For a while now I’ve been so fascinated by the book of Nehemiah. For the past year God has kept drawing me back to this one chapter in the bible. It’s been a while since we shared at length from The Word, so I thought I would share this with you (kick off your shoes, get comfortable and let us share!)
If you have’t read the first couple chapters of Nehemiah, then I suggest you read them before reading this blog. It will make a whole lot more sense then! Otherwise, let’s see how God uses us and what He can do through us.
God Uses a Peron that has a Passion for the Cause
” 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 put a burden on Nehemiah’s heart. His home was lying in ruins along with his own people. I think my heart would absolutely burst if I knew my home was in any kind of hardship. I think I can say I know what this feels like. Have you ever felt like something was pressing on your heart? I know it sounds all airy, but its just something that won’t go away. I am sure that if you have ever had a passion for something, you have felt that little indent in your heart. This something may well be the start of God’s work in your life and in the life of others. You need a passion otherwise, whats it to you?
- Nehemiah Prioritized his Mission by Prayer
“……..let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before You day and night for Your servants, the people of Israel”
– Nehemiah 1: 5-11 (NIV)
Have you ever seen those movies where the hero feels moved for a cause and proceeds to go full force into action? I’m not too sure thats what happens in real life. Prayer reflects your spiritual life. When you pray you are alone with God, head bowed and humbled. It allows you to see your heart as it really is, which I think is so important when we are assessing our motives for chasing our dreams.Nehemiah prays a beautiful prayer. He acknowledges God’s sovereignty, he asks for forgiveness and he asks God to give him the grace and blessing he needs to carry out his mission. But there was a problem……
- The Obstacle Never Ceases to Stand in Your Way
“I was the cup bearer to the king……and because the gracious hand of The Lord was on me, the king granted my requests”
– Nehemiah 1: 11, 2: 1-9 (NIV)
I’m sure many of you, who do The Lord’s work or even those of you who have achieved something know that whenever you set out to do something, the first thing that shows up is an obstacle. Nehemiah was a cup bearer under the king and needed his permission to go anywhere. But God made a way here. The king himself asked Nehemiah what the problem was and upon hearing his burden immediately sent Nehemiah off to do the work. God made a way where they seemed to be no way. It’s important to note that this was because of the character that Nehemiah built while he worked for the king. It’s not easy to work under someone else when all you want is to go do your own thing. But remember, whatever you do; work at it as if working for The Lord, and you never know when God will use that experience to fuel your dreams.
- Nehemiah Pondered in Proximity
“By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal Well and the Dung Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire.“
– Nehemiah 2: 11-16 (NIV)
Get close to the things you want to change. As God calls you, He will also guide and lead you to the things that only you as a person can do. Let’s face it. People are lost. We need to reach out and touch lives, if we are to continue living purposeful lives. Of course, people will make fun of you now but when you have done the things that God has called you to do and people see that, they will see God in you, in a way that they wouldn’t have otherwise. That’s the beauty of doing the Lord’s work.
There’s no point wanting to save the children in South America, if you’ve never actually been to South America. There’s not point in giving money to a charity you really don’t know anything about, apart from the fact that its a charity. Ponder in proximity to the things you want to change, that feel God nudged you to take part in. Chances are it’ll be what you’ve always dreamed of.
- Nehemiah went Through the Process of Preparation.
Ever tried to take a test without studying for it? Or have you organized a dinner without cooking anything for your guests? When we are called to Missions, like the hero in the movie, there is no sudden climax scene in which we achieve everything we wanted to in the space of 45 minutes. Our dreams take time. They take work. They take prayer. Chances are, what God has called you to will challenge you in ways you can’t imagine. We have to be willing to learn, to prepare to work hard and above all to train our minds, to be willing and open to God every step of that way.
- Avoid the Paralysis of Pessimism.
“But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?”
– Nehemiah 2:19 (NIV)
It gets rough sooner or later. But don’t listen to Bod who sits across at work every day, or Mrs. Jones your next door neighbor. People will be pessimistic, because in our world today we look for instant gratitude and reward. Sure things will go completely and utterly wrong, and sometimes our dreams get lost somewhere in the mess of life and you’re left thinking “It’s never going to change”. But God can take the most painful moments of your life and soon you will find out that He used it for the greatest glory. It will change, just believe and don’t be paralyzed by “it wont’s”
- Brought Peace to His People
“The priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the musicians and the temple servants, along with certain of the people and the rest of the Israelites, settled in their own towns.”
– Nehemiah 7: 73 (NIV)
God’s ultimate goal through Nehemiah was to bring restoration. In our lives some of goals and dreams could be to impact the lives of others, whether directly or indirectly. I think each everyone of us longs to see some change in our world, something we believe that we can be apart of to change. In the end it wasn’t really about what Nehemiah, or we ask of God, its what He does in you through that.
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE WHAT GOD CAN DO THROUGH YOU