Nehemiah 2:18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.
After much prayer and planning, Nehemiah was finally able to share his calling with the people of Israel. After pointing out the problem nobody wanted to face (the wall being broken down) he was faced with the unenviable task of motivating them to begin that process.
The people had many reasons to start rebuilding
- They were in danger
- It dishonored the name of God
- Nobody wanted to live in Jerusalem since it was unsafe
- And their enemies controlled them through fear
None of those reasons were enough to bring action. But Nehemiah shared the one motivation that would get them to begin….
God wants us to
He described the burden that God had placed upon his heart that we saw in chapter one, and the Kings provision that chapter two describes. These clearly show by rebuilding the wall they are doing the work of God.
This motivates us in a way that nothing else can:
- Because God will do the work, not us
- It isn’t accomplished in our own strength
- We are promised the provision and protection of God
- And the Lord gives a peace
The application for us to make entirely sure we are doing the Will of God
It is incredibly easy to move quickly once God places a burden upon our hearts for something. Emotion can lead to action that doesn’t think things through, or puts together our own plan (ideas) instead of God’s. The problem when we take our agenda to God and ask Him to bless it, He won’t. The agenda or plan of God is completely different from our own.
Instead moving directly towards action, we like Nehemiah must through confession, restore our relationship with God. This is followed by adapting our own lives to Gods plans instead of making demands upon Him.
The long period of prayer and planning Nehemiah went surely tested his patience. But it was worth the wait and hard work, since at the end he could confidently proclaim God wanted them to build the wall. In the same way, doing the work of submitting to Gods plan is worth the sacrifice involved.
Making Gods plan our own involved looking at the process long-term. Coming up with an idea and pursuing it does move much faster, but it also is bound to fail because of unconquerable challenges, or God doesn’t allow it to happen. Its much better to do the slow work of combing our will with Gods so that long-term He can get the glory.