How To Make Your Vision a Reality

2024 can be better than 2023 if you lean into the vision God has for you. That will require both prayer AND action. Come discover how to apply both this year.

  • 00:00:02
    - Welcome to Crossroads
  • 00:00:03
    and a belated Happy New Year to you!
  • 00:00:05
    Hey, I'm Andy, the community pastor
  • 00:00:06
    for Crossroads Anywhere.
  • 00:00:08
    Crossroads is a church that you can be a part of
  • 00:00:10
    no matter where you live or what you believe about God.
  • 00:00:13
    We're just really glad that you're joining us.
  • 00:00:16
    Hey, we're starting off our year
  • 00:00:17
    by going into the book of Nehemiah.
  • 00:00:19
    It's a book in the Old Testament
  • 00:00:20
    written by a man named Nehemiah
  • 00:00:22
    who had a vision from God.
  • 00:00:25
    And in January we all tend to kind of reset, right?
  • 00:00:27
    New year's resolutions are popular for a reason.
  • 00:00:29
    We set goals and we get a vision for the life that we want.
  • 00:00:33
    Now, typically we have a vision for, like,
  • 00:00:35
    a better body, better relationships,
  • 00:00:37
    better emotional health, better jobs, etc.
  • 00:00:39
    The problem is, making a vision a reality is hard.
  • 00:00:44
    Nehemiah shows us how to make
  • 00:00:46
    our seemingly impossible visions a reality.
  • 00:00:49
    Right now we're going to start off our time in worship.
  • 00:00:52
    This is just singing songs to and about God.
  • 00:00:55
    This might feel awkward and uncomfortable,
  • 00:00:57
    like a new workout or new routine, but that's okay.
  • 00:01:01
    We do this as a way to turn our attention towards God
  • 00:01:04
    and to orient our life around Him.
  • 00:01:06
    So, you can turn up the volume, you can go full screen,
  • 00:01:09
    you can put in your AirPods and let's get started.
  • 00:01:18
    - We're gonna sing a new song together.
  • 00:03:51
    - This is a brand new song that our team wrote for our church.
  • 00:03:56
    That's right, and the reason we're doing it
  • 00:03:59
    right now, week one, is because I believe
  • 00:04:01
    it's a great setup for the new year.
  • 00:04:04
    Anybody have New Year's resolutions?
  • 00:04:07
    And maybe you don't like that word.
  • 00:04:09
    Maybe you got personal goals.
  • 00:04:12
    Personal goal I got some personal goals of mine.
  • 00:04:15
    And what I want is for those goals
  • 00:04:18
    to come up under the King.
  • 00:04:20
    And that King's name is Jesus.
  • 00:04:22
    And these are the words from Jesus in Matthew 6:33 it says,
  • 00:04:27
    seek the kingdom of God above all else,
  • 00:04:30
    and live righteously,
  • 00:04:32
    and He will give you everything you need.
  • 00:04:35
    So don't worry about tomorrow,
  • 00:04:38
    for tomorrow will bring its own worries.
  • 00:04:42
    As I start the new year, as we start the new year,
  • 00:04:45
    I think it'll be great for us to start it
  • 00:04:48
    in a posture of saying, "Lord, I want more of You
  • 00:04:51
    and I want to commit to seeking You."
  • 00:04:54
    Maybe that's new for you.
  • 00:04:55
    Maybe you've never done that before.
  • 00:04:57
    And I want you to say, hey, the slate is clean.
  • 00:05:00
    You can start new right now
  • 00:05:02
    because there's a Savior who has more for you,
  • 00:05:05
    who has more for me.
  • 00:05:07
    And so as we sing the rest of this song,
  • 00:05:10
    I'd invite you, I dare you just to extend your hands
  • 00:05:14
    right now in this moment as we commit to following
  • 00:05:19
    the true, the only true Savior.
  • 00:05:23
    We say, I follow you.
  • 00:10:37
    - Come on, think about the year ahead of you.
  • 00:11:38
    - I love that. I love that, that hand thing.
  • 00:11:40
    Lets, you know, it's our first time gathering together.
  • 00:11:43
    Thank you for giving me your microphone.
  • 00:11:44
    I forgot to get mine. I'll get it in a little bit.
  • 00:11:46
    But you know, it's the first time
  • 00:11:48
    worshiping together as a church.
  • 00:11:49
    Maybe your first time to Crossroads ever in 2024.
  • 00:11:52
    And let's keep that hand thing going
  • 00:11:55
    just as a sign going forward. Okay?
  • 00:11:56
    Let's let's take our hands right now
  • 00:11:58
    and let's just do palms down.
  • 00:12:02
    This is the universal sign of dropping something.
  • 00:12:05
    You may have come into 2024 with stresses,
  • 00:12:08
    whatever it is, just put your palms down
  • 00:12:10
    and just run through those stress points,
  • 00:12:12
    those things that you've been fixating on,
  • 00:12:15
    the concerns you've had.
  • 00:12:16
    And just go to God and say,
  • 00:12:17
    "God, I'm dropping them right now.
  • 00:12:19
    I'm dropping them right at my feet, at Your feet.
  • 00:12:21
    I'm dropping them. I'm emptying them out."
  • 00:12:22
    What is it? What are you stressed about?
  • 00:12:24
    What are you fearful about?
  • 00:12:26
    What is it on your mind?
  • 00:12:27
    You need to give that to God.
  • 00:12:29
    Just drop it. Drop it.
  • 00:12:31
    Just come on, just keep dumping it out.
  • 00:12:33
    There you go. Just drop it. Just let it go.
  • 00:12:35
    Let it go. It's doing you nothing.
  • 00:12:37
    It's doing you nothing holding it, nothing.
  • 00:12:40
    You think you're being responsible?
  • 00:12:41
    You're not, you're not.
  • 00:12:44
    You're hurting yourself
  • 00:12:45
    and the work that God's doing in you.
  • 00:12:47
    365 times the Bible says fear not.
  • 00:12:50
    365, one for every day.
  • 00:12:51
    Right now. Drop it. Come on, drop it, drop it.
  • 00:12:54
    You can do it. All right.
  • 00:12:57
    And, uh, then let's, um, let's turn our palms over.
  • 00:13:02
    Turn them over. This is the universal sign of receiving.
  • 00:13:05
    What do you want from God this year?
  • 00:13:07
    Just go ahead and mutter to Him.
  • 00:13:08
    What do you want Him to put in your hand?
  • 00:13:10
    What is it, a relationship, a raise? What is it?
  • 00:13:14
    A new spiritual gift? Just ask Him right now.
  • 00:13:17
    Put it, put it in you right now. Ask him.
  • 00:13:22
    And then take our hand, universal sign of surrender,
  • 00:13:25
    put them up. Like, stick them up, I surrender.
  • 00:13:27
    God, what do you want this year?
  • 00:13:29
    All of us, God, who have our hands up like this,
  • 00:13:31
    we're not doing this as a church.
  • 00:13:32
    We're saying to you, God, we surrender.
  • 00:13:34
    What do you want from us this year? What is it?
  • 00:13:36
    We give up? Where do you want us to go?
  • 00:13:38
    What do you want us to do? What do you want us to stop?
  • 00:13:41
    We surrender. Why?
  • 00:13:42
    Because we want to be in Your Kingdom.
  • 00:13:44
    It's Your Kingdom, not my kingdom.
  • 00:13:47
    It's Your life, not my life.
  • 00:13:49
    It's Your vision, not mine.
  • 00:13:52
    You, it's Yours.
  • 00:13:58
    - Now let'ss say this:
  • 00:16:45
    - Pray this prayer because I know
  • 00:16:46
    He's a good God and generous God.
  • 00:16:48
    He has life to give.
  • 00:18:43
    - It's a statement of trusting, we put our trust in Him.
  • 00:20:44
    - The last time I spent Christmas with my son,
  • 00:20:48
    man, I think this was the first time
  • 00:20:50
    probably since pre-COVID, so probably about 2019.
  • 00:20:53
    - Last time I spent Christmas with my family
  • 00:20:56
    is probably two years ago.
  • 00:20:58
    I was up all night anxious about this.
  • 00:21:00
    - I don't know anybody from Crossroads, you know,
  • 00:21:03
    at the church and people who don't know me from Adam
  • 00:21:05
    could recognize and care enough that
  • 00:21:09
    I could celebrate Christmas with my family.
  • 00:21:12
    One of the things that I deal with is just feeling
  • 00:21:14
    so insignificant and feeling so forgotten.
  • 00:21:18
    It's just beyond words to to think that
  • 00:21:21
    some strangers will be willing to sacrifice
  • 00:21:23
    that we can have Christmas with my family just means the world.
  • 00:21:27
    - The Crossroads church, and even PCI,
  • 00:21:30
    that there's people out there that even give,
  • 00:21:32
    you know, that you even cross their mind,
  • 00:21:34
    whether they even know who your name or not,
  • 00:21:36
    that that means a lot to me.
  • 00:21:38
    And I know that my family got a lot out of that today too.
  • 00:21:42
    - It felt good, and it felt normal.
  • 00:21:45
    For a little second it was like we weren't incarcerated.
  • 00:21:49
    For that moment I just got a chance to just kind of
  • 00:21:52
    be dad with my son, man. So it felt really good.
