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Summary: Nehemiah used a structured and God ordained strategy for accomplishing the mission God placed in his heart. A Strategy that churches can still use and be blessed by today. Planning and following through to really see some things take place for God.

Strategy for Success Nehemiah 1 : 1-4 & 2: ll-18

In his book The Purpose Driven Church.

Rick Warren tells a story about his father being the best fisherman he ever met.

He would always catch more fish than anyone else.

The reason for his success Warren believed was that his dad "caught the fish.... on their terms."

Rick Warren says "While my dad would crawl through brush or get wet up to his waist in order to get to where the fish were, my fishing spots were usually determined by what was most comfortable to me.

I had no STRATEGY, and my results showed it."

We need to understand that

I. Success in carrying out our mission for God requires a Strategy.

Now Strategy includes things such as

Objectives

Goals

and Action Plans

Strategies will allow us to be intentional about those things we decide are most important.

The scofferers and the skeptics might say

"well why can’t we just trust the Holy Spirit to lead us as we are spontaneous." Leaving room for the Holy Spirit to lead us is what we must do...However if we are honest we will find that PLANNING a strategy to complete the mission God places before us is completely Biblical.

In Jeremiah 29:11 God says

For I know the plans that I have for you,’.... declares the LORD, ’plans for welfare and not for calamity... to give you a future and a hope.’"

The Apostle Paul told us in 1 Corinthians 14:40 to let all things be done properly and in an orderly manner."

Our major text for this evening comes from the book named after a man that God used to bring great leadership and great organization to God’s people.

We find this man named Nehemiah serving as cupbearer to the king in Susa.

We can notice first of all that Nehemiah had a burden for the current condition things were in.

Look at Nehemiah’s BURDEN in SUSA.

Neh 1

1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah:

In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa,

2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.

3 They said to me, "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace.

The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire."

4 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’s ability to DO something about changing the current situation began first with his sincere and deep heart felt desire to see restoration come about.

We can do nothing for God unless we first are serious and sincere and truly moved from the depth of our heart to bring the mission about.

You can do all the ear bending and arm pulling in the world and say let’s do something....If the people’s heart is not in it....It will fail.

Nehemiah was burdened enough to seek God’s mission for him and for the people.

He prayed for success. We are talking about a matter of the heart. What do most people do when something is troubling there heart or breaking their heart?

They pray about it don’t they.

When can talk it up, chalk it up on a game board planning book ....but if we are not moved to prayer ...then God will not move among us in accomplishing the mission.

Remember that in recent Sundays I talked about the importance of vision?

God gave to Nehemiah a vision or restoring Jerusalem and so Nehemiah would follow that vision.

Nehemiah traveled to Jerusalem

So what happens when Nehemiah moves out and goes to Jerusalem.

Turn over to chapter 2 and

Let’s begin reading in verse 11 of chapter 2.

11 I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days

12 I set out during the night with a few men. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on.

13 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.

14 Then I moved on toward the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was not enough room for my mount to get through;

15 so I went up the valley by night, examining the wall. Finally, I turned back and reentered through the Valley Gate.

Notice what Nehemiah did here

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