Casting a Compelling Vision Acts 1:4-8

In Acts 1:1-8, we find Jesus’ disciples thinking in terms of what is best for their country; they totally misunderstand the nature of the Kingdom of God and what Jesus is about to do through them to advance His kingdom. They asked Jesus, “When will you restore the kingdom to Israel”? They are in a defensive mindset, thinking about how to protect Israel from Roman rule. Jesus wanted them to be in a offensive mindset, not to fight political battles but to battle for the broken hearted and bring the good news to the poor. To stir their hearts with faith and inspire them for with a bigger dream for their lives, Jesus paints a compelling vision of the future. The vision Jesus casts to them is an obedience based vision – what God will do if they as men and women obey Him.

Leaders in God’s kingdom are used by God to cast compelling vision. God uses servant leaders to stir people’s hearts to believe for great things to happen, to help them align their thinking and living with what God wants to do in their lives. A Spirit empowered vision can turn people away from selfish and petty dreams for their lives, to the greater dream God has for their lives. A vision inspired by revelation from God does just that in people’s hearts if it is delivered with skill and with the right attitude.

Spirit empowered vision:

  • Jesus spoke with conviction – “he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem…” 1:4
  • Spirit empowered vision is received as a revelation from God – “you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit” 1:5
  • Spirit empowered vision carries with it a sense of urgency – “”not many days from now” 1:6
  • God always allows His people to question and assess- “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom?” 1:6
  • Spirit empowered vision caries with it a sense of priority – “It is not for you… but you shall receive power…” 1:8
  • It defines the scope of activity – “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the end of the earth…” 1:8
  • It is fulfilled through obedience – “Don’t depart…wait…” 1:4-6
  • It aims to advance God’s kingdom and serve people – “you shall be witnesses to me…in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth…” 1:8
  • Vision provides a compelling picture of the future – “you shall receive power… you shall be witnesses…in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the end of the earth…” 1:8

Flesh based vision:

  • Spoken with human enthusiasm, not Godly conviction
  • It comes from the creative and competitive mind of man, not a true revelation from God
  • There is a sense of demand or manipulation, not Spirit empowered urgency
  • Fulfilled by staying ahead of others not advancing God’s kingdom
  • Aims to generate money and grow an organization, not bring people to faith and serve the poor
  • There are no healthy boundaries and freedoms to live in peace
  • It will be changed easily for something "better" or new