  • 00:21:55
    It just really fueled me up.
  • 00:21:56
    I hope he felt, in a way, the way I felt:
  • 00:22:00
    noticed, loved, not forgotten.
  • 00:22:03
    And I hope that he felt like he mattered.
  • 00:22:08
    - Spending this holiday with my family, Uh, it, uh,
  • 00:22:12
    it means the world to me.
  • 00:22:13
    This is actually the first visit I actually had
  • 00:22:15
    with my kid in almost a year.
  • 00:22:17
    Last time I saw her, she wasn't even talking.
  • 00:22:20
    I got to hear her tell her she loves me.
  • 00:22:21
    And for her to run up and say daddy in the middle of it.
  • 00:22:27
    After this morning, I hope my daughter knows
  • 00:22:29
    that I love her, and today kind of gave me
  • 00:22:33
    some reassurance that she still remembered who I was,
  • 00:22:36
    which is a big fear that I had, that she would walk in
  • 00:22:38
    and not not know who I am.
  • 00:22:40
    For me today, after experiencing that, it was,
  • 00:22:43
    you know, motivate you to keep going
  • 00:22:44
    or remind you what what you got outside waiting for you.
  • 00:22:48
    I just want to thank you guys for doing this
  • 00:22:50
    because it meant a lot to me.
  • 00:22:52
    - I just wanted to say thank you.
  • 00:22:53
    I want to say thanks.
  • 00:22:54
    I want to thank God first because I recognize
  • 00:22:58
    that Crossroads and what you guys did today,
  • 00:23:01
    you guys were His hands and His feet.
  • 00:23:03
    And that joy, it pierces the darkness, man.
  • 00:23:06
    There's a there's a cloud of sadness and heaviness
  • 00:23:09
    that just sits on these places
  • 00:23:11
    around these times of the year.
  • 00:23:12
    You guys literally penetrated to darkness today, man.
  • 00:23:16
    So it's going to spill outside of here
  • 00:23:19
    and carry on to the compound.
  • 00:23:21
    And really, man, uh, means the world to me.
  • 00:23:30
    - Man, I love that video and I especially love it
  • 00:23:33
    because I got to see this stuff first hand,
  • 00:23:36
    and it was just a beautiful picture of what it means
  • 00:23:38
    for people to not just go to church,
  • 00:23:40
    but to be the church.
  • 00:23:41
    For a church like ours, to leverage everything we have,
  • 00:23:45
    our time, our energy, our resources, our money
  • 00:23:47
    to make sure that people who are oftentimes forgotten
  • 00:23:50
    this time of year and actually get our best.
  • 00:23:52
    And I will, I'll never forget.
  • 00:23:54
    I will never forget the joy on these family's faces
  • 00:23:58
    as these kids ran through these huge locked doors
  • 00:24:02
    to just jump into their father's arms,
  • 00:24:04
    wrap their arms around him, and give him a huge hug.
  • 00:24:07
    It was a beautiful picture of love
  • 00:24:09
    and a beautiful picture of what it means
  • 00:24:11
    to creatively and aggressively serve and care for one another.
  • 00:24:15
    And I love that our church is creative and bold
  • 00:24:18
    and aggressive in ways just like that.
  • 00:24:21
    And I'll just say this, man, my kids
  • 00:24:23
    will probably forget the gifts
  • 00:24:25
    that I bought them this past Christmas.
  • 00:24:27
    Those things will be long forgotten a year from now,
  • 00:24:29
    but I can almost guarantee you that the gifts
  • 00:24:33
    that these families received and were able to give
  • 00:24:35
    one another this past Christmas, that you
  • 00:24:37
    and our faithful community made possible,
  • 00:24:39
    they will never forget it.
  • 00:24:41
    All the stuff and a ton more happens because
  • 00:24:43
    of a team of faithful givers who make this stuff possible.
  • 00:24:46
    If you want to join that team
  • 00:24:48
    or you just have questions like, hey,
  • 00:24:49
    what does crossroads think about money?
  • 00:24:51
    Or what do they spend their money on?
  • 00:24:53
    All of that and more you can find
  • 00:24:54
    at crossroads.net/give.
  • 00:24:57
    Hey, I'm so excited to hear from Brian today
  • 00:24:59
    as he begins to unpack the book of Nehemiah
  • 00:25:01
    and how Nehemiah didn't stop with just having a goal,
  • 00:25:04
    but how he made that vision a reality.
  • 00:25:29
    - Hey, if we haven't met, by the way, my name is Brian.
  • 00:25:32
    I'm what's known as a Senior Pastor around here.
  • 00:25:34
    Happy 2024 to everybody.
  • 00:25:37
    I am excited about today.
  • 00:25:39
    This is one of the most inspiring
  • 00:25:41
    books in the Bible for me.
  • 00:25:42
    Ever since I came to know who Jesus was
  • 00:25:45
    and had a personal relationship with Him at age 17,
  • 00:25:48
    which is what now sheesh 40, age 15, 16,
  • 00:25:51
    40 some whatever years ago, a lot of years ago,
  • 00:25:54
    a lot, a lot, a lot of years ago.
  • 00:25:56
    And if this is your first time at Crossroads,
  • 00:25:59
    you might have kind of heard of our reputation in many ways.
  • 00:26:01
    We have a lot of different ways that people see us.
  • 00:26:03
    Or if you've been around here for a while,
  • 00:26:05
    you might know that one of the things
  • 00:26:07
    that we're known for is that there's
  • 00:26:11
    an uncanny number of visions that we have in our church
  • 00:26:15
    that actually get done,
  • 00:26:16
    a number of visions that come to realities,
  • 00:26:19
    whether it's an AIDS,
  • 00:26:20
    privately funded AIDS hospice in South Africa,
  • 00:26:23
    whether it's going to Compassion International
  • 00:26:25
    and taking every single child on the rolls in Nicaragua
  • 00:26:29
    to be in an education system into fed,
  • 00:26:32
    whether it's multiple sites and multiple states,
  • 00:26:36
    whether it's an app that many churches are using
  • 00:26:39
    all over the country.
  • 00:26:41
    And by the way, in which our app, just Crossroads,
  • 00:26:44
    4.9 million prayers were prayed in our app
  • 00:26:48
    in our church just this last year.
  • 00:26:50
    Like a first in class thing,
  • 00:26:52
    a vision that really came to reality.
  • 00:26:55
    Camps, camps that people would come
  • 00:26:57
    every state in the Union this last year,
  • 00:26:59
    multiple countries all over the world
  • 00:27:01
    coming to experience a primitive camping experience
  • 00:27:04
    and poop in the woods.
  • 00:27:06
    I could go on and on and on and on.
  • 00:27:08
    These are all things that were visions that became reality.
  • 00:27:12
    So today, this is not about Crossroads today at all.
  • 00:27:14
    I'm just saying all the things that are in
  • 00:27:17
    our 28 year history, I'm going to talk about
  • 00:27:21
    how it is you bring vision to reality in your personal life.
  • 00:27:26
    Because they're actually the
  • 00:27:28
    same steps and they're the steps that we see
  • 00:27:31
    in the book of Nehemiah. Let's go to Nehemiah.
  • 00:27:35
    I've got an old fuddy-duddy Bible here.
  • 00:27:37
    Nehemiah chapter, one paper Bible.
  • 00:27:39
    Nehemiah, here's the story of Nehemiah.
  • 00:27:42
    He is a Jewish guy who is in exile
  • 00:27:47
    from his homeland of Israel, in Persia.
  • 00:27:52
    So Persia has conquered Jerusalem,
  • 00:27:55
    and they've basically kicked everybody out.
  • 00:27:57
    They've just taken all of the riches out of the temple.
  • 00:28:00
    And there's a few people who are Jews
  • 00:28:02
    left in Jerusalem, and everybody else
  • 00:28:04
    is kind of dispersed all over the place.
  • 00:28:06
    And Nehemiah is dispersed to Persia.
  • 00:28:09
    He's serving King Artaxerxes, one of the greatest
  • 00:28:12
    and most brutal rulers in world history.
  • 00:28:15
    And he's risen to sort of the top of the food chain
  • 00:28:18
    with him, where he's the cupbearer.
  • 00:28:20
    That means that the king trusts him,
  • 00:28:23
    that he's going to have a good taste for wine
  • 00:28:25
    because he tests the wine,
  • 00:28:27
    and that he's going to be very smart
  • 00:28:29
    to sense when wine is going to be poisoned.
  • 00:28:32
    He's the one to get poisoned,
  • 00:28:33
    so the king doesn't get poisoned.
  • 00:28:35
    But somebody, it has to be somebody very smart
  • 00:28:37
    who's the cupbearer, because hopefully
  • 00:28:39
    they can figure out its poison before they themselves take it.
  • 00:28:41
    So he's a very smart, very high ranking Jew
  • 00:28:44
    in the land of Persia.
  • 00:28:46
    And something happens to him that's going
  • 00:28:49
    to change the course of of his life.
  • 00:28:51
    He's going to get a vision.
  • 00:28:54
    And this vision is going to become a reality,
  • 00:28:58
    not just a daydream. It's going to become a reality.
