"O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man." ( Nehemiah 1:11)
Then the king said to me, "What do you request?" So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, "If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' tombs, that I may rebuild it". (Nehemiah 2:4-5).
Turn Your Passion A Reality
Your passion and vision to have staying power require much praying, planning, and perseverance. Take initiative, and follow up on that commitment so that your passion and purpose go beyond a mere dream or desire.
Nehemiah's people were in great distress, reproach, and shame. The wall of Jerusalem was broken down, with no one to fix it. Nehemiah wanted to rebuild the wall and restore the dignity of his people.
A Little History
The third stage of the return from Babylon to Jerusalem was led by Nehemiah. He wanted to rebuild the wall. Sanballat of the Samaritans and Tobiah of the Ammonites conspired to attack Jerusalem. They did not want Nehemiah to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem.
Lessons from Nehemiah on Turning Passion Into a Reality
- 1. Nehemiah earnestly fasted and prayed before the God of heaven (1:4-11)
- 2. Nehemiah carefully planned to rebuild the wall (Chapter 2)
- 3. Nehemiah shared his passion for a spiritual awakening among the people (2:17-20)
- 4. Nehemiah partnered with others to achieve his goals (Chapter 3)
- 5. Nehemiah's passion was empowered by faith in the Lord (4:14)
- 6. Nehemiah supported and provided for his people (Chapter 5)
- 7. Nehemiah persevered and protected his people (6:15-16)
- 8. Nehemiah worshiped and praised God with his people (Chapter 8)
Applying Nehemiah's Leadership Principles
- Nehemiah fasted and prayed before the God of heaven (1:4-1)
- Broken Leaders build Broken People.
- For a horse owner, the unbroken horse is not desirable, and of no use.
- We are undesirable to God unless we have a broken heart and contrite spirit: "a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise." (Psalm 51:17)
- Jesus, our leader, was a suffering servant and through his brokenness and pain, we are made whole.
- For "by his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). "This is My body which is broken for you" (1 Corinthians 11:24)
So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven (1:4)
Nehemiah carefully planned to rebuild the wall (Chapter 2)
- Plan carefully: Align your to-do list with your passion and purpose.
- Be clear on what you are asking for.
- "Let Your servant prosper this day, I pray and grant him mercy in the sight of this man" (1:1)
- "What do you request?"... "I ask that you send me to Judah...that I may rebuild it" (2:4-5) "and here are the lists I need to rebuild the wall" (1:7-9)
Nehemiah shared his passion to awaken the people (2:17-20)
- Communicate your passion with clarity: "Let us rise up and build" 2:18.
- Passionate people are contagious and winsome: True passion attracts people to work with you and your team. Let your personal story and passion move people.
Nehemiah partnered with others (Chapter 3)
- Build the community around a common vision and work together in unity to accomplish the purpose.
Nehemiah's passion was powered by faith
- Be a calming, peaceful, encouraging and non-anxious presence.
- "Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord" (4:14) Cultivate a calm, composed, focused, and collected environment, and empower others to also be calm and composed.
Nehemiah provided for his people (Chapter 5)
- Be generous. Sacrifice something personally, to benefit someone else.
- "I also, with my brethren and my servants, am lending them money and grain. Please, let us stop this usury!" (5:10)
- "And at my table were one hundred and fifty Jews and rulers, besides those who came to us from the nations around us." (5:17)
Nehemiah persevered and protected his people.
- Be courageous. Your passion will demand courage when you experience conflict, opposition, and conspiracy.
- "So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days. And it happened, when all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations around us saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was done by our God" (6:15-16)
Nehemiah praised God with his people (Chapter 8)
- Celebrate wins with the people. Bring others close to God.
- "Then he said to them, Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." (8:10)
- 1. Am I asking the right question? I asked them concerning the Jews, (1:2)
- 2. Does it pain my heart to see broken people, broken families, broken marriages? I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days (1:4)
- 3. Do I know what to ask for? What do you request? (2:4)
- 4. Am I a non-anxious and courageous presence? Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord (4:14)
- 5. Am I genuinely compassionate? I also, with my brethren and my servants, am lending them money and grain. Please, let us stop this usury! (5:10)
- 6. Am I generous in a practical and visible way? And at my table were one hundred and fifty Jews and rulers, besides those who came to us from the nations around us (5:17)
- 7. Am I bringing others closer to God? Have I expressed genuine, unfeigned love to my wife, my children, and the members of the church? Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." (8:1)
- 8. Am I part of the solution? Am I offering a God-led, Spirit-inspired solution? "So it was, at the gates of Jerusalem, as it began to be dark before the Sabbath, that I commanded the gates to be shut, and charged that they must not be opened till after the Sabbath" (13:9)