Summary: God doesn’t have to step down from heaven to bring about change. He uses people like you and I if we are available.
Text: Nehemiah 1:1-11
When God wants to bring about a change in a situation, family, or nation, God doesn’t step down from heaven to bring about this change. He uses people.
MOSES AS A CHANGE MAKER
When God wanted to bring about a change in the situation of the Israelites and deliver them from over 400 years of bondage and hardship in Egypt, God used Moses to bring about this change (Exodus 2:23-25, Exodus 3).
NEHEMIAH AS A CHANGE MAKER
When God wanted to fulfill His word that the captivity of the Israelites in Babylon would come to an end and the walls of Jerusalem would be rebuilt, He used Nehemiah to restore back the broken walls and bring about this much anticipated change (Nehemiah 1).
JESUS' DISCIPLES AND SOME WOMEN AS CHANGE MAKERS
When God wanted to fulfill His promise in Joel 2:28 to pour out His Spirit on all flesh, He used a group of people who stayed in the upper room; the place of prayer, to pray and usher in the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5, 12-14). The baptism of the Holy Spirit didn’t come automatically, it took some people sacrificing their time in the place of prayer to bring about this change.
God wants to bring about a change in your life, family, church and nation, but this change isn’t going to be magical. You won’t just wake up one day and see changes all around. Whatever change God is going to bring about, He is going to use people to bring about this change.
God wants every one of us to be change makers. To improve the way things are in our family, church and nation. Change makers are an advantage to have around. They are the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16). They add value wherever they go, wherever they are placed.
Characteristics of Change Makers
1. They are not perfect but are working towards perfection (Exodus 4:10)
Not once in the Bible will you come across an account of a person who was perfect before the person was used by God. The only person that falls into this category is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
James 5:17 tells us something interesting. It says “Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years”. The phrase ‘Elijah was a man just like us’ means he had flesh and blood like you and I. It means Elijah faced the same kind of temptations and struggles you and I face today. It’s clear from scripture that Elijah struggled with doubt, fear and insecurity (1 Kings 19:1-4). There were times when he was confused and at the verge of giving up, yet he was mightily used by God. He spoke a simple word and by his word there was no trace of rain in the land for three and a half years. God didn’t honour and back up this word spoken by Elijah because he was perfect. God honoured him because when he looked into Elijah’s heart, though he saw a man with flaws and weaknesses, he still saw a man with a deep love and devotion to God. He saw a man that was ready to go the extra mile for the work of the Lord and so God was pleased to use him.
You can love God with everything in you and still not be perfect. Romans 8:28 tells us that “we know in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose”. God doesn’t turn situations around for your good because you are perfectly sinless. He changes things for you and causes things to work for your favour because you love Him.
The Bible is full of people who loved God, people that our great God moved mightily in their lives, families and situations, yet they were anything but perfect! Abraham, the great man of faith, once told an outright lie to save his neck (Genesis 20:2). Noah, the man God described as the only righteous man in his generation, once drank himself to a drunken stupor (Genesis 9:20-21). Moses whom God used to perform some of the greatest miracles ever heard of, wasn’t perfect. He wasn’t eloquent, he had physical defects and character flaws. He had a problem with anger, yet God still used Him to bring about a positive change in the lives of the Israelites. David that was declared the man after God’s heart, was guilty as charged of adultery and murder. Peter who was listed as one of the pillars of the early church, had the nerve to publicly deny our Lord three times. These were ordinary, imperfect people like you and I that God used for extraordinary purposes. Why? Because in spite of their apparent weaknesses, they loved God and yielded their lives completely to His service.