I believe God places things in our hearts to accomplish…..you might call them “Dreams.” Even though today is very different from biblical days in so many ways, especially with modernized civilization, there are a few things that are exactly the same. The first of which is God–He is the same yesterday, today and forever. His character has not changed and never will.
The second thing that has not changed as well is the heart of man–“man is born a sinner in need of a Savior”. Man is capable of the worst kind of behavior. God’s desires for all men/women hasn’t changed either. His desire is for everyone to know Him and accept Him as their personal Savior and have a personal relationship with Him…even though scripture is clear that some have rejected him and in the days ahead some will continue to reject him.
If you have invited Jesus into your heart and trusted him to be Lord of your life….there are things He has planned for you to do. You can label them desires, dreams or visions. Regardless, there are specific things He has for you to do. As I have sought to accomplish God’s call on my life, with writing and speaking, I have applied the story of Nehemiah to my life. It is there that I have found the best lessons, direction and the greatest place to learn how to go about honoring God and fulfilling His plans for my life.
The story of Nehemiah and his rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem is a great place for anyone to go in order to understand the character of God and how to follow God and accomplish God’s plans for my/your life just as Nehemiah did.
I won’t retell the whole story found in Nehemiah 1-6, but it is definitely one to be read and studied carefully. Let me just highlight some points from this true story that we can apply today. Things that are very much the same as far as seeking God and fulfilling His specific plan for your life:
1. Nehemiah, upon hearing about the “wall being broken and gates being burned” in Jerusalem, sat down and prayed and fasted. From that action the dream/vision was given to him….”of rebuilding the wall.” Nehemiah 2:12, “…what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem…”
Point: Seeking God through prayer in your current circumstances or place in life….He will show you His specific plan for you.
2. Nehemiah prayed. I love how a part of his prayer was his personal recognition of his sin and seeking forgiveness and praying for others. He claimed God’s promises and asked God for favor and success.
Point: We all sin. Recognition of sin, confession, and turning from sin is key. We need to be a “clean vessel,” not perfect mind you, so that we can be used by God to accomplish His plan for me/you/us. He also prayed for others. Prayer for others is a heart bent toward God and loving your neighbor. It is key as well to pray and ask God for HIS help and success.
3. In stepping out to “take action” on Nehemiah’s vision/dream that was given by God…note what Nehemiah said in chapter 2, verse 2, “I was very much afraid…” but fear didn’t stop him from “acting”.
Point: As Nehemiah acted, even with great fear…he stepped forward and breathed short “arrow prayers to God”. As he stepped…he was “continually seeking God’s help and guidance and favor.” Even though you may feel fear…if God has placed something in your heart to accomplish…you/we cannot let fear keep us from acting. You/we have to trust God and that is where we can really start to see His hand…..Nehemiah 4:14, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” Nehemiah ENCOURAGED others in the Lord.
4. When the king granted Nehemiah’s request (Nehemiah acted with fear but obedience)…..Nehemiah was quick to give God the credit, “And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my requests.”
Point: When God gives you a dream/vision…He will clear the way…No man, not even a king, can stand in your way. It is soooo important to continually give credit to God…for it is God who gives success…we should not take credit. The glory and recognition goes to God.
On a personal note..as I have personally acted, even if done fearfully…and God has cleared the way as he did for Nehemiah…It has MAJORLY strengthened my faith and relationship with God…So I can honestly say that “stepping out in fear…is a way God specifically uses to help us See and depend on HIM more!”
5. Nehemiah experienced CONTINUAL human opposition. Nehemiah 2:19, “But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us.” And Nehemiah 4:1, “When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed.”
Point: When you are taking steps to fulfill God’s plan for your life…EXPECT OPPOSITION. Today is NO different than thousands of years ago…man is man. There will always be seen and unseen opposition to doing, seeking and acting upon God’s plan for your life. Nehemiah, all through this story, continually PRAYED…Nehemiah 4:4, “Hear us, O our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of builders.” I have learned so much from Nehemiah about how to pray in the face of opposition in order to fulfill God’s call on my life…you can learn too. Just read and study this story.
6. Nehemiah worked hard. “for the people worked with all their hearts…” (Nehemiah 4:6).
Point: You cannot achieve great things that God has called you to do without working hard!
There is much more to glean and put into action for my/your life from studying the story of Nehemiah and his completing his God-given dream of rebuilding the wall. The question to you is, “What wall has God called you to build?”
We are NO different from Nehemiah as far as God having a plan for our lives…..but we may need to BE MORE LIKE Nehemiah…to be able to fulfill our purpose and God’s plan.
I have found personally that when God places a dream/vision on your HEART, He is FAITHFUL to “show up and show out!” As for me, I have had to get used to the FACT that SUCCESS IS NEVER GOING TO BE COMFORTABLE OR CONVENIENT, BUT WITH GOD…IT IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE.
I encourage you to seek God’s will and plan for your life….and start moving….even if you are fearful.