  • 00:29:01
    Now we have a lot of folks.
  • 00:29:03
    And by the way, I'm going to use
  • 00:29:04
    these these terms today synonymously:
  • 00:29:08
    goals, objectives, visions, resolutions.
  • 00:29:14
    There are some nuances and differences between those terms,
  • 00:29:17
    but for today's terms I'm going to use them all the same.
  • 00:29:19
    New Year's resolutions.
  • 00:29:21
    Let's talk about New Year's resolutions.
  • 00:29:24
    Uh, I'm not going to ask how many of you
  • 00:29:25
    make New Year's resolutions, because those of us
  • 00:29:27
    who did are going to feel real proud
  • 00:29:29
    and stick our hands up in the air,
  • 00:29:30
    and those of us who didn't are going to feel like,
  • 00:29:32
    "Oh, I didn't do that. I'm a loser."
  • 00:29:33
    And all the people have their hands up,
  • 00:29:35
    "You're a loser. I have my hand up. You don't."
  • 00:29:37
    I don't know if you feel that way.
  • 00:29:38
    I know I do when I do those kind of things.
  • 00:29:41
    And that's why I don't oftentimes
  • 00:29:43
    make official New Year's resolutions.
  • 00:29:45
    But what I do always do is I have something
  • 00:29:48
    I'm working on, some goal, some objective, some vision.
  • 00:29:53
    It's one thing to have a resolution.
  • 00:29:54
    It's another thing to have something that's getting done.
  • 00:29:57
    And very few of us, if we have a resolution or not,
  • 00:29:59
    very few of us actually do them and get them done.
  • 00:30:02
    Time Magazine said this, it said:
  • 00:30:16
    So we have a vision of what we want to do,
  • 00:30:20
    but the reality of it never actually happens.
  • 00:30:26
    Nehemiah is going to have a vision,
  • 00:30:28
    and if you've made a resolution, a goal,
  • 00:30:30
    objective you have for this year,
  • 00:30:32
    or maybe you're going to maybe have one
  • 00:30:34
    at the end of our time today, or maybe
  • 00:30:36
    you're going to make one March 1, April 1,
  • 00:30:39
    December 1, whatever it is.
  • 00:30:42
    What Nehemiah did is what we need to do, all of us.
  • 00:30:47
    Let's read it, Nehemiah 1:3. Here's what it says.
  • 00:31:17
    Nehemiah is told from somebody
  • 00:31:20
    who comes from Jerusalem, "Yeah, the walls,
  • 00:31:22
    man, they're down.
  • 00:31:23
    The walls, they're, they're just --
  • 00:31:25
    They're, they're, they're nothing. They're down.
  • 00:31:28
    The gates are burned." And Nehemiah is wrecked.
  • 00:31:32
    He's wrecked because these walls represent
  • 00:31:36
    the pride of the nation of Israel.
  • 00:31:38
    It would be like today if you found out
  • 00:31:40
    that the Lincoln Memorial was smashed or blown up,
  • 00:31:44
    or the White House
  • 00:31:45
    or some monument that's important to you.
  • 00:31:47
    It's like, "Man, this is America, this thing."
  • 00:31:50
    This is bad, bad news.
  • 00:31:52
    It isn't just that the walls being down
  • 00:31:55
    mean we can't defend ourselves against intruders,
  • 00:31:58
    because actually we can't defend ourselves at all.
  • 00:32:01
    It's not needed because we've lost.
  • 00:32:03
    We are broken up and we are dispersed.
  • 00:32:06
    And Nehemiah loses it. Everything is in disarray.
  • 00:32:10
    And he gets a vision.
  • 00:32:13
    Four things about vision today.
  • 00:32:15
    Vision is seeing, is seeing.
  • 00:32:19
    And I'm not talking right now about 20/20.
  • 00:32:21
    I'm talking about seeing something in your mind
  • 00:32:25
    that other people aren't seeing,
  • 00:32:28
    seeing something that other people aren't seeing.
  • 00:32:31
    There's been loads of people who have seen
  • 00:32:34
    that the walls are down, but none of them
  • 00:32:37
    started a building campaign to rebuild the walls.
  • 00:32:40
    But Nehemiah did.
  • 00:32:42
    The reason why many of us are spiritually perishing,
  • 00:32:46
    the reason many of us are lacking zip,
  • 00:32:51
    are lacking joy, are lacking just the X factor
  • 00:32:56
    of the presence of God and an awareness
  • 00:32:59
    that He is working in our lives is because
  • 00:33:01
    we're lacking vision.
  • 00:33:05
    The Bible says in the Book of Proverbs 29:18 that:
  • 00:33:13
    When we don't have something we're working for,
  • 00:33:15
    we don't have something we're working towards,
  • 00:33:17
    when we don't sense that God has given us an assignment,
  • 00:33:22
    we perish because all that's left is
  • 00:33:25
    Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, it's off to work I go.
  • 00:33:29
    All that's left is swiping right or swiping left.
  • 00:33:33
    All that's left is medicating ourselves
  • 00:33:36
    in front of a screen because there's no vision,
  • 00:33:39
    there's no, there's nothing I'm supposed to be about.
  • 00:33:41
    There's no difference my life is making.
  • 00:33:43
    There's no, there's no wall on building.
  • 00:33:46
    There's no hill I'm taking.
  • 00:33:49
    This is what God says, "When we have no vision, we perish."
  • 00:33:52
    So you may not have made any resolution,
  • 00:33:54
    but I'll tell you this right now,
  • 00:33:56
    if you never make resolutions, if you don't make goals,
  • 00:33:58
    if you don't have vision, you are perishing,
  • 00:34:00
    you are dying spiritually.
  • 00:34:02
    You cannot go with your life simply surviving.
  • 00:34:05
    You must have something you're working toward.
  • 00:34:07
    It doesn't have to be some big, massive thing,
  • 00:34:10
    but it's something, something that you see
  • 00:34:14
    in your mind that you want,
  • 00:34:17
    and maybe somebody else doesn't see it.
  • 00:34:21
    Nehemiah sees this. Nobody else does.
  • 00:34:25
    The second thing that the vision is,
  • 00:34:26
    it's not just seeing it, noticing it,
  • 00:34:28
    vision is also feeling it.
  • 00:34:32
    You notice that it says here when Nehemiah heard
  • 00:34:36
    that the walls were down, he sat down
  • 00:34:38
    and wept and mourned. He lost it. He felt.
  • 00:34:47
    If you're not having feelings, if you don't feel it,
  • 00:34:50
    then it's not a vision, it's just an awareness
  • 00:34:53
    of something that would be good if it happened.
  • 00:34:56
    You have to feel it.
  • 00:34:57
    Now, when I say feel it, I'm talking about
  • 00:35:01
    within your bandwidth of emotions.
  • 00:35:03
    Like some of you guys cry every week.
  • 00:35:05
    Must be fun. Must be nice.
  • 00:35:08
    Uh, actually probably not.
  • 00:35:09
    But it'd be interesting if I could cry every week.
  • 00:35:11
    I get a good cry, maybe,
  • 00:35:13
    well, I just got one looking at the prison video,
  • 00:35:15
    so I don't know. I'm getting older.
  • 00:35:17
    I'm having more cries, but I'm not a big cry guy.
  • 00:35:20
    That's been my history.
  • 00:35:21
    But within my bandwidth of emotional bandwidth,
  • 00:35:24
    I have emotion there, and I can feel it
  • 00:35:26
    when I get emotional inside of my bandwidth.
  • 00:35:29
    And when I'm feeling something,
  • 00:35:32
    I assume that God's doing something.
  • 00:35:36
    I assume that he's stirring something up in me
  • 00:35:39
    because he wants me to see something,
  • 00:35:41
    and it's the feelings that God uses to get our attention.
  • 00:35:46
    Now, I've had to grow in this because for a long time,
  • 00:35:50
    most of my life, I did everything to stuff my emotions,
  • 00:35:53
    to jam down my emotions.
  • 00:35:55
    Partially because I grew up in
  • 00:35:56
    a very, very non-emotive family.
  • 00:35:59
    And so I didn't have a lot of emotions happening there.
  • 00:36:01
    And then I went to a very non-emotive seminary,
  • 00:36:05
    and I had a very non-emotive start of my Christian walk,
  • 00:36:08
    where actually was drilled into me that
  • 00:36:10
    emotions aren't facts, your feelings aren't facts.
  • 00:36:15
    And so it caused me to just be really wary
  • 00:36:18
    any time there was emotion.
  • 00:36:20
    And it is true, our feelings are not facts.
  • 00:36:22
    It is true that many of us, we feel something
  • 00:36:25
    and we just think that's truth.
  • 00:36:27
    No, that's your feelings. That's not truth.
  • 00:36:29
    It's your feelings. Your feelings are important.
  • 00:36:32
    And it's also why I'll talk in a little bit later.
  • 00:36:35
    We want to really do the best we can as a church
  • 00:36:38
    to help you get into the Bible this year
  • 00:36:41
    so that your feelings can be informed.
  • 00:36:43
    So all of this to say, I've had --
  • 00:36:46
    I've been a bit like feeling, but I realize
  • 00:36:48
    that when you take a look at Nehemiah,
