Today you should read: Nehemiah 2:11-20
This will probably be said a hundred times as we go through this book but Nehemiah is a great book on leadership. It is also a great account of God’s people overcoming great odds and adversity to do what God had called them to do. In today’s reading we see three key encounters:
- Nehemiah assesses the situation.
Many times, when we face a difficult situation that seems too big for us the natural reaction is to whine, fuss, freeze up or give up. Nehemiah had a big task ahead of him and, instead of complaining or throwing in the towel, he trusted in God’s direction and used the faculties God has given all of us and made a plan. We can sometimes be guilty of over-spiritualizing things. We know that God is in control and that His will is always accomplished, but God also wants us to get in and do some work in the process. God has given us creativity and problem solving skills to use as we serve Him and build His kingdom here on earth.
- Nehemiah rallies the troops
Nehemiah then goes to the people and lays it all out. There is no sugar-coating on his report. He tells them that they are in trouble, the city is burnt to a crisp and they are a disgrace to the surrounding people. But he doesn’t stop with the problems. He counters it with a plan to fix it. Many people are great at complaining and pointing out problems and mistakes, a real leader works and thinks and dreams up solutions to remedy those things. His plan is simple but effective, “let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem” He picked one thing to tackle, a sizeable and yet attainable goal for the people. He didn’t push them to build the whole city back in one day. When faced with a big task it is always easier to start with a smaller, specific chunk and then move on little by little. That is what Nehemiah did.
- Nehemiah faced opposition from the outside
As the people began to rebuild three knuckleheads showed up to taunt them ridicule them. These three guys must not have had anything better to do than to sit around all day and pester the people working on the wall. This same thing happens today as well. The people who are not serving and giving and investing their lives in others are typically those who are running around complaining and pointing out mistakes and problems. If you are the one serving and investing keep on going. Learn from critics, even bad ones and then move on. If you are one of the critics, stop it and get to work. The kingdom of heaven is near and the “we must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.” (John 9:4)
Posted by: Robbie Byrd