I really like the account of Nehemiah in the bible. He was the guy who was given the task of leading the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem after the people returned to their homeland after many years in captivity.
Nehemiah is a great example of how to get things done and how to succeed even when under extreme pressure. I love what he says to his enemies when they are trying to distract him from his task to lead and organise his fellow countryman to rebuild the wall. His response to their negativity was, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” In other words, “I’ve got an important assignment here and I don’t have time for distractors.” (Nehemiah 6:3)
Perhaps we can all learn from Nehemiah’s leadership and wisdom on how to face our own challenges in life for Nehemiah displayed several qualities that enabled him to succeed where others had failed. His leadership characterises the importance of:
- Letting our life be compelled by purpose and vision – Nehemiah refused to be distracted or discouraged by those around him. He was compelled by a purpose and vision that helped him to focus regardless of what his enemies or even his own countryman said. This purpose gave him unwavering focus and perseverance.
- Commitment – Nehemiah was committed to the assignment and task he believed God had given him. This commitment enabled Nehemiah to draw the best out of others and resulted in the wall being completed in 52 days.
- That fear is not an option – Nehemiah didn’t allow fear and doubts to cloud his perspective or view of the future and what God had promised. Fear would have silenced and stopped from their purpose both he and his countryman. The people were under attack, had suffered failure and discouragement and didn’t know what to do. Because of this Nehemiah knew he must stand strong. He remained up on the wall away from his distractors and made the decision that fear and doubt were not an option.
- To pray about everything – Nehemiah sought God’s wisdom. Whatever the situation is we are to pray – we actually cannot afford not to pray. Nehemiah prayed “Lord let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant…give your servant success today by granting him favour”. (Nehemiah 1:11) The bible encourages us, “to not worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
- To be courageous – There is no doubt Nehemiah and anyone else who has overcome the pressures of life and gone on to succeed in their purpose has chosen the path of courage rather than fear, doubt and timidity. God’s word also refers to courage as “good cheer” which means boldness and confidence. God repeatedly encourages us to fear not, to be of good cheer, and to have courage in life.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9-11)
“Finally be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” (Ephesians 6:10)
Whatever situations and challenges you are facing today know that God has a plan, and with Him you also can overcome. Take the time to clarify your purpose and assignment in life, commit to the task at hand, make the decision that fear is not an option, pray about everything, and then with boldness and courage choose to stay above the “noise and distractions” as you keep moving forward.
Prayer: Lord thankyou that I have a purpose and reason for being here. I choose to not listen to fear, distractions or those things or people that would cause me to lose heart. Instead I commit to keeping my eyes on you, your Word and who you say I am today. In Jesus name Amen.