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.”
Nehemiah 1:1–3, NIV
We dream of doing great things for God. But dreams only become reality through a persistent commitment to a process that produces results. Without a plan that yields results, our greatest dreams remain unrealized. Artistic people seem to have no shortage of dreams. But artistic people sometimes struggle to develop and follow a strategic plan. Creating an artistic masterpiece requires a disciplined approach. Here is the process you can follow to create a missional masterpiece.
Step One: Seek God and HIS Vision
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.
For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
Nehemiah 1:4 NIV
God is at work restoring his own masterpiece in this world. He wants to inspire you to join him in his mission. The word “inspiration” literally means “breathed into.” From within, the Holy Spirit calls us and empowers us for the mission. Remember, the statistics show us that we can’t change ourselves. Only a God-given vision has a chance of success. Only God can lead you through change to action. Surrender your will to him—seek him, find him and follow him.
Nehemiah got alone with God, crying out for God to give him a vision. First, he allowed the problem at hand to become personal to him. He became so convicted that he mourned and wept. Then he sought God’s solution through prayer and fasting. We must seek the vision God has for us with every fiber of our being.
Step two: Accept the vision and define its form
Then I prayed to the God of heaven . . . “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight,
let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it.”
Nehemiah 2:4, NIV
Artists understand form. A work of art is expressed in form, whether it is dance, visual art, sculpture, or any other artistic medium. In music, form is the overarching pattern through which melodies, harmonies, and rhythms are stated and developed. So, too, a missional vision needs form to be stated and developed.
When the hand of God rests on you, he will give you a vision. Nehemiah saw the need, received God’s vision, and set out to develop a form. Nehemiah’s vision to restore his heritage took on the form of rebuilding Jerusalem. He visited Jerusalem, personally surveyed the destruction, and then formed a mental picture and a verbal description of a rebuilt city. Put your vision in written form.
Next week, join me as we look at the next two steps for leading through change! I’ll see you here. — Mark Powers