Summary: Nehemiah trusted God and made himself available. He never lose sight of his dependence on God and was fully committed to doing his best for the work of God. God used him to finish His work. One man can make a great difference.
Nehemiah 2:1-9 The Mountain Starts to Move ES 16Jan11 2134
It really doesn’t matter how big your mountain is, Jesus says if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, and say to the mountain, “Move from here to there”, it can be moved.
• Jesus challenges us to exercise faith in prayer, and we will see Him opening of doors and moving the hearts of Kings (as in Nehemiah’s case), to accomplish His will and purpose.
• Faith is abstract and remains dormant until we exercise it in prayer. This was what Nehemiah did and he saw the power of prayer.
One person can make a big difference if that person knows God and trust Him.
• “I would rather walk in the dark with God than go alone in the light. I would rather walk with Him by faith than walk alone by sight.” … Mary Gardner Brainard
Last week we saw Nehemiah wept over the ruins of Jerusalem. He was driven by a passion for God’s glory.
• He wanted to set things right so that God’s Name is exalted again in Israel. We pray that we will be often moved by the things that move the heart of God!
• Nehemiah prayed because he knew that no one but God could have accomplished what was needed to be done.
And then Nehemiah offered himself as the answer to the need of the hour. His prayer was, “Lord, here I am, send me!”
• So remember, when you can do something, don’t just pray. You may just be God’s answer to the prayer.
On hindsight, we see that when God wants to accomplish a work, He puts people in the right places at the right time.
• We see that in Scriptures – He did that with Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Esther, Nehemiah, Philip, Paul and you and me.
• So Nehemiah finally made the move. Or to put it more correctly, God opened the way for him to make that move.
Let read about his encounter with the King – Nehemiah 2:1-9.
He finally met the King. And it was in the month of Nisan (Mar-Apr), 5th month in Jewish calendar.
• Verse 1 tells us when he heard the news it was in the month of Kislev (Nov-Dec), the 3rd month.
• He has been praying and waiting for 4-5 months. Not 4 or 5 days, or 4 or 5 weeks, but over 4 months.
He was disturbed by the news. He was passionate, no doubt. Something needs to be done, surely.
• Yet Nehemiah waited for the right moment. He was waiting for the Lord to ‘open the door and prepare the way’, so to speak.
• It would mean nothing is happening. It would feel that way, nothing is really happening actually. Nehemiah was praying and waiting.
• This is one of the distinguishing lines in the Psalms – “wait for the Lord”.
If you want to succeed, (1) you’ve got to TRUST GOD – His ways and His time.
This is a challenge for many today, especially if we have a pressing issue before us.
• We want to get things done quickly. We are brought up in a society that goes for instant coffee, instant noodles, instant messaging, and instant everything (if possible).
• Waiting is a test of our trust in God. It is a test of our faith in God’s ways and God’s timing.
• We are forced to sing the song, “In His time, in His time, He makes all things beautiful in His time!”
• If it is a need, why not now? Why later? God knows, and we trust Him. He is sovereign, in order words, He does not have to tell you anything or everything He does.
When the moment comes, Nehemiah made his move.
• Faith is one part trust and one part action. James says faith without works is dead. It’s useless if you have faith and do nothing.
• You can believe all you want, but if you’re not going to step through an open door, then you are as good as not having faith.
We learnt last week that man is God’s method (E. M. Bounds says).
• If man is God’s instrument, then man must act. No amount of prayer will do; man is God’s method, man is God’s answer to the problem.
• For God’s will to be done, we must (2) make ourselves available for Him.
When God opens the door, exercise faith and step through.
• It was not easy for Nehemiah. Having faith in God does not mean everything will be fine. He was very afraid.
• Servants are expected to present themselves well before the King and not allow personal matters to affect their work. Countenance must be cheerful. “I had not been sad in His presence before” (v.1), Nehemiah said.