I want to share some practical thoughts from the book of Nehemiah over the next few days. Today I want to look at leadership, a problem that is plaguing God’s work, and many churches today. Much could be said, and perhaps many different texts could be found in the Word of God regarding this subject, but I will restrict my thoughts to Nehemiah.
What made Nehemiah a man God could use to lead in His work?
He was a man who:
Was concerned. (Neh. 1.1-4) Even though he lived in the palace and enjoyed a good life relatively speaking, he cared for those who were living in reproach and defeat. To be a man God can use in leadership, one must genuinely care for those struggling in defeat.
Prayed. (Neh. 1.5-11) Nehemiah was a praying man. No man can successfully be a godly leader who does not pray. There are simply too many decisions to make, and pitfalls to avoid. If one attempting to lead in God’s work does not pray, he is destined for failure. Always remember,
IF YOU’RE NOT PRAYING, YOUR PLAYING.
Self-disciplined. (Neh.1.4) A man who fasts is a man who has self-discipline in his life. Without a disciplined Christian life you are not going to do very much for the Lord. Hudson Taylor, that great missionary to China said it best, ”One may be consecrated, dedicated, and devoted, but of little value if undisciplined.”
Dared to believe the impossible. (Neh. 2.2-5) Nehemiah believed he could help his distressed brethren! He was in captivity himself. e He HHHe was just a servant. He had no financial means. He had no work force. In fact, we have no record of him ever having built a wall before, but he believed he could. He knew with God’s help and favor he would be successful. In our generation we need some men who, as Nehemiah, will dare to believe the impossible, and trust God to accomplish the impossible through them.
Note: I’m not talking about some foolish, “man-desiring” undertaking, but a true God given, God inspired work that within your own ability is impossible.
Planned and prepared first. Any true work of God is worthy of planning and preparation. We see this with Jesus. His ministry was not haphazard, but he had a plan! (Neh. 2.5-8)
Luke 4:42-43 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them. And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.
We see this in the Apostle Paul’s ministry as well.
Acts 15:36-38 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
There is nothing wrong with a plan and preparation as long as we do not plan God out of the arrangements!
Note: It is important with the Lord that as we engage in godly works that we finish!
Luke 14:28-30 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
Leaders must be finisher for God’s glory.
We need to stop for today. We will continue on tomorrow.