The Discipline Of Vision
For any vision to be fulfilled, it requires some certain character attributes. It requires constant dedication and self-discipline. In Nehemiah 2:1-11, Nehemiah had the vision to rebuild the wall of Judah and help in reordering the peoples economic and social lives. Nehemiah was in high position of a cup bearer to the King and he saw an opportunity to use his closeness to the king to ask to be appointed the governor of Judah with the authority and resources to rebuild the city wall. He was a man of great skill and daring. He went about surveying the work that needed to be done, assembled the work force, divided the walls into sections and supervised the building process. During this time, he faced several oppositions, mockery, armed raids, blackmail and so on. A prophet was even hired to foretell his death. However, Nehemiah focused on his vision of rebuilding the wall and ignored all plans to thwart his goals. Eventually, the project was completed in a record time of 52 days. Nehemiah at each stage demonstrated five of the attributes that we can learn from that helped him in fulfilling his vision.
1) Courage: Nehemiah was a man of courage, who risked asking the King for a favour which could have cost him his life or position. In fulfilling any assigned vision, we need courage to face our fears, overcome our limitations and move forward. Winston Churchill once said that success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts. Strength and courage is sometimes gained through every experience we go through and could be a valuable resource in ultimately helping us fulfil our visions.
2) Planning: Nehemiah was a planner, he understood what needed to be done and allocated resources appropriately. Planning is a key step towards actually realising our dreams and provides the foundation for future success. As mentioned by Alan Lakein, by failing to plan you are also planning to fail. It is a demonstration of our faith in God and an expression of His nature. God is a God of order and processes, this can be seen in His order of creation in Gen 1.
3) Implementation: Having a vision and planning will not bring it to reality, you need to implement, you need to get started, start from somewhere and do something. Chances are that you may not get it right the first time, but put in the hard work, make changes where required, be determined and learn from any failure.
4)Strong Determination: You need to be determined to succeed, opposition, discouragement will always come on your path to success. They are distractions that must be dealt with as they are. Nehemiah faced opposition from Samballat and Tobiah, but he did not let that deter him, he came up with strategies to guard himself and his team from their opposition and forged ahead. A dream or vision does not just come to reality on his own, it takes hard work and determination to make it succeed.
5)Gratefulness: In Nehemiah 9:6, the people came together to bless the Lord and express their gracefulness. We must at all times be thankful to God for ever thing we achieve whether we think it works well or not. God is the only one who sees the big picture. In 1 These 5:18, we are encouraged to always give thanks to God for that is His will for us. A graceful heart and a praying mind will always connect to the heart of the father from where we draw strength and wisdom to fulfil our visions and dreams.
As believers, we need to find courage and strength through our fellowship with God to move forward to accomplish what God has started in our lives.
Ask God to “grant you the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, courage to change the things you can and wisdom to know the difference”. Don’t give up, only focussed and determined people win at the end of the day.