Do you wonder what God has in store for you? Do you feel “stuck”, not knowing what to do first in finding His will for your life?
Today, we will begin a study series called, “Realizing your Dream.” This series is intended to help you identify your God given calling and to assist you to move forward in the fulfillment of your destiny.
The backdrop for this series will be the book of Nehemiah. We will learn from a man who, against all odds was used by God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. God is not necessarily looking for the talented but for the “willing.” If you are willing, be prepared to move beyond where you are to a place you’ve never been before!
Read NEHEMIAH 1
Israel had been carried away captive due to their disobedience to God. Into the center of this story steps a man named Nehemiah. Nehemiah was not even born in Israel. He was not a part of the problem that caused the deportation of Israel to foreign lands. He was born in Persia, a Jewish servant of the king of the land. He held no position of power or decision-making authority in Persia. He was cupbearer to the king. It was his job to taste the king’s drink before he did to ensure that no assassin’s poison made it to the lips of the king. If he died, he was replaceable; they would find another man to do his job. Not the kind of a man who you would think would do the miraculous or be used to resurrect the city of God.
It is this type of individual God is seeking: an ordinary man or woman ready to be breathed upon by an extraordinary God. Nehemiah was used by God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem; to begin the restoration of the city to which Jesus Christ would make His descent from the Mount of Olives.
In this study, we learn how it all happened. Today, we focus on how it all started, and by learning how it started for Nehemiah, we can learn how God will start His dream in our lives as well.
Here’s my question: What “moves” you? Does anything “move” you?
Nehemiah was visited by some men from Judah in Israel. During the visit, he inquired about the condition of Jerusalem and the people who lived there. The men from Judah relayed the situation: The wall of Jerusalem was broken down and its gates burned by fire. As for the people, they are in great distress and are a reproach to those around them.
Without walls, Jerusalem could not be taken seriously as a city of importance. It was open to any intruder, invader, and bandit. Essentials necessary for worship; the temple and its furnishings and articles used in sacrifice were gone. Most people had left or been carried away and those who remained were barely scratching out a living. Jerusalem bore little resemblance to the city of the days of David and Solomon and there were enemies whose job was to ensure that it never again reached the level of importance it once attained.
Upon hearing about Jerusalem and its people, Nehemiah was moved. Are you ever “moved” by the circumstances of others?
Three things happened in Nehemiah that began his God-given destiny. Let’s take a look at them to see if they are happening in us.
When Nehemiah heard about Jerusalem, he fasted and prayed for many days. People of fasting and prayer provide a platform upon which God can build His kingdom. If we don’t pray, our dreams never grow bigger than our own interests: our family, our welfare, our needs. In verse five, we see Nehemiah refer to the awesomeness of God. How many of you want to know the awesomeness of God?
In the absence of prayer, we get satisfied with what is “alright” rather than what is “awesome.” Are our bills paid? Are our kids successful? Do we live comfortably? Am I being promoted? Through prayer and the Word, God reveals His heart. If you want a vision from God, you must be a person of prayer and the Word. It is the only thing that opens our eyes to the possibilities of God!
It is through prayer and the Word that we personalize God’s vision. In verses 6,7 and 8, we see Nehemiah personalizing the sin of Israel and God’s solution to the problem. If you don’t personalize the problem, you will never do anything to help! Outside of prayer and the Word, we can distance ourselves away from problems. People of the Word and prayer cannot remain at a distance; they understand that God is calling them to be a part of His redemptive plan!
Are you a consistent prayer and reader of the Word? If not, you will not be “moved” by God’s heart. If so, get ready, your instructions are coming!
After Nehemiah caught God’s heart vision for Jerusalem, he went straight to his authority and made petition for God’s plan. When the king asked Nehemiah what was wrong, Nehemiah said, “I am sick with a vision from God!” David Hatley, our missionary to Africa shared this principle with us from his own life recently. He told us that once God had spoken to him about Africa, he went straight to his authority to make petition for the will of God. There is safety and help in being “covered” by our authority. Once you have heard from God, get to your authority! Lay the vision before them or tell them where God has told you to serve. Nehemiah benefited greatly from the help of his authority. They hold the “keys” to safe passage and provision for you!
After Nehemiah caught the vision of God and after he got the blessing of his authority, he moved directly into position. Nehemiah saddled his mount and headed to Jerusalem. He didn’t wait; he didn’t ponder; he didn’t waffle – he moved!
After you’ve been cleared for takeoff, get on the runway and throttle your engines! You may not feel as if you know what you’re doing, but you will never learn more until you accomplish what God has given you!
Taking the “first step” is always the hardest but if you don’t, you can forget about awesome!
God has a vision for you! You discover it by being a person of prayer and the Word. You validate it by going to your authority. You begin it by moving into the “neighborhood” God has called you to!
Get strapped in!!!! God is calling to you!!!!