision.
2. How Do We Develop a Personal Vision? Follow Nehemiah’s example:
- Learn of a Need that Touches Your Heart (Nehemiah 1:1-4). A good example is Chuck Smith, who developed a burden for the California dropouts during the hippy years of the 1960s and 70s. His burden led to his taking in one young man, but it opened the floodgates to thousands of young people coming to the Lord and to the development of a new genre of Christian music—contemporary praise.
- Pray and Fast (Nehemiah 1:4-11).
- Think it Through (Nehemiah 2:1-16).
- Take Each Step as It Comes (Nehemiah 2:17-20).
Conclusion: Don’t worry if your vision or your task seems large or small. Just be faithful.