On Nehemiah and Building Walls {Your Calling} – Part 1

I started reading the book of Nehemiah after Christmas.  I’ve never read that particular book in the Bible before and it was something Ann Voskamp said about “working on your wall before noon.”  that had me curious enough to take a closer look. 

Generally the books of the Old Testament scare me.  Other than the Psalms they seem so difficult to understand and I always seem to struggle with finding ways to apply it to my life. But there was a desire to know more so I dove right in! 

Here is what I learned…

1.  Wait – God’s Timing is perfect.

God placed a burden for Jerusalem and its broken people on Nehemiah’s heart in the Autumn (Nehemiah 1:1) but it wasn’t until the following Spring that God moved in mighty ways to bring Nehemiah from where he was, cup bearer to a foreign king, to where he was supposed to be, wall builder in the holy city of Jerusalem. If you’re anything like me the waiting thing is SO not your thing.  Often when I feel like God is calling me to something I don’t wait to let Him work out the details I just charge ahead.

2.   Prayer – It’s the only way to know you’re operating within His will. 

When Nehemiah heard about the