  • 00:36:49
    it's his feelings that are motivating him.
  • 00:36:53
    It's his feelings that are pushing him.
  • 00:36:57
    Why is it that so few of us that make resolutions
  • 00:37:00
    are going to last past February?
  • 00:37:03
    Why is it that, I keep referring to this one
  • 00:37:06
    over and over again because all of us,
  • 00:37:08
    at some point, if not every year,
  • 00:37:10
    make this sort of resolution, something about
  • 00:37:12
    working out, losing weight, getting fit,
  • 00:37:14
    right, going on a diet.
  • 00:37:16
    I mean, just about everybody has done that
  • 00:37:18
    at one point or another, and that might be you.
  • 00:37:20
    I'm not trying to pick on that topic.
  • 00:37:22
    I'm just going, that's one we could probably all relate with.
  • 00:37:24
    Why is it that so many of us have
  • 00:37:27
    those sorts of goals or visions,
  • 00:37:30
    and yet it drops, it doesn't happen?
  • 00:37:33
    You know why? It's because we're not feeling it.
  • 00:37:37
    It's because someone told us it would be good to lose weight.
  • 00:37:40
    "Okay, I guess I could lose weight."
  • 00:37:42
    It's because we feel like that's what
  • 00:37:44
    a good person does is just get in shape.
  • 00:37:46
    They get on the treadmill.
  • 00:37:47
    It's a it's a rational thing, "I guess I should,"
  • 00:37:50
    but we're actually not feeling it.
  • 00:37:56
    And then when we're not feeling it
  • 00:37:57
    and then we have failures,
  • 00:38:00
    then we just don't even have visions anymore.
  • 00:38:02
    Here's a graph that shows the number of us
  • 00:38:04
    who have resolutions, how many actually follow through.
  • 00:38:07
    20% of us have one New Year's resolution,
  • 00:38:11
    18% of us have two,
  • 00:38:13
    and 62% of us don't make any resolutions.
  • 00:38:17
    And so it's okay not to make any resolutions.
  • 00:38:19
    It's fine fine, fine, totally totally fine.
  • 00:38:21
    The Bible doesn't say thou shalt doth maketh
  • 00:38:22
    a New Year's resolution. It doesn't say that.
  • 00:38:28
    But many of the 62% who don't make resolutions
  • 00:38:32
    don't have visions all year long.
  • 00:38:35
    They just, or you just are in a habit
  • 00:38:38
    of just gliding by and just living life
  • 00:38:41
    and just eking by instead of feeling alive
  • 00:38:44
    and having a zest, an emotional feel
  • 00:38:48
    that's kind of pushing you forward.
  • 00:38:53
    What is the emotion that pushes us,
  • 00:38:55
    the resolution that makes that happen?
  • 00:39:00
    Uh, I have a -- I work out regularly. Uh, two reasons.
  • 00:39:05
    Two quick reasons. One um, every week I have
  • 00:39:08
    tens of thousands of eyeballs on me,
  • 00:39:10
    so I don't want to look like a slob.
  • 00:39:11
    That's one reason why I work out.
  • 00:39:13
    I've wondered if I didn't have a lot of people
  • 00:39:15
    looking at me, would I work out as much as I do? I don't know.
  • 00:39:18
    The second reason, though, second reason why I do
  • 00:39:21
    is because I do a lot of hunting, and I do a lot
  • 00:39:24
    of things where I need my body to perform.
  • 00:39:27
    This last year I had a couple elk hunts.
  • 00:39:31
    I had one elk hunt that was set up.
  • 00:39:35
    It was going to be a really hard, strenuous elk hunt.
  • 00:39:37
    And then I had another one that came up,
  • 00:39:40
    a friend of mine, uh, a friend of a pastor out West.
  • 00:39:45
    He's got a guy in his church who has
  • 00:39:47
    a million plus acres, the cattle rancher,
  • 00:39:49
    a million plus acres.
  • 00:39:51
    I swear, if you looked at him,
  • 00:39:52
    him and the guy went hunting with,
  • 00:39:54
    have you ever seen Yellowstone?
  • 00:39:55
    It's Kevin Costner and Rip. I kid you not.
  • 00:39:59
    I've showed everybody they say that's them.
  • 00:40:00
    I swear they patterned that show,
  • 00:40:03
    if you like Yellowstone, off of this guy.
  • 00:40:05
    It was a fun hunt.
  • 00:40:07
    It was a pretty easy hunt because it was private land,
  • 00:40:09
    herds of elk, herd and got one. It was wonderful.
  • 00:40:12
    I think I have a picture of the bull elk
  • 00:40:14
    that I got, it was pretty, pretty cool.
  • 00:40:16
    Not a great picture, but big six by six.
  • 00:40:19
    Then I went into the next one, which was a more real hunt.
  • 00:40:22
    Not on private land where there's herds,
  • 00:40:24
    but where you got to go find them.
  • 00:40:26
    And we had to go up 13,000ft, three days out of four.
  • 00:40:32
    The last day, or the second last day.
  • 00:40:36
    It was the last day of shooting,
  • 00:40:38
    the last hour of shooting, me and the person I was with,
  • 00:40:41
    uh, it's a long story.
  • 00:40:43
    I'm not going to tell you all of it,
  • 00:40:45
    but basically an elk went down and there we are
  • 00:40:48
    at the top of this mountain,
  • 00:40:49
    and we've got to bring down, each of us,
  • 00:40:51
    100 pounds of elk and bone from 13,000 feet
  • 00:40:55
    down a 45 degree incline with snow up to our shins
  • 00:41:00
    and dead fall and no paths and nothing.
  • 00:41:02
    And I kept thinking to myself as I went down,
  • 00:41:05
    that's why I workout. That's why I workout.
  • 00:41:07
    When I workout, I think, "There's going to come a day
  • 00:41:09
    I'm going to have to do this,
  • 00:41:10
    a coming day I have to do this.
  • 00:41:12
    And my emotion is, I don't want to be caught naked like that.
  • 00:41:15
    I want to be able.
  • 00:41:17
    And it's actually an emotion that stirs up in you.
  • 00:41:19
    You've got to figure out whatever your vision is,
  • 00:41:22
    is it something God wants you to do?
  • 00:41:24
    And you have to tap into the emotion,
  • 00:41:26
    which is your motivation to get it done.
  • 00:41:28
    One book says this:
  • 00:41:41
    Emotion leads to action.
  • 00:41:43
    That's what happens with Nehemiah,
  • 00:41:44
    where reason leads to conclusions.
  • 00:41:48
    I had a friend of mine, and he was telling me
  • 00:41:50
    this last week that he one of his resolutions
  • 00:41:53
    is to lose weight and do this and that.
  • 00:41:55
    And I was like, I said, "What? What? Really?"
  • 00:41:58
    "So yeah, I got this and that."
  • 00:42:00
    And I tried talking him out of it, like, "I think you're fine.
  • 00:42:03
    I don't know what you're talking about."
  • 00:42:04
    And I realized, "Oh, I'm not helping him right now."
  • 00:42:07
    And I told him, "I'm sorry.
  • 00:42:09
    I should be supporting you in your vision
  • 00:42:11
    to lose 30 pounds."
  • 00:42:12
    He's a tall guy. He hides it well.
  • 00:42:14
    And his name is Steve. Sorry.
  • 00:42:16
    Now he's probably mad that I said he has to lose 30 pounds.
  • 00:42:19
    So you guys know who he is.
  • 00:42:21
    Um, so, Steve, uh. And I said I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
  • 00:42:24
    And why was he saying this?
  • 00:42:27
    Well, it's because he has a history in his family
  • 00:42:29
    of heart disease, and his mom just had a another issue.
  • 00:42:33
    She could be fine, but another issue with it.
  • 00:42:35
    So emotionally, he's like, "Oh, my gosh,
  • 00:42:38
    this is in my DNA, like, I could die very soon.
  • 00:42:44
    It's in my DNA."
  • 00:42:46
    It wasn't a rational thing of,
  • 00:42:48
    "Oh, I probably should lose it."
  • 00:42:50
    No, it all of a sudden it kicked into emotion
  • 00:42:52
    and now he's doing it differently.
  • 00:42:53
    What is it for you that you feel? What is it?
  • 00:42:57
    What do you feel?
  • 00:42:59
    There's probably something in there
  • 00:43:01
    that God has for you and He wants from you,
  • 00:43:04
    and He wants you to get into,
  • 00:43:06
    wants you to have a vision for.
  • 00:43:08
    See, Nehemiah, he was the guy.
  • 00:43:11
    A bunch of other people didn't have the feels
  • 00:43:13
    when they saw the wall. Nehemiah did.
  • 00:43:15
    And that's why he's in the Bible,
  • 00:43:18
    because he's the one guy who said, "I got it,
  • 00:43:20
    I feel it, I'm on it."
  • 00:43:22
    There could be a future for you that is amazing,
  • 00:43:26
    but it starts with you having a vision.
  • 00:43:28
    And you have to understand what is
  • 00:43:30
    your natural motivations, the motivations God's giving you
  • 00:43:33
    that are actually in your emotions.
  • 00:43:37
    Let's keep going. Verse ten. Verse ten.
  • 00:43:42
    Nehemiah 1:10, here's what Nehemiah now processes with God.
  • 00:44:08
    Nehemiah here, his emotion is being informed by God.
  • 00:44:12
    That's what I want you to see here. He is --
