Summary: It is one of the most successful building projects ever. How did it go from vision to fruition in 52 days? And how will these same principles help us build a church, or a good home, or a business? Link inc. to formatted text, audio/video, Powerpoint.
Steps to Success
Nehemiah heard the sad news of Jerusalem and her walls lying in ruins, and he was heartbroken, asking God to use him to fix the situation.
Many of us pray to God to fix things and what we mean is, I’d like to see change God, and I’m hoping you will send someone else or just magically make it happen.
ill.--VBS is a busy time in our home, esp. for my wife. The house suffered for it, and I suggested, "Someone needs to clean up around here." Big mistake. I finally got it finished yesterday!
Here we find some principles of success in one of the most successful building projects ever undertaken. How did it go from vision to fruition in 52 days? And how will these same principles help us build a church, or a good home, or a business?
Christians should not be afraid of the word success ["prosper" in KJV].
Psalm 1 tells us if we shun the world and sin we will be like a tree, fruitful, and whatsoever we do shall prosper.
In Joshua 1, Joshua is about to take over for Moses in leading God’s people. God tells him, if you’ll build your life on my Word, then you will be prosperous and then you will have good success!
I love our Charismatic friends, and am not trying to bash them. But we should not allow the ’excesses’ of some to rob us of Biblical truth.
ill.--A few decades ago when the tongues movement was so big a lot of churches in our circles stopped preaching on the filling of the Holy Spirit at all, because they wanted to distance themselves from being labeled as fanatics. But, that’s allowing yourself to be robbed of a blessing...and of the truth!
Prosperity gospel is not what we’re all about, but God does want us to be successful...not for our glory, but for His, and not by the world’s standards, but by His!
ill.--Trump wants his name on towers, and to glorify himself. We want to make a name for Jesus, and to build Him a kingdom, not us a compound!
Nehemiah didn’t want to build his personal kingdom, but something for God! And he had much better hair than Trump, no doubt! [you’d think he could afford implants rather than having that mother of all combovers!]
Last time we saw how -
1. Nehemiah Verbalized his Goal...
...at the proper time, right when God opened the door to discuss it w/ the king.
Many times we rush ahead of God, impatiently wanting our way, and wanting it now, and we make a big mess of things.
Then there’s the danger of waiting too long to launch out w/ what God has told us to do. Some people are like the guy who waited at the end of his driveway for every stoplight in town to turn green before he would go. You don’t go anywhere that way!
ill.--Here comes the bride, white of hair, stooped over her cane, her footsteps uncertain need guiding / Down the other church aisle with wide toothless smile, the groom in his wheelchair comes riding / Who is this elderly couple thus wed, you’ll find when you’ve closely explored it / This is that rare, unusual pair, who waited ’til they could afford it!
...with a prayerful spirit. Even as he talked w/ the king he was silently talking to the King of kings, and he had bathed it all in prayer for 4 months already!
...with a powerful statement. It was all boiled down to those 5 words, "That I may build it." v. 5b You need clearly spelled out goals...a mission statement, and put it on paper.
And now Nehemiah has already made the impossible happen, for the king had decreed that the walls would not be rebuilt, and yet his heart is taken in and changed because Nehemiah prayed for the impossible and put it in such a powerful way at the proper time ... and God holds the heart of the king in His hand!
2. Nehemiah Mobilized the Means.
Wishful thinking never achieves goals. You have to know in advance what it’s gonna take to reach a goal and you have to ask God to give you direction.
Jesus taught in Luke 14, "What man builds a tower w/out counting the cost?" He went on to make the same point about a king planning to go to war...you have to do some planning first.
In every area of life we must count the cost, and mobilize the means. "People don’t plan to fail...they fail to plan."
But Nehemiah spent 4 months praying and planning. He has thought through every detail, and now when he finally has the ear of the king he knows exactly what to ask for. Look what Nehemiah asked for: