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In my reading recently, God was showing me again what it means to be a servant and offer your service. I was reading about a man named Nehemiah who was a servant of a king in a foreign land. His people had been taken captive and he had become the king’s cupbearer. One day after hearing of all the bad stuff, which had been happening back in his homeland, he showed a unique appearance to the king. An appearance so unique the king was moved to ask him what was the matter. From my reading, it seemed that Nehemiah had never before shown his feelings this way, hence why the king spoke to him. Nehemiah complained, my homeland is laying desolate and the people are oppressed let me go and build stability and then return.
Imagine someone who was imprisoned, saying “let me out to help build a city and then I will come back.” As I read through some of the passages, it began to dawn on me that Nehemiah was a servant for his cause. Nehemiah showed true leadership by his service. Somewhat like Joseph the son of Israel – being held in prison, when he was finally released into power, he had the opportunity to flourish in the midst of turbulence.
The great leaders of old, have all learned to serve first.
We all like to laugh in life, laughing is good for the body. it occurred to me however that we laugh at the same thing only sometimes. One man’s success is another’s laughter. By this I mean, have you ever heard someone was trying to do something and you just laughed? Have you ever told someone your plan and they replied with laughter? I want to ask one question, are you a comedian? If not comedians have the job of making people laugh. You should not really be concerned what makes another smile or laugh, especially if it comes to you telling them a plan.
Nehemiah had prayed earnestly on the behalf of Israel for redemption. God, through the king Artaxerxes gave Nehemiah room to manoeuvre back to his home land in Judah and start to rebuild. What we must remember is that the land lay desolate and not many would have thought something would have become of it (even Israel’s own people). When we do things in lifer, there are always other people who will not believe and mock you. When Nehemiah made the plan known people mocked and insulted.
But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?
Whether someone accepts your work or rejects it, know that you are the one who is doing it.
I learned that words are much more powerful than I previously thought. There is a certain stereotype or custom in being a Christian, I use to evade it so easily, fell into it and now I’m trying to learn t evade it again…It’s called being AVERAGE! Learning about a topic, all you want to do is focus on the famous scriptures, not looking to delve deeper into study.
I like to challenge myself, see how serious I want to be with God, average doesn’t cut it with me, neither do I want to live a life of mediocrity. I want God to be able to ask me, why does he love me and be able to answer with more than John 3:16. God gave us so much and we gave him nothing initially. We now have the opportunity to give God everything and what do we give him? Ecclesiastes made me think about what we give God. I started to understand that God holds us accountable to what we say…If Nehemiah never prayed to God, he would not have been bound to complete his tasks. The words of our mouth only mean something binding to God when we say them to him…Don’t be hasty. When I say to God, I will give you £100, God now expects it, if I don’t say it, God won’t hold me to it. Whatever we promise God he expects it. God has taught me how important integrity is.
This is something I want to remember everyday I’m living, God Expects what we promise…
Fasting is answered by God
In the book of Nehemiah, chapter 9, we see the assembling of the children of Israel. They gathered to fast and confess their sins before God. The next few chapters are actually a good read, in the context of what is happening. We are brought back to as early as Abraham, the many times Israel returned back to God after rejecting him. The manifold wisdom and grace of God is highlighted many times. The children then here place themselves under submission of the law given by Moses, and now begin to live the way God intended. The children of Israel’s fasting here was a key to the turn around and change of the people.
And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?
One of the biggest motivations for me in life is the Bible! More importantly is the people inside the Bible, when one reads a story book, we so easily get attached to these characters who are fictional and treat them as real. This is the same feeling we portray when watching soaps and entertainment shows. The Bible is different! We can see the realness in the Bible and look at these people as those from history. As real as Adolf Hitler or Stalin, we believe these story’s because someone taught us these lessons. The two aforementioned were from the last century and a time will come when all those who experienced first hand torture and pain will be gone. What we will have left are books, videos and word of mouth. People easily believe in these stories without having personally experienced these times. This is one way in which people have surety believing things they did not witness.
The above cited scripture is a segment from and encounter Nehemiah had during his time in captivity. Perhaps one of my favourite scriptures, although I have quite a few. Nehemiah gives the believer the best response to people who do not understand, are trying to disrupt your environment or simply just want you to do something else. He states what more believers should be telling people in there lives. Why should I come down to you and stop the good work I’m doing here for God, this will waste my time? We get caught up so much in life and of recent God has been showing me how our friends can disrupt our calling. Friends are not always positive that must be said, there are times when your friend will bother you and keep you from work. There has to come a time in your life however when you make a decision to stop putting life on hold and continue progressing in life.
On top of this statement, there are more attempts to prize Nehemiah away from his good work for God. Do you know how he replied? Nehemiah 6:4 reads “Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.” It is much easier to say no once than to be consistently perseverant. When those leeches in life suck you dry and continue to use you, you must be willing and able to say no. These were people in his life who were looking to do him evil and not good.
I want you from now on to look at things in life in the right frame of mind and decide whether you are going to allow the same people you said you would cut of years ago to remain a constant distraction. These could be people God has told you to cut affiliation with but you remained in contact for fear of alienation. A certain job God told you to quit but the money is too good in your opinion. These are all things which will test your faith and God sees everyone’s faith.