When we think of the book of Nehemiah we tend to remember the hero Nehemiah was. How he led the people to rebuild their walls and gates surrounding Jerusalem. How he encouraged, motivated and took action alongside them as their enemies surrounded, discouraged and threatened them. He was a man of action and a man of prayer. Throughout the centuries he’s been a great leader for all to emulate.
But Nehemiah didn’t start out as a leader, in fact he was the official cup bearer to the king- he was a servant. But when he heard the wall surrounding Jerusalem was broken, he was distressed. Not simply because a broken wall would allow calamity to befall the inhabitants inside, but because it represented the state God’s people were in. They were broken and needed protection from the enemies of God who saw their weakened plight and were ready to take advantage.
Nehemiah wept for these people. He spent time in prayer and fasting, pleading with God on their behalf.
And God heard his prayers and aligned a way for Nehemiah to go from being a servant to a leader.
You see, over the years Nehemiah had served the king well. In today’s world he might have been considered “employee of the year”. This loyal service won him the respect of the king. When the king saw him distressed he quickly granted Nehemiah’s request to rebuild the walls and gates of Jerusalem. But that probably wouldn’t have occurred had Nehemiah not been a hardworking, trusting servant in the years prior to this event.
What can you take away from this lesson?
Simple, you may not be in the career of your dreams and you may even be more qualified to lead an organization/company than the one in charge, but God calls you to be faithful in all that you do, not just what you aspire to do.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” Colossians 3:23 NIV
Today you may be a servant, but tomorrow God could use your years of service to advance you to a great leadership position.
Don’t buy into the lie that what you do doesn’t matter- it does. God sees everything, He hears our prayers and He works in mysterious ways.
So next time you feel discouraged, remember God is watching and God loves to bless those who seek Him.
Question: In what ways is God using you to advance His kingdom? Have you been broken before Him lately? Are you ready to be used, even if it’s not in the capacity you think you deserve?