Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Leadership Lessons from Nehemiah

First off, IM BACK!

        Couple years ago I read a book that talked about Nehemiah and his God Ordained passion. If you read through the first two chapters of Nehemiah, you begin learn this story of a man who has his heart broken for a people. Nehemiah was cup bearer for the king which was a pretty easy job. He pretty much had it made. Ran into some people, who like him, were from Jerusalem and informed him that the walls had been torn down. Now back in those days, walls were everything to a city. It was what protected the city from pillagers and wars. People depended heavily on their city being protected by a wall. When Nehemiah heard this, he became heart broken. The author described it as a "God ordained passion" or something that causes you to beat your fist on the table crying out of an emotional response to your passion. Long story short, the king physically saw Nehemiah's heartbreak and God provided IMMEASURABLY more than Nehemiah needed in order to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall over the next chapter.  Coolest part, Nehemiah had no experience or expertise in wall building. He went from his crazy comfortable position in the kingdom, to being an untrained wall builder, but that didn't hold him back. 

       So Nehemiah, if you can't tell, was a guy that was sensitive to God's "still small voice." His response to heartbreak was to fast and pray for days. But what I'm learning from reading more into Nehemiah is how great of an example of a leader he is. So starting in chapter 4, after the wall is half way built, the problems start coming his way. First, They face trouble from the outside. Other rulers in the area hear what Nehemiah is doing and begin to plot against him. Word gets back to Nehemiah that they are under threat of attack. His response is outstanding. Nehemiah rallies his people. He prepares people to defend the wall and tells them to "Remember the Lord" because Nehemiah knew who was in control. (And on a side note, different lesson from the same chapter. Nehemiah had the people of Jerusalem continue working with one hand, and with a weapon in the other hand. Great example for how we should do kingdom work. Always move forward on what God has called you to, but be prepared for Satan to attack. Always be working, and ready in the same. Never let your guard down on the enemy)

     Disaster averted right? Nehemiah handled it well, enemies decided not to attack because they knew that Nehemiah was aware of their plan. butttttttttt something else happened. So threat from outside extinguished. But then there became an outcry from the inside. The people from Jerusalem had been rescuing fellow Jews from slavery in places outside of Jerusalem. But when a lack of food became and issue, people started selling their land, and families to people within Jerusalem. So they were rescuing these people from slavery and putting them back into slavery. Didn't make sense. So financial unrest combined with a lack of food forced people to cry out. Nehemiah stepped in and showed the ones doing the wrong why they were doing wrong. They agreed it was a wrong and promised to stay away from it. 

What you can take away as a leader....
1. Responding to OUTSIDE threats to your God Ordained Passion: 
BE READY! Satan doesn't want you to accomplish what God has placed on your heart. Be expecting he will bring everything in on you from the outside. Whether it's financial struggles, illness, accidents, bad school work, or even busyness. Be prepared. Continue your work with one hand while staying on guard with the other. 

2. Responding to INSIDE threats to your God Ordained Passion:
 In anything, especially ministry, I have learned your going to face issues from the inside. Whether it is a small disagreement about ways things should be done, or someone completely trying to destroy what you are doing from the inside. But look at how Nehemiah responded in Nehemiah 5:6-7 
 "6I was very angry when I heard(F) their outcry and these words. 7I took counsel with myself,"
    He could have busted in and made a big fuss. But no, Nehemiah got his composure when he caught himself getting angry. He knew what God had called him to do. He knew that this was going to get in the way. He faced this issue head on after getting his composure. Something all leaders NEED to get.

more to come soon...hopefully.

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