Harris Malcom, state missionary
Middle Georgia Region
Have you ever been on one of those situations where you needed divine intervention? I mean you desperately needed God to act and if He didn’t “your goose was cooked?” You fill in the blank. “If God doesn’t act, ________.” Is there anything you’re pursuing that demands God’s attention and action?
I want you to think about your dreams for your life right now. What are they? If God does not have to act for your dreams to be accomplished, your dreams are too small and we are living a life that is void of Him.
Chapter 1 ends with us finding out that Nehemiah is cupbearer to the king, but he wants to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. He wants to bring dignity back to his people and he has this divine mission from God.
We need to remember timing is everything. Four months have passed and Nehemiah has been praying. While Nehemiah has been praying God has been working. Too many times when things don’t happen on our timetable we abandon the vison.
The king notices that something is not quite right with Nehemiah. Obviously, Nehemiah is wearing his burden. In verse 2, the king asks him why he is so sad and Nehemiah said that he was “very much afraid.”
The issue when God calls you to some great thing is not will fear come (it will) but will you allow God to lead you past the fear? He says over 360 times in scripture, “Fear not.”
Do you allow fear to dominate you? One of the enemy’s greatest tactics is FEAR. I believe that if Satan wore a t-shirt, across his chest would be the word’s “Fear This!” Fear has many people paralyzed.
Then the king asks, “What do you want me to do?” What did Nehemiah do? He prayed.
Nehemiah is a man under authority. He can’t just up and leave. He needs help. He needed resources and in order to get the resources, he needed the king’s influence.
Nehemiah responds by saying, “If your servant has found favor with you” (v. 5).
He is not just seeking simply permission to leave, he wants an endorsement, and commission. When we pray, God will move heaven and He will move earth to accomplish His purpose. Sometimes He will do so in the most unlikely ways. Here God uses a pagan king to accomplish His will. As a result of his praying he not only asks for permission, endorsement, and commission, but for help in securing resources to rebuild a wall that the same king had the work stopped on.
He is asking the king for his influence. As a result of his prayers, he is exerting strong faith in obedience to God who knows everything and is on his side. Who are the people of influence that could have a say so in what you long to do?
We have all heard of “blind faith.” There is no evidence of “blind faith” in the Bible. Faith is not blind. Faith is active obedience in a God who knows everything and is for you.
In verse 8 we find the king granting his request. Nehemiah’s request was not granted because of Nehemiah’s wisdom, position, or prominence, but because “the good hand of my God was on me.”
Four steps Nehemiah takes
He asks God to act in his situation.
He asks God to act in the king’s heart.
He asks the king for his help so that he might accomplish the mission
But ultimately Nehemiah realizes that the king gives his help because “the good hand of my God was on me.”
Is there anything you’re pursuing where you need God to act? Is there anything in your life that won’t happen if God refuses to act? Or have you safely lived your life in a predictable and cautious way that even though you love God and enjoy His salvation in your life you don’t need Him for anything else?
Have you put yourself in a position where God doesn’t have to show up? If so, you have resigned yourself to a fairly boring life.
I want to challenge you to pursue God.
What have you given up on?
The greatest divine intervention the world has ever known is what happened when God invaded this world in the person of His Son Jesus and Him living a sinless life and dying a sacrificial death for your sins.
What is it that you need God to move in your life about?