February 21, 2012

Lessons From Walls

For the last few weeks, our church has been going through the series "Walls", which looks at the story of Nehemiah in the Old Testament. Whenever we do a straightforward book study, I try to also read along on my own in order to not only try to keep up & anticipate where our pastor is headed with the series but to also hear the things from God that He wants me personally to get during the series. Now Nehemiah is easily one of my favorite books in the entire Bible, so narrowing all the good stuff in there down to a handful of nice, concise lessons is really hard for me, but here goes.

1) You Don't Have To Have A Pedigree To Lead A Great Movement Of God.
Nehemiah was a cup bearer, not a prophet, not a priest, not a teacher, yet God used Him greatly.

2) Once God Gives You A Burden, Pray & Plan
Nehemiah HAD to get back to Jerusalem but it seemed impossible, so he prayed, he planned, & when the opportunity came to present it to the king he was ready & God blessed it.

3) You Need Others To Accomplish The Mission God's Called You To
Nehemiah had a burden & a call, but it wasn't one that he could pull off alone. God always calls us to something that requires Him & His people in order to fulfill it.
4) You'll Need Extreme Focus In The Face Of Opposition
Nehemiah faced almost constant opposition. Whether they were simply degrading Nehemiah & the people or actually plotting to take Nehemiah down, enemies were around. Who your enemies & opponents are will tell others almost as much as who your friends are.

5) Doing Something That Lasts Must Include A Commitment To God's Word
Immediately after rebuilding the walls, the people were pointed back to God's word. While they had accomplished a huge project, the real project, the rebuilding of their fellowship with God, was at risk. Even with rebuild walls, the people could have easily fallen back into the sin that led to their exile & the destruction of the city. Real change comes from the transforming power of God's word at work in us. Make sure that your mission is rooted in God's bigger purpose revealed in His word.

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