by Pastor Andy Stanley, son of Charles Stanley, uses the story of Nehemiah to explain the principles involved in identifying and pursuing your God given Definite Purpose for your life.
Excerpts from the book:
Visions are 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 involved - frustrated, 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.
...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 lose 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 more fulfilling than that?
It is important to distinguish between a worthwhile cause and a personal vision. Like many people, I contribute to and volunteer for some worthwhile causes. But they are not necessarily part of the vision God has given me for my life.
...as the authors of The Leadership Challenge put it: When relating our hopes, dreams, and successes, we are always emotionally expressive. We lean forward in our chairs, our arms move about, our eyes light up, our voices sing with emotion, and smiles appear on our faces.
A carefully crafted vision has the ability to capture people's imaginations as well as their lives and lifestyles in order to be a part of a vision they feel called to.
So be encouraged. The agony you are experiencing is normal. The loneliness you feel is to be expected. The sleepless nights when you stare up at the ceiling and think, "What have I gotten myself into?" are part of the process. All of these experiences will ultimately lead you to the conclusion, "God, if you don't come through, I'm sunk!" And that is exactly where he wants you to be - and stay. For this reason, men and women of vision are men and women of faith. And through their faith, God is honored.
We are to conduct ourselves in such a way that causes people to take notice. And upon further examination, to draw the conclusion that there is something divine about our lives. In short, we are to live inexplicable lives.
God's ultimate plan for your life reaches beyond the visions he's given you for your family, business, ministry, and finances. He has positioned you in your culture as a singular point of light. A beacon in a world that desperately needs to see something divine, something that is clearly not of this world.
The truth is, our secular pursuits have more kingdom potential than our religious ones. For it is in the realm of our secular pursuits that secular people are watching. The marketplace, the club, and the salon are the environments that so desperately need a brush with the divine. It is there that God desires to demonstrate his power through those who are willing to be used in such a way. It is in the context of these arenas that the "awe factor" is potentially the greatest.
Peace is part of the light we have been called to set out on the hill. in our secular environments. From God's perspective, the peace you maintain as you pursue your vision may be more important than the fulfillment of your vision, That is convicting to me. So often I allow the details and pressures of life to rob me of my peace and joy.
But what if my peace and joy are not merely for my benefit? What if peace and joy are the beacons God wants to use to cause those I come into contact with to pause and wonder? What if my peace and joy are the elements that make my faith authentic for someone? And what if the purpose of those dark circumstances is to give my peace and joy an opportunity to shine brighter than normal and attract more attention than in the wrinkle-free days when everything goes right?
Lift Your Vision High
Vision is a preferred future. A destination. Vision always stands in contrast to the world as it is. Visioneering, according to bestselling author Andy Stanley, is “a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be.” With warm, down-to-earth practicality, Andy Stanley explores the ordinary life of Nehemiah and his God-given vision for accomplishing the extraordinary. He shows how the life of this great ancient visionary, determined to rebuild the ruined walls of Jerusalem, reveals principles that can prepare us to find and follow God’s multifaceted vision for our own lives. Now this bestseller is again available in an attractive, affordable paperback!
Everybody ends up somewhere in life.
You can end up somewhere on purpose!
Visioneering is the engineering of a vision. It’s the process one follows to develop and maintain vision. “Vision,” writes Andy Stanley , “is a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that itshould be.”
In the bestselling Visioneering, Stanley builds a compelling case for the necessity of a clear, God-ordained vision for each of the roles of your life. Whether you’re a parent with a vision for your children or a CEO pursuing a corporate vision, Visioneering is the perfect tool to help you develop and maintain God’s unique purpose for your life.
“Visioneering is the best book on vision I’ve seen. It will put you on track to discovering God’s purpose for your life. In my course “The Vision of the Leader,” I quote from Andy’s book more than any other.Visioneering should be on the bookshelf of every pastor, business leader, and parent in America . I heartily endorse it!”
—Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, Chairman, Dream for Africa
Story Behind the Book
Andy Stanley, the pastor of more than 15,000, knows a lot of people, and is well aware of the overwhelming and mutual desire nearly every Christian holds to find and fulfill God’s purpose for their lives. This book was written to stir these hearts and move people forward by providing tangible steps to getting from Point A to Point B. “As Christians,” states Stanley, “we do not have a right to take our talents, abilities, experiences, opportunities, and education and run off in any direction we please.” This book was written to provide a specific plan for going in the right direction. It truly is “God’s blueprint for developing and maintaining personal vision.”