Nehemiah’s Project – Building for, We!
To reach a port, we must sail—Sail, not tie at anchor—Sail, not drift.
Hard work for all intensive purposes never hurt anyone! What’s it all about is what hurts us, are we building for me or for we? Do we consider the way of the ant only to make it something big for ourselves? When we actually study the way of the ant as it is written in Proverbs 6:5-7, we learn that the ant is a team, it is “we” over me, And the ant is straightway focused on the goal and is ever moving towards its purpose. Proverbs 6:5-7, “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise,”
Proverbs 30:24-26, “The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer.” It’s time to roll up the sleeves if it is determined that you will succeed. There are one million or more excuses, “but you don’t understand you say!” Maybe you are prevented from physical labor for some reason, if so then your work is spiritual, maybe it’s prayer? Still we can’t sit idle and expect things to happen.
James tells us that our faith is dead without works, “Faith if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 1:17
To reach a port we must sail, to reach a goal we must work!
But who and what are we working for? Our motives are everything so do we desire and have not because our goals are amiss?
Thought is the seed of action.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Why do we want to succeed? Do we desire accolades, fame, riches, or glory?
We can’t expect to build for ourselves and consume all of our gains upon only ourselves and be successful because it will be soon torn down. Nothing last that doesn’t have a righteous purpose. If we desire to be successful what will we do with our success? Think about many successful people and what they do with their gains. Can you name a few?
Nehemiah had a purpose, his heart was sad and hurting so severe because Jerusalem had no walls and the people had no home and no place to go. So he desired to achieve a goal and that goal was the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, now where in this did he desire to achieve fame, glory, riches, and self serving things?
Nehemiah teaches us how to be successful through:
Compassion is seeing and feeling the hearts and hurts of others, to see beyond ourselves sometimes requires real effort, but with the stirring of the heart we can see the plight of others. It is this concern and compassion that motivates leaders to stand up and take up the challenge of helping others. Nehemiah had this compassion.
“And they said unto me, the remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” Nehemiah 1:3, 4
Many people know that a passionate person can be successful, but how many know that a compassionate person will be successful?
Courage is looking at fear in the face and confronting it knowing that it will be defeated!
Contending with the opposition at a time of insecurity is having courage! To defy what fear is saying and believing what faith says instead. President Theodore Roosevelt said, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself!” And every successful person will be confronted with fear, but how we deal with fear will determine our success.
Nehemiah had courage in the face of fear and when confronted by his two arch enemies, Sanballat and Tobiah.
“When Sanballat the Heronite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.” Nehemiah 2:10
There are always haters, people that hate someone doing good for others! Nehemiah withstood them to their face.
“Then answered I them, and said unto them, the God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial in Jerusalem.” Nehemiah 2:20
A successful leader will contend with naysayers and will hope for well wishers in their place, no matter what they attempt to do. This takes courage.
"The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? Psalm 118:6
You know that you have heard from God, and now people aren't going to be happy, you have always treated them with the utmost respect and dignity, but now God is asking you to do what He wants, and it just don't fit their plans. Has this ever happened to you?
The first thing to remember is, God is on your side when you do as He says, and what is pleasing to Him. Remember God is first, and He will see you through! No need to fear what others may say or think to say, just obey. 1Samuel 15:22 tells us the importance of obeying God and not fearing man, "And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." We will never please everyone, some people just can't handle that, what's most important in our life is that we please God! If God tells you something, and somebody doesn't like it, just remember God desires your obedience above all else and He will deal with the dissatisfied! Fret not, God has your back!
Confidence is a knowing that it can be and that it is a sure thing. There is no doubt when we are confident. We know that we are right and that we have favor because this is a good and right way. A leader must be confident. Success depends on confidence.
Nehemiah shows his confidence by taking a stand and firmly proclaiming that they will prosper because this was a good and right thing and that they have the favor of God, Herein we find how motives matter, is it for me or for we, when our efforts are for others or for we as a team, then we will have confidence, but when our motives are wrong and are meant to serve only ourselves and our goals, then we will doubt in the face of adversity.
Success requires cooperation, no one person can be a success on their own, but our success requires that the “we” is a team that can equally see the purpose and vision, working together is effective when the results benefit everyone together and are not for selfish purposes only.
How can it benefit us all? This is when cooperation will come through.
Nehemiah knew that he could not do it alone, that he needed the cooperation of others. “Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth in waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.” Nehemiah 2:17
Nehemiah invokes cooperation by including all others and sharing with them the burden of the work, but also the success of the completed effort.
Requirements for Team Success
EXERPT FROM 21 STONE