  • 00:44:16
    This is about God.
  • 00:44:17
    This is about him accomplishing a goal.
  • 00:44:20
    This is about God.
  • 00:44:22
    And he's saying to God, "This is your project.
  • 00:44:25
    I want to be your guy.
  • 00:44:27
    I also recognize that we as a people,
  • 00:44:29
    we have sinned and we need to repent for our sin
  • 00:44:32
    and we need to ask forgiveness."
  • 00:44:33
    There's a whole layer of spiritual depth that's here.
  • 00:44:36
    This is not just somebody having
  • 00:44:38
    a project management attitude and a type A driven personality.
  • 00:44:42
    This is about God, and you've got to see that
  • 00:44:44
    with the vision God gives you.
  • 00:44:45
    It's about God. It's not about you.
  • 00:44:49
    It's about God, not about you.
  • 00:44:51
    Let's go back to physical fitness for just a moment.
  • 00:44:54
    You could say, "Well, I could lose whatever, whatever."
  • 00:44:57
    Or you could say, "God has blessed me with a body.
  • 00:45:01
    It's His body, not mine.
  • 00:45:04
    And He wants me to take care of it."
  • 00:45:05
    Because when someone borrows your car
  • 00:45:07
    and doesn't take care of it and puts dents in it
  • 00:45:09
    and leaves trash all over the inside
  • 00:45:11
    and jams it with French fries, you're like,
  • 00:45:13
    "What the heck are you doing, man? It's my car."
  • 00:45:15
    Well, that's what your body is, if you're a believer,
  • 00:45:17
    that's what your body is to God.
  • 00:45:20
    He's like, "What are you doing trashing my body, man.
  • 00:45:23
    I'm gifting you this body.
  • 00:45:25
    I'm blessing you with this body.
  • 00:45:26
    But you gave me your life, and that's my body."
  • 00:45:31
    And you can think through that, go, oh man,
  • 00:45:33
    all of a sudden now this becomes personal
  • 00:45:35
    because now it's a God thing. It's not a me thing.
  • 00:45:38
    This is what Nehemiah is doing.
  • 00:45:40
    It's personal with him and God.
  • 00:45:42
    It's not a need that he has to do something else.
  • 00:45:44
    It's personal.
  • 00:45:45
    Now Nehemiah spends about four months
  • 00:45:51
    from the time that he processes and gets his vision,
  • 00:45:54
    four months before then and when he does it.
  • 00:45:56
    That four months, he's praying,
  • 00:45:59
    he's processing with God.
  • 00:46:00
    Or as I like to say, he's crockpotting it.
  • 00:46:04
    He's crockpotting it. This is what a vision does.
  • 00:46:06
    You don't just immediately --
  • 00:46:08
    And I will tell you right now,
  • 00:46:09
    maybe you're starting to feel something.
  • 00:46:11
    Hold the horses.
  • 00:46:12
    Maybe you're starting to feel
  • 00:46:13
    the beginnings of a vision in here right now.
  • 00:46:16
    Let me tell you, do not,
  • 00:46:18
    do not leave here today and tell anybody about it.
  • 00:46:23
    Don't do it. It's too soon. It's too soon.
  • 00:46:28
    You need to process it.
  • 00:46:30
    You need to figure out if you want to own it.
  • 00:46:32
    You've got to think through it.
  • 00:46:33
    You got to pray through it.
  • 00:46:35
    It's got to be between you and God for a season.
  • 00:46:37
    That's the way it was with Nehemiah,
  • 00:46:39
    it was between Nehemiah and God.
  • 00:46:42
    And then all of a sudden he starts coming out with it.
  • 00:46:46
    Uh, I love hunting.
  • 00:46:47
    I've talked about that a number of times.
  • 00:46:49
    And I'll tell you what I don't like though,
  • 00:46:51
    I don't like cooking. Some of you, that's your hobby.
  • 00:46:54
    You like to cook. That's awesome.
  • 00:46:55
    I wish I was like that. I just don't like to cook.
  • 00:46:58
    I just want to get it cooked as fast as possible
  • 00:47:00
    and then get it in my mouth as fast as possible.
  • 00:47:02
    You know, people like, "Oh, I'm smoking it."
  • 00:47:05
    "How long does it take?" "Oh, it's six hours.
  • 00:47:07
    "Oh, that long?"
  • 00:47:08
    "Oh, you just got to go out
  • 00:47:09
    every once in a while and check."
  • 00:47:11
    I don't want to go out every once in a while
  • 00:47:12
    and check on something for six hours.
  • 00:47:14
    No, I want to put it in the microwave and I want to eat it.
  • 00:47:16
    No, I want to put it on the on the skillet
  • 00:47:18
    and, like, brown it and eat it.
  • 00:47:21
    I know it'll be great. It'll be awesome.
  • 00:47:24
    But this is the way visions are like.
  • 00:47:25
    You can't microwave a vision.
  • 00:47:26
    You can't put it on the skillet
  • 00:47:28
    and just brown it and make it happen.
  • 00:47:29
    You have to crockpot it.
  • 00:47:31
    You have to let it marinate in its juices.
  • 00:47:34
    You've got to think about it. You've got to process it.
  • 00:47:36
    You've got to allow God to do something in it.
  • 00:47:40
    You're going to hear about a vision I think
  • 00:47:44
    God has given us a church sometime later this year.
  • 00:47:48
    Not now because it's crockpotting.
  • 00:47:53
    I'm not ready to go public with it.
  • 00:47:54
    And there's pieces to it that I haven't heard from God.
  • 00:48:00
    I'm like waiting, like, "God, what is -- what is there?"
  • 00:48:02
    There's just pieces missing.
  • 00:48:04
    There's enough there that I could say some stuff
  • 00:48:06
    and it would give direction and maybe some excitement,
  • 00:48:09
    but it's not -- it's not ready. It's --
  • 00:48:11
    I don't even know when it will be.
  • 00:48:13
    It's marinating though.
  • 00:48:14
    A lot of prayer that's happening in it,
  • 00:48:16
    a lot of processing, all that stuff.
  • 00:48:19
    I learned that from Nehemiah.
  • 00:48:21
    And that's the same way it should be for all of us.
  • 00:48:24
    One of my resolutions I failed at,
  • 00:48:26
    I did it a number of years ago was Spanish.
  • 00:48:28
    I said, "I'm going to learn to speak Spanish this year."
  • 00:48:30
    It was a stupid thing to say because
  • 00:48:33
    then all you people who speak Spanish
  • 00:48:36
    kept coming up to me and like talking to me,
  • 00:48:38
    like, in Spanish, to, like, test me.
  • 00:48:39
    Like, come up and go like, "Cuatro cinco?"
  • 00:48:42
    I go, "Uh, nueve? Cuatro. Ocho. No, whatever it is."
  • 00:48:47
    People just come up saying something.
  • 00:48:48
    I'm like, man, this is not fun.
  • 00:48:50
    I'm not supposed to be passing a test
  • 00:48:53
    every time I come to church and I failed, I failed.
  • 00:48:55
    Why did I fail?
  • 00:48:57
    Uh, it wasn't just because I didn't do the homework.
  • 00:48:59
    Why didn't I do the homework?
  • 00:49:01
    It's because I didn't feel it.
  • 00:49:02
    I thought it was something I should do.
  • 00:49:04
    Now, if 20% of Crossroads were Spanish speaking people,
  • 00:49:08
    I would learn.
  • 00:49:11
    As our Spanish speaking ministry grows,
  • 00:49:13
    it's happening right now. It's growing.
  • 00:49:14
    Emotionally might kick in, like all of a sudden,
  • 00:49:17
    "Ooh ooh ooh ooh, I want it.
  • 00:49:18
    I want to be able to talk to people
  • 00:49:20
    in their own native tongue."
  • 00:49:23
    But I had to crockpot that.
  • 00:49:24
    I should have crockpotted that instead of
  • 00:49:26
    just brashly saying I'm going to do that
  • 00:49:28
    and then and then it doesn't happen.
  • 00:49:30
    We pray. We pray about it.
  • 00:49:33
    But hear me very, very clearly.
  • 00:49:34
    Praying is not substitute for doing.
  • 00:49:37
    One of the things you'll rarely hear me say,
  • 00:49:39
    if you ask me to do something,
  • 00:49:41
    you're rarely hear me say, "Well, I'll pray about it."
  • 00:49:44
    Uh, I don't like that. I don't like that.
  • 00:49:46
    Because people I know that use that
  • 00:49:47
    as a knee jerk reaction, I'll pray about it,
  • 00:49:49
    never do about it.
  • 00:49:51
    They use a spiritual smokescreen of spirituality,
  • 00:49:55
    and very frequently people use that phrase immediately,
  • 00:49:58
    there's no follow up.
  • 00:50:00
    Praying is not about pausing.
  • 00:50:03
    Praying is about marinating and preparing to doing.
  • 00:50:07
    That's what prayer is about.
  • 00:50:10
    And Nehemiah is praying while he's expecting to do.
  • 00:50:15
    Vision is doing. It's doing.
  • 00:50:19
    Nehemiah 2:1. Here's what happens,
  • 00:50:22
    in the month of Nissan or Toyota, whatever it is.
  • 00:50:49
    The king sees that his guy is not well,
  • 00:50:55
    and this opens the door for him
  • 00:50:59
    to make an ask of the king and start doing.
  • 00:51:02
    And he asks the king for resources to build the wall.
  • 00:51:06
    Let's go down to verse seven.
