Lessons from Nehemiah
This morning we are going to look at the leader Nehemiah.
Nehemiah was a regular person who saw what was happening in Israel and decided that he was going to do something about it.
Saw the need
Let God know he was available
Allowed God to use him.
As we go into the New Year, how many would say that they were available if God calls them to a certain task?
Would say to the Lord, show me what you want me to do?
Nehemiah 6:1-6:14 read from the Bible.
There are so many books written about leadership, mentoring, being available, I cannot even tell you how many of those books I have read over the years.
But the Bible is still the best place to get answers and examples of how and why God uses ordinary people to do extra-ordinary things.
It began for Nehemiah because he looked at his country and weep because the great nation of Israel had been in bondage.
He looked at the ruins of his beloved city that still after 100 years had no walls to fortify and protect them.
After praying and fasting, he went to the king and convinced him that God will show him favor and that again the city can be fortified and protected. God honored his desire and blessed him to accomplish that task. That is the short version of the vision that God gave to Nehemiah.
What had been destroyed for 100 years, God used Nehemiah to build back in 52 days.
I want you to see in his life that God can accomplish things that are impossible with man, and things done that no one except an anointed person of God will have the determination and drive to finish.
Look at the example of Nehemiah as God can use people to accomplish a task , build a church, but also look at the principal for what your going through, what obstacles you face in your own life.
Here are some answers.
God is a builder and transformer (write down)
God is a creator.
He takes joy in his creations. Be creative and create.
For Nehemiah, he saw what was destroyed by sin and evil, and knew that destruction was not consistent with God’s character.
After praying, it did not stop there, he was going to make a difference and he knew God was going to be in it.
God is a transformer-
God is a shaker, motivator, and one that does not want to leave someone in the same way that he found him/her. To say we know God and not see change in our life is to admit that we have not let God in control.
He went on to build those walls around the city which gave them security from their enemies.
There are certain things we can see from Nehemiah in the process of accomplishing these things.
Everyday in our lives there are opportunities that come along that have the potential of distracting us from the main thing God wants us to do. Sometimes they are good things.
Important things are often sacrificed for urgent things (Did you get that)
Sometimes urgency of others takes us off track of where God wants us to go.
Good things in themselves that become overwhelming.
Nehemiah knew that Sanballat, Tobiah, were out to stop the work he knew that God wanted to get done through him.
Distraction #2- Criticism
Nehemiah was no stranger to criticism.
The whole time he was involved in this project, there were people criticizing and telling him that it could not be done. It was tried before. We don’t do things that way.
His vision was attacked.
His workers were attacked.
His family was attacked.
His God was attacked.
They will try to beat you anyway they can.
Nehemiah prayed that God would give him strength.
He knew as long as God was in it, it was going to get done.
Don’t waste your time and energy on those that criticize.
Focus on God who gives you the ability to complete the task shown you.
Distraction #3- Fear
Some told Nehemiah he should run and hide because some were opposing him and his life was in danger. He was not going to let some opportunities take him off track, he was not going to let negative criticism of others distract him from the vision, and certainly was not going to let fear have him hide and run when he knew it was a God thing!
If it is a divine vision, there will be divine strength given to accomplish whatever is needed.
The wall was finished except for the doors at the gate.
“And the rest of our enemies found out that I had finished rebuilding the wall and that no gap remained-though we had not yet sit the doors in the gate.”
People will not quit criticizing, tearing down, being an obstacle, that is why it is a God thing!
You need God’s help and His strength to do it.
If that is not enough challenge for you, the very people that come against you , the biggest thorns of completing the task, will try to take credit for it. Saying that they had your back the whole time- exalting what little part they played in it. You will always have this!
We always get e-mails that warn us, try to get us to buy something, have Christian twist to them. I’ll share some
Big companies don’t need to do business by sending chain letters
Bill Gates is not giving away his millions of dollars if you like and forward certain e-mails.
No king from another country is looking for a Christian here in America to leave his millions if you could send him money for postage.
Proctor and Gamble company is not a Satanic cult. Their sickle and hammer is not a logo with secret message and Russian origin.
You do not have to forward these e-mails “just in case they are true. They are not true!
Madalyn Ohair is not sending a bill to congress to stop all Christian programs on TV. She is dead and it is not true!
They are distractions that keep some Christians off track of what they need to be doing and putting the focus on things that are untrue.
Words of a dying church
“But we have never done it that way”- therefore they never do anything new.
“Got to keep the doors open.” – Like the whole reason we are in existence is to survive instead of thriving and doing what God has called us to do. You aim at nothing and you will hit your target with accuracy.
“Keep everyone here and happy”- like the church is suppose to cater to every whim and every doctrine. One size does not fit all. It doesn’t fit anybody good.
How did Nehemiah deal with problems- he sure had them, and you can be sure you will too.
How did he do it?
1. He kept working (write down)
He knew that what God was telling him and showing him was right and nothing, not even good things were to distract him from accomplishing it.
His priorities were in the right place
“What we are doing is great work, because it is God’s work”
He had discernment- we don’t hear much about that.
He trusted God to help and he smelled a rat when they were trying to ambush him.
He was not intimidated- God can defeat bullies, and bullies don’t stop the plan of God in your life or in the life of any churches.
That all under he kept working
2. He ask for God’s help
(9) “They were all trying to frighten us, thinking their hands will get to weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” “But I prayed, now strengthen my hands.”
There is power in that prayer.
We serve a big God!
He can handle it!
Whatever it is!
He can turn a church around, a life around , set a family back on track. If he can take 2 million people across a sea on dry land, he can help you! Amen.
Moses said Exodus 14-
“Do not be afraid, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, Which he will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
Big God, ask him for help
As I close, I want to tell you something
Rosedale has been making a lot of internal changes. Some because they have been on the back burner for a long time, some because it is time to change, and some because we do not want to be distracted from what God is calling us too.
How about you? As a church, so we can work together, we need everyone to be involved.
We will be letting you know so we can grow together and fulfill the vision He has given to us.
What about in your personal life? will you let distraction and criticism keep you from what you know God is calling you too? So many today think God has given them the ministry to tear down, criticize from afar. God is looking for some to build up and empower for a bigger cause.
“Where there is no vision, my people perish:
I am praying this year that God will move Rosedale to higher heights, and each one of our families are blessed and doing what God has called us to do.
Wouldn’t that be awesome?