Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 4 - Planning and Motivating

Nehemiah 2 : 11 - 20

If there is anyone that can teach us about careful planning, it is Nehemiah. As I read through this section of scripture, I am amazed at his planning. God gave him a vision; however, he didn’t march to Jerusalem and begin shouting out ideas to the Israelites as soon as he arrived. In fact, he did some careful observation in secret before he announced his vision.

In verse 11, we see that he stayed in Jerusalem for three days before he began his research. There is some wisdom to that. I wonder if he was getting a feel for the land and trying to observe the people in the city. After three days, we are told that Nehemiah went out at night to examine the gates and walls of Jerusalem. While the descriptions of the state of the wall do not go into detail, we are told in verse 14 that one of the gates were so destroyed that his mount could not fit through. I also noticed in verse 16 that the officials still did not know what he was doing.

Finally, in verse 17 we see Nehemiah sharing his vision. He waited until he had his evidence and shared the “disgrace” the city was in. After showing the problems with the wall, in verse 18 Nehemiah shares his personal testimony of what God had done to bring him to Jerusalem. I don’t think that is a point we should miss. Nehemiah laid out the problem, gave them a solution, and then encouraged them by reminding them that God’s hand was with them in this project. Why do you think sharing your testimony is important? It encourages fellow believers and reminds us that God does amazing things! It motivates us to get working, which is what happens at the end of verse 18 when the Israelites answer, “Let us start rebuilding.”

In verse 19, we see Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem mocking them. They even go as far as to ask them if they are trying to start a rebellion. What I find interesting is that Nehemiah does not really answer their question in verse 20. He knew he had the king’s permission, but he seemed to focus on the bigger picture and replied, “The God of heaven will give us success.” Once again, what a motivator! What could possibly be better than to remind everyone within earshot that this is God’s project, not Nehemiah’s or the king’s?

Has God given you a vision? Have you spent time in preparation and planning? If so, how can you use God’s demonstration of His power in your life to motivate those around you?

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