Happy New Year!
I can hardly believe its 2018 already. But at this point we are like a week and a half in so I guess I should start to believe it. ha! Like most of you, I have spent the last two weeks or so doing a TON of reflection and thought about what went well in 2017 and what I want to do in 2018. I have my list of museums, places, and people I want to make top priority for this year. And like you, I also have a list of GOALS. I know what you’re thinking…another New Years post about goals?! Yep.
But it isn’t what you think. See, I was reading Nehemiah and saw how he laid the groundwork for the rebuilding of the wall. (Pause now and go read the story in chapter 2 if you haven’t!) But in summary, Nehemiah is on a mission to rebuild the wall of jerusalem but first he has to do some things. As I was reading, the holy spirit highlighted to me a strategy that Nehemiah used to begin his God given assignment successfully.
Here is what I saw:
- SEEK GOD FIRST
We learn in chapter one that the “wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are destroyed by fire.” (vs 3). Nehemiah falls to the ground and begins to weep, fast and pray and seek God’s face about the horrible news of the wall being broken down. So the first thing he did was SEEK GOD. He pleads with God to return His presence to them. This is so important because I think so often we find ourselves in the middle of a situation we WOULD have been successful in if we had sought God first. But instead we moved ahead and didn’t wait.
Down in chapter 2, the king notices that Nehemiah is sort of bummed out and asks why. (vs. 2). Nehemiah explains that this tragedy of the wall being broken down has actually broken his heart. The King asks him what he wants and Nehemiah ASKS the King for permission. (note: he prayed to God first too!! See point one as to why that is important). Nehemiah was presented with an opportunity to move forward with his God given mission and He did not let the moment pass him. He approached it with humility and boldness. And the King said YES. Once you know that God has given you a mission, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need to achieve it from Him or anyone who can Help you. But don’t forget to pray first like Nehemiah. Ask God for favor and permission!
Time to Build right?! Well…no. Nehemiah got what he needed and then went to OBSERVE the wall. He basically scoped it all out to see what it would take to rebuild it. Ah such wisdom! I am guessing we would call this “market research” in our day! When it was time for me to begin to apply to law schools, I read article and after article. I visited schools and talked to people who previously went to school. Before you embark on your God given mission, LOOK AROUND. What do you need to know? Do your best to gather all the information you can. Nehemiah was there for three whole days observing!
And while He was there you can bet he told everyone why! Wait- nope, that is in fact NOT what Nehemiah did. In Vs 12 Nehemiah makes it very clear that he didnt tell a soul what God has put into his heart to do for Jerusalem. (note: here is our proof that Nehemiah’s decision to rebuild the wall was GOD’s idea not his own. Ah. God ideas > good ideas!) We can speculate about why he kept is a secret but the main point is: it wasn’t time for anyone to know. Trust in God’s timing in this area too. When you need to rope in people, you will know when and WHO. Not everything going on needs to be told right away (preaching to myself!). A famous rapper once said “real g’s move in silence like lasagna” and I feel like this is the appropriate time to implement this sound advice!
5. GET TO WORK
Then, Nehemiah got to work. He rallied his team and they got busy. As you read on, you can see what challenges they faced and that’s maybe for a June post once we have gotten our hands dirty with the beginning work. But the point is, when it is time to BUILD, BUILD. Stop biting your nails, losing sleep, and worrying about what that one girl from high school is going to think. If God has put it your heart to do something, DO IT. Trust Him to provide, open doors and make it happen for you as you work to pursue His will. Partial disobedience is DISOBEDIENCE. Go all in friend (with wisdom and faith). Work your butt off, rest when you can, and trust Him to do His part as you do YOURS.
Round of applause for our friend Nehemiah! I wonder if He knew that his story of his God given mission of rebuilding a wall would be read in 2018? Thank goodness he was obedient!
Helpful Tools to help you make this year a success!