I love the book of Nehemiah. It tells the story of building a wall, something that’s not part of our ordinary day (unless you’re a bricklayer!), but this little book has been the source of countless sermons, devotions, and Bible studies. I see Nehemiah as a treasure for two reasons.
First, it illustrates once again the sovereignty of God and His ability to protect His people and enable them to do what He calls them to do. Second, it is a practical guide to accomplishing any good work. By following Nehemiah’s example, we can tackle any task, even when it seems impossible.
Just looking at the first four chapters of Nehemiah, we find ten principles of good leadership demonstrated by the life of this faithful servant of God.
#1 – Seek God’s help and direction (Nehemiah 1:1-11).
#2 – Be willing to personally step up and act (Nehemiah 2:1-10).
#3 – Critically assess the current problem (Nehemiah 2:11-16).
#4 – Recruit help and divide the work among those the problem affects (Nehemiah 2:17-3:32; 4:16-17).
#5 – Expect opposition from the naysayers and critics (Nehemiah 4:1-8).
#6 – Set your mind to work (Nehemiah 4:6).
#7 – Pray without ceasing (Nehemiah 4:9).
#8 – Trust God when it looks like it won’t work; don’t give in to fear (Nehemiah 4:14).
#9 – Make effective communication with your team a priority (Nehemiah 4:19-20).
#10 – Be willing to sacrificially go above and beyond to get things done (Nehemiah 4:21-23).
These principles show us that when God presents us with a new assignment, He will fulfill it. It might not be easy, and it likely will take longer than we thought, but it will be possible if we seek His help and listen to the Holy Spirit as He directs our steps.
Nehemiah will face more challenges, but as he listens to God and relies on His wisdom, the obstacles become opportunities for God to reveal His power and glory. In the end, the wall will be built, and God will get the credit.
Nehemiah 6:16 – When all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations surrounding us saw it, they lost their confidence; for they recognized that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.
What’s on your plate today? Where has God placed you to do His good work – work that reveals the grace and love of God in your everyday responsibilities? How can you implement the steps so clearly laid out by Nehemiah for the work to which you’re called?