  • 00:51:42
    I love that, here it's about God,
  • 00:51:44
    the good hand of my God was with me.
  • 00:51:47
    He's planning, he's preparing,
  • 00:51:50
    he's gathering resources to go forward.
  • 00:51:52
    Let me tell you, here's the thing.
  • 00:51:54
    There's certain brands of spirituality
  • 00:51:56
    that have phrases like, I'll pray about it,
  • 00:51:59
    but they never do about it.
  • 00:52:02
    Phrases like, "Well, if God's hands in it, you know."
  • 00:52:07
    What, God's hands in it, that means you don't do it?
  • 00:52:09
    You just expect His hand to do it?
  • 00:52:11
    There's a form of spirituality in our country
  • 00:52:15
    that assumes that if God wants it to happen,
  • 00:52:17
    it's going to naturally happen.
  • 00:52:19
    Yeah, it will, you know how? From you and I.
  • 00:52:22
    It happens to somebody who has a vision.
  • 00:52:25
    It doesn't happen by angels coming down and redirecting.
  • 00:52:27
    Somebody has a vision, somebody has a drive,
  • 00:52:31
    and somebody says, I will actually do this,
  • 00:52:34
    and I'll lay my life down, for whatever it is,
  • 00:52:36
    building a big wall, getting a college education,
  • 00:52:40
    being the first person in my family not to get a divorce,
  • 00:52:43
    starting a business, learning a second language
  • 00:52:47
    so I can interact with the people group
  • 00:52:48
    that feels oppressed,
  • 00:52:52
    starting something at the local community center
  • 00:52:55
    that will give people purpose,
  • 00:52:57
    being a coach that builds into kids and students.
  • 00:53:01
    I mean, there's hundreds and hundreds
  • 00:53:02
    and hundreds of them.
  • 00:53:03
    But we have to do.
  • 00:53:05
    We have to actually put our foot forward.
  • 00:53:08
    Let me say, one of the most creative visions
  • 00:53:11
    was in 2023 was that our camps, you know,
  • 00:53:17
    we have all these camps, Women's Camp,
  • 00:53:19
    Man Camp, Vet Camp, on and on and on and on.
  • 00:53:21
    I can't even remember them all.
  • 00:53:22
    And one enterprising woman had a vision.
  • 00:53:27
    She went to woman camp and she realized,
  • 00:53:30
    "I want to have a man in my life."
  • 00:53:33
    She realized, well, let me tell you how I found this out.
  • 00:53:37
    Guys at Man Camp, they go out
  • 00:53:40
    and they have an hour to hear from God,
  • 00:53:43
    an hour of solitude.
  • 00:53:44
    It's one of the things that happens.
  • 00:53:46
    And we give them a book.
  • 00:53:47
    We give all of us a little booklet.
  • 00:53:49
    You can kind of walk through with God
  • 00:53:50
    and just solitude time, you and God.
  • 00:53:52
    No music, no nothing, and just see what, you know,
  • 00:53:55
    maybe you hear from God.
  • 00:53:56
    Maybe God tells you that He likes you or whatever it is.
  • 00:53:59
    And so there were these signs that
  • 00:54:04
    a woman from Woman Camp weeks earlier had posted
  • 00:54:07
    all in the woods, all through, here it is:
  • 00:54:11
    single woman camp in search of Man Camp man.
  • 00:54:17
    Had them all in the woods.
  • 00:54:19
    The man's going to come out here in a few weeks,
  • 00:54:22
    I'm going to be ready for him.
  • 00:54:24
    And then, uh, call Jenny.
  • 00:54:26
    And so of course, I found that, I'm like,
  • 00:54:28
    "Okay, I'll participate in this vision,
  • 00:54:30
    made announcement at Man Camp, got her a couple dates.
  • 00:54:32
    I don't know what's happened with her yet,
  • 00:54:34
    but that's -- that -- it's awesome.
  • 00:54:36
    We called her up and we called her up,
  • 00:54:38
    and we try to make sure she wasn't wacko. She wasn't.
  • 00:54:40
    She said, look, uh, I don't think she was.
  • 00:54:43
    She said, "Look, I read the book Five Marks of a Man,
  • 00:54:45
    and I'm not going a date
  • 00:54:47
    unless somebody actually reads that book
  • 00:54:49
    and they're a five marks kind of man."
  • 00:54:50
    I was like, "Oh, wow, okay."
  • 00:54:51
    And we screened a couple guys and, etc.
  • 00:54:55
    Interesting. I don't know what happened.
  • 00:54:56
    Here's what I know: that's a vision, right?
  • 00:55:01
    She did something. She did something creative.
  • 00:55:07
    She pushed.
  • 00:55:08
    And what she's doing, what everybody else
  • 00:55:10
    who has a vision, what we do is we endure.
  • 00:55:13
    Vision is enduring.
  • 00:55:17
    Here's you and I right here.
  • 00:55:20
    And there's the vision over there.
  • 00:55:22
    There it is right there.
  • 00:55:24
    To get from here to there
  • 00:55:26
    we need these things I've talked about.
  • 00:55:27
    There's I got to see something.
  • 00:55:29
    I got to feel something. I've got to do.
  • 00:55:32
    I got to do something. I got to -- I got to start.
  • 00:55:34
    Start putting some stuff up and doing things.
  • 00:55:37
    I gotta, I gotta do something.
  • 00:55:39
    But in the midst of all of that,
  • 00:55:43
    what's between here and there, where I am now
  • 00:55:47
    and the vision, is two things time and difficulty.
  • 00:55:51
    It's going to take time to get there
  • 00:55:53
    and it's going to be very hard.
  • 00:55:57
    It's going to be painful.
  • 00:56:01
    And other people will quit.
  • 00:56:04
    But if you have a vision and you're feeling it,
  • 00:56:08
    and God is calling you to it,
  • 00:56:13
    you will endure until it gets done. You will.
  • 00:56:17
    You will keep pressing because you realize
  • 00:56:19
    maybe I think the vision is that,
  • 00:56:21
    but maybe, maybe God has a vision,
  • 00:56:24
    and His vision is to grow me in the enduring process.
  • 00:56:28
    Very few people want to do difficult things anymore.
  • 00:56:31
    I always like to have mottos.
  • 00:56:33
    My family had a motto when we were growing up.
  • 00:56:36
    We still have it, it's Tomes hustle, chop chop.
  • 00:56:39
    We hustle, like kids are not --
  • 00:56:41
    Kids are dilly dallying around, like,
  • 00:56:43
    getting their socks on, taking 20 minutes
  • 00:56:45
    to get their socks on. Not my kids.
  • 00:56:47
    Kids hustle, Tomes hussle. Let's go. Chop, chop.
  • 00:56:50
    Get your freaking socks on.
  • 00:56:51
    Like, it's in the family DNA.
  • 00:56:53
    We hustle. We hustle. Right?
  • 00:56:55
    What I've been thinking about the last year
  • 00:56:58
    because of things that I think God's asking me to do
  • 00:57:00
    is I've just owned the statement.
  • 00:57:02
    The statement is, um, I do hard things.
  • 00:57:04
    That's just what I do, I do hard things. I do hard things.
  • 00:57:08
    So at 12:30 a.m. when I'm carrying
  • 00:57:10
    100 pounds of elk down a 45 degree incline
  • 00:57:15
    through deadfall, pitch black,
  • 00:57:18
    never carried that much in those conditions.
  • 00:57:19
    I just kept going, "I do hard things.
  • 00:57:21
    That's what I do. I do hard things."
  • 00:57:25
    When there's an emotionally very sticky situation
  • 00:57:28
    to get into and speak into,
  • 00:57:29
    and no one wants to speak into it
  • 00:57:31
    because it's going to be very tough,
  • 00:57:33
    I just say, "I do hard things.
  • 00:57:35
    That's what I do. I do hard things."
  • 00:57:39
    If you're going to be a person of vision,
  • 00:57:41
    you have to embrace that
  • 00:57:43
    you will do hard things, whatever it is.
  • 00:57:45
    It may not be going down a mountain at 12:30.
  • 00:57:47
    Those are examples in my life.
  • 00:57:49
    But for you, for to us to endure,
  • 00:57:52
    it's going to have to be hard.
  • 00:57:55
    Nehemiah 2:11.
  • 00:57:56
    Here's what Nehemiah says or what happens.
  • 00:58:08
    There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode.
  • 00:58:14
    He doesn't tell anybody. Why doesn't he tell anybody?
  • 00:58:17
    It's because he's crockpotting this vision
  • 00:58:19
    and it's too soon and if he tells the wrong person,
  • 00:58:22
    they're going to dash his dreams.
  • 00:58:25
    That's me with my friend Steve.
  • 00:58:27
    I had to apologize, like, "I'm sorry.
  • 00:58:29
    You're telling me your vision, your goal,
  • 00:58:31
    your resolution, and I'm dashing your dreams.
  • 00:58:34
    I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
  • 00:58:35
    You got to be really careful who you tell
  • 00:58:38
    your dreams to, your visions, your resolutions,
  • 00:58:39
    your goals, objectives.
  • 00:58:41
    Again, there are differences,
  • 00:58:42
    nuances there to all those things.
  • 00:58:44
    But for the purpose of today,
  • 00:58:45
    I'm using those all synonymously.
  • 00:58:48
    You have to figure out who you can trust
