There may be seasons in your life, as a believer where you need spiritual restoration (Revelation 3:15). We need leaders who stand up and lead on behalf of God. I am so thankful for our leadership at EMIC, Pastors Terri and George Pearsons consistently stand firm and lead the congregation into God’s blessings. God has always used people, not programs or projects, to accomplish His will. Nehemiah is a story of God raising up a man to restore a people.
Deuteronomy 28-30, Moses told the people four promises of God:
- Israel would drive out all nations that inhabited Canaan.
- If they obeyed God, they would enjoy the blessings and fruit of the land.
- If they were disobedient, they would fall under God’s judgment and lose the land.
- If they repented, God would have mercy on them and restore them to their land.
- All of this came to pass. God keeps His promises; but it was a slow process that took hundreds of years. Their fall began when they asked for a King. The Kingdom divided in 975BC. The Assyrian captivity of the 10 Northern tribes occurred in 722BC. Judah fell into Babylonian captivity in 588BC. However, the Jewish people repented, and they returned to Israel in 3 stages.
- Zerubbabel- rebuilt temple– 539BC- Ezra 1-6
- Ezra- restored worship in Jerusalem- 458BC- Ezra 7-10
- Nehemiah- rebuilt walls– 445BC- Nehemiah 1-13
What does this reveal to you about God’s timing to accomplish His will? Don’t mistake God’s timing for His “lack of faithfulness” in keeping His promises.
Preparing God’s Man
God prepared Nehemiah’s environment. “I was the King’s cupbearer.” God needed a man to rebuild a people. He created an environment for Nehemiah that would give him all the training, skills, and contacts needed for the job. Nehemiah tasted all the food and drink for the King so no one could poison him. Next to the queen, Nehemiah had more time and influence on the king than any other person. His morals, integrity, and position gave him great influence and training for God’s call on his life.
God prepared Nehemiah’s mind. Nehemiah had never seen Jerusalem, but he longed for his home country. He heard stories and had a deep sense of nationalism. When Hanani came from Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:2), Nehemiah wanted a report. The people were in danger and disgrace. The gates were burned, and the walls crumbled. This pricked Nehemiah’s heart. He saw the problem, but he also saw an opportunity. Leaders see the opportunity in the problems. He could have passed it off, made excuses, assumed it was someone else’s responsibility, but he did not. He took ownership of the problem. As I’m writing this, I’m thinking of ‘Making Aliyah’ and EMIC’s involvement, and continued cooperative, anointed leadership.
God prepared Nehemiah’s heart. Nehemiah felt the burden and couldn’t let it go. He was passionate about the issue; it consumed him. He mourned, prayed, fasted, and wept. Nehemiah took his burden to God, and God worked on his heart. He prayed for 4 months. Prayer is the primary key for a leader. His prayer:
- Praise. Vv. 5-6a. Nehemiah worked for the most powerful man in the world, but he knew who the real King was. The greater we see our God, the smaller our problems.
- Confession. Vv. 6b-7. Nehemiah also knew who he was. He was quick to confess his own sin. He examined his own heart first. His confession came from a place of humility. God isn’t looking for perfect people, just honest ones. We cannot be a part of the solution until we make sure we are not part of the problem.
- Promise. Vv. 8-10. He claimed God’s promises. God is faithful. He keeps His promises. He wasn’t reminding God; he was reminding himself.
- Commitment. He committed to do his part. Faith is active, not passive. Four months of prayer before action began. If we are unwilling to spend the hard work in prayer, we will miss God’s best opportunity for ministry.
Preparing us for Leadership
- What is God’s plan for you? Look at your passions, your experiences, your connections. What is the drive of your heart? God has a plan for you; now you must walk on the journey to find the plan. It is not easy or quick. You must be prepared, watchful, and focused. God is working in all things, and he is working to prepare you for a ministry. What is God’s plan for your life? How has he used your education and life experiences to prepare you to serve him? Remember the word given to Brother Copeland for us: “In 2022, you WILL know what to do!”
- Who is your God? God still works in the world, but are you letting Him work in yours? He still keeps His promises; He still works on behalf of His people. But He will not work where He is not invited. Are you doing life on your own or are you partners with God? What is God stirring or changing in you to prepare you to lead others?
- How is your prayer life? Prayer is the key to success with God. You partner with the King of Kings through prayer. The function of prayer is to set God at the center of all you do. Access His presence, counsel, advice, will, and power in everything. Prayer is the most important thing a leader can do. How is your prayer life? Where do you need to improve? What steps do you need to make to improve your prayer life?
Father, I thank You that Jesus initiated a rescue operation in my life. He isn’t merely salvaging me; He has put forth His best efforts to restore the ruined places of my life to a new splendor that brings glory to His name. Holy Spirit, today I surrender my life into Your power. Please take me and carry out the instructions of Jesus to rescue and restore me as He sees fit. I promise that I will not look at myself as a second-rate version of something that used to be better. Release Your power in me, let it transform me, and I will praise You for what You make me to be for Your glory!
In Jesus’ Name, Amen
EMIC Groups Pastor