Nehemiah was living in Persia in 446BC, and was approached by several men who said, "The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in grate trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire." (Neh 1:1-3). This was very troubling for Nehemiah because he had a deep love for the people there. This was a big deal because the walls were the protection for the people of Jerusalem, and they were surrounded by enemies. In Chapter 2, Nehemiah, who is cupbearer to the king, goes to him with sadness on his face. This was very dangerous and was a capital offense. But the king showed favor to Nehemiah and gave him what he needed to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls.
God called Nehemiah out to a certain task, but Nehemiah could have used several excuses to go to Jerusalem:
1. Distance - He was 960 miles away, which would have been a 3 moth journey
2. Job - He was in a lowly position. Someone else had more influence and was more qualified.
3. Experience - He was not a builder.
BUT GOD puts something on our hearts that we can't do...but HE can!
Nehemiah did 2 things very well...
1. He prayed and began with worship to set the groundwork. Out of his worship, he confessed specific sin. Finally, he asked for success to accomplish what God put on his heart.
We are often challenged to pray:
A. Time - Nehemiah prayed for 4-6 months...we often don't think we have 5 minutes.
B. Distractions - Our mind will wander
C. Being convinced prayer works - we don't really believe it makes a difference.
2. Nehemiah lived by faith and had the courage to approach the king. It would've been easier to just let someone else do it. He (and we) could have said...
A. Comfort - we are addicted to comfort
B. Fear of man - Our obedience can look strange to others
C. Someone else will do it - but God calls us
To Discuss Today:
1. When was the last time you REALLY spent time talking and listening to God. What was the last specific sin you confessed? Do you believe prayer really makes a difference? Why?
2. Tell of a time when you knew God was calling you to do something outside your comfort zone. How did you know that was the right thing to do? How did it work out?
3. Ask God to give you something to do that will take a "step of faith".