  • 00:58:50
    and you've got to -- you've got to protect that vision.
  • 00:58:53
    And you can't let the wrong person into your vision
  • 00:58:57
    who's going to be doing anything
  • 00:59:00
    but blowing oxygen on the little ember
  • 00:59:03
    of flame that you have inside of you.
  • 00:59:06
    This is what Nehemiah, we see with him.
  • 00:59:08
    Then verse 13.
  • 00:59:21
    Finally he gets to see the actual walls.
  • 00:59:25
    He's seen them in his mind. He's felt it.
  • 00:59:29
    He's raised money and resources for it.
  • 00:59:32
    He's made the journey.
  • 00:59:33
    And finally he gets to see it.
  • 00:59:36
    Now we're going to be taking a look at
  • 00:59:39
    all the steps that he goes through over the next few weeks.
  • 00:59:42
    And all these steps are the steps that you and I
  • 00:59:44
    have to go through for our vision
  • 00:59:46
    of being a college graduate,
  • 00:59:48
    our vision of finding a mate,
  • 00:59:51
    our vision of having healthy kids,
  • 00:59:54
    our vision of, uh, having a growing bank account.
  • 00:59:59
    It's not always entirely evil, you know.
  • 01:00:01
    Our vision of having an idea that blesses my community,
  • 01:00:06
    our vision of whatever it is,
  • 01:00:08
    all of these things all come together.
  • 01:00:10
    And I'll tell you what we all need.
  • 01:00:12
    We all need to know that we're hearing from God.
  • 01:00:16
    You're from God and He can use our feelings,
  • 01:00:19
    but our feelings need to get informed by His Word,
  • 01:00:22
    His Scriptures, the things that actually work.
  • 01:00:25
    So here's a vision for you you can you can embrace.
  • 01:00:28
    Where you can do this with all of us
  • 01:00:30
    here at Crossroads who are in the app,
  • 01:00:32
    we're going to have a Bible challenge this year,
  • 01:00:34
    and we're going to read
  • 01:00:36
    the entire New Testament in one year.
  • 01:00:38
    It's not a lot, but it's a goal you can have.
  • 01:00:40
    It's an objective you can have.
  • 01:00:42
    Actually there's other challenges too inside this year,
  • 01:00:45
    we're actually going to have the book of Nehemiah
  • 01:00:47
    that you're in right now. Read that.
  • 01:00:48
    You can read the book of Proverbs,
  • 01:00:50
    but on the Crossroads app, which is really,
  • 01:00:54
    really I can't tell you enough
  • 01:00:55
    how many of us are blessed by it.
  • 01:00:57
    You can hear what, see what other people are journaling.
  • 01:01:00
    You can have things prayed for.
  • 01:01:02
    You can celebrate things.
  • 01:01:03
    Different spiritual exercises.
  • 01:01:05
    It's one way for you to actually get strengthened.
  • 01:01:08
    You can also just use the app
  • 01:01:10
    and see what the readings are that we're all doing,
  • 01:01:12
    and read it in your fuddy-duddy paper Bible if you want.
  • 01:01:15
    But I'm telling you, if you want something different,
  • 01:01:18
    you're going to have to do something different.
  • 01:01:21
    And that has to be informed by a vision
  • 01:01:23
    that you have for your life.
  • 01:01:25
    God has them for you, you know.
  • 01:01:27
    You're made in the image of God.
  • 01:01:29
    That means you and I can see things
  • 01:01:31
    that other people can't see.
  • 01:01:33
    We can see things that the animals can't see.
  • 01:01:37
    We see them because God is working in us,
  • 01:01:41
    and He wants you to do a role that only you can do.
  • 01:01:46
    I have a friend of mine who's a movie producer
  • 01:01:50
    who has produced movies, and he said
  • 01:01:51
    the worst thing about a movie script,
  • 01:01:55
    the most difficult thing about it
  • 01:01:56
    is whenever there's an action movie or a drama
  • 01:01:59
    and he calls it, "But there's slow danger."
  • 01:02:03
    All right. What do you mean, slow danger?
  • 01:02:04
    So, like, well, when you want to start the movie,
  • 01:02:08
    you want, like, immediately, pretty quick in the movie
  • 01:02:11
    for there to be an element of danger.
  • 01:02:12
    And it's got to be real pressing danger,
  • 01:02:14
    like a bomb is going to explode
  • 01:02:16
    and half the country is going to die.
  • 01:02:18
    It's really, versus slow danger.
  • 01:02:20
    No one wants to see a movie of a person who's born,
  • 01:02:23
    and the next 95 years,
  • 01:02:24
    this person is going to die at some point.
  • 01:02:26
    That slow danger, right?
  • 01:02:28
    Because it it forces action.
  • 01:02:31
    If you're going to be a person of vision,
  • 01:02:33
    you have to get away from this slow danger thing.
  • 01:02:36
    You have to believe that if you don't do this
  • 01:02:38
    danger is there, danger.
  • 01:02:41
    Danger, Will Robinson, the name an old TV show.
  • 01:02:44
    Danger. It is dangerous to your heart
  • 01:02:47
    if you don't do the thing that God is putting on it.
  • 01:02:51
    It's dangerous to your body if you keep doing
  • 01:02:54
    what you're doing and you're starting to feel it.
  • 01:02:57
    It is dangerous to an entire community
  • 01:03:00
    if you have a vision that God's given you
  • 01:03:04
    and you're not working that vision,
  • 01:03:05
    it's dangerous to that entire community.
  • 01:03:08
    You're the hands and feet of Jesus,
  • 01:03:13
    and you and I get to be enlisted in
  • 01:03:17
    the greatest thing on God's green earth,
  • 01:03:18
    that's the Kingdom of God.
  • 01:03:20
    And you're part of the Kingdom of God.
  • 01:03:21
    Your mind, your heart, your physical fitness,
  • 01:03:25
    your relational patterns, you're part that.
  • 01:03:28
    And so you best be spending some time
  • 01:03:30
    with God this year and seeing the visions
  • 01:03:32
    He has for you. You have one. He has things for you.
  • 01:03:35
    He does, because you're wonderfully and preciously made.
  • 01:03:40
    He knit you together in your mom's womb,
  • 01:03:43
    even if you didn't know who she was.
  • 01:03:46
    And He's got a plan for you and a purpose for you.
  • 01:03:50
    And instead of searching for some grand thing,
  • 01:03:52
    just notice what you see and what you feel and get on it.
  • 01:03:59
    God, I shudder to think what could happen
  • 01:04:03
    if just a small percentage of us
  • 01:04:06
    got a vision and went after it.
  • 01:04:09
    And I pray that happens a large percentage of it.
  • 01:04:11
    I pray that we would hear stories years from now
  • 01:04:16
    of the time that you spoke to us
  • 01:04:17
    during our Crossroads series on Nehemiah,
  • 01:04:20
    and a vision was birthed and a vision got done.
  • 01:04:24
    We thank You for caring about us
  • 01:04:28
    and being important enough to You that
  • 01:04:31
    You would actually want to use us in some way, shape or form.
  • 01:04:34
    You're so patient and You're so good.
  • 01:04:36
    I pray these things according to the name of Jesus. Amen.
  • 01:04:41
    - Hey, thank you so much for watching.
  • 01:04:42
    Now I've got something that I want to put on your radar.
  • 01:04:45
    It's not going to be for everybody here,
  • 01:04:46
    but if it's for you, it is really for you.
  • 01:04:49
    Now, we all know that life can be difficult,
  • 01:04:51
    and many of us are in a tough spot
  • 01:04:53
    where we're processing or working through
  • 01:04:55
    something that's especially challenging.
  • 01:04:57
    Now, Crossroads actually offers something
  • 01:04:59
    that has been really meaningful for me personally,
  • 01:05:01
    called Healing Groups.
  • 01:05:02
    Healing Groups are the chance to walk through
  • 01:05:04
    some of life's most difficult experience and moments,
  • 01:05:07
    but to not do it alone,
  • 01:05:09
    to do it in the context of community,
  • 01:05:11
    where you can grow with other people
  • 01:05:12
    and where you can heal with God.
  • 01:05:16
    I actually experienced this personally
  • 01:05:18
    in a grief group, a healing grief group
  • 01:05:21
    after the death of my mom and sister.
  • 01:05:23
    And it was really powerful and helpful for me
  • 01:05:25
    to not get stuck in my grief,
  • 01:05:27
    but to move forward and to grow.
  • 01:05:30
    If you want to join a group of like-minded people
  • 01:05:32
    who want to heal in the midst of things
  • 01:05:34
    like divorce or loss, man,
  • 01:05:36
    we'd love to walk with you through that.
  • 01:05:38
    You can find more info at Crossroads.net/anywhere.
  • 01:05:43
    We'd love to walk with you when life is good
  • 01:05:45
    and when it's not.
  • 01:05:46
    Hey, thanks for joining us.
  • 01:05:48
    We'll see you back here next week.

Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Weekend-Follow Up! This is the group part of the Bible Challenge, so your questions are based on specific Bible passages from the weekend message. Each week, your group will discover what God might be saying to you, and how you can respond through a group discussion.

  1. What’s a vision you have for yourself this year? What makes it important to you?

  2. What stood out to you most from the message?

  3. Where do the visions for your life come from?

  4. How do your visions impact your relationships or the way you live your life? How do they change the way you see yourself?

  5. In what area(s) of your life do you suffer from a lack of vision? What are some obstacles that make it difficult for you to have vision?

  6. How do you leverage prayer to develop your vision?

  7. Read Nehemiah 1:10-11. How do you invite God into your emotions and let him inform your vision?

  8. What’s one way you can take a step towards your vision (or begin the process of building a vision) this week?

  9. Let’s end with prayer. You can say something like, “God, thank you for the gift of emotions. Thank you for imbuing our lives with purpose. Give us your strength as we pursue the visions you are building in us. Amen.”

More from the Weekend

Bonus Questions! Check these out if you’re on a roll and want to go a little deeper.

  • In what ways do you find yourself avoiding God’s vision for your life? What kinds of distractions or coping mechanisms do you engage with?
  • Emotions are information. Where do you see yourself maximizing or minimizing your emotions to motivate the pursuit of our vision?
  • How would your life look different if you set the distractions aside and fully committed to a vision?

0 people are discussing these questions

(This stuff helps us figure out how many fruitcakes to make come December)

You must include at least one person

Got it! Enjoy your discussion.


Jan 6, 2024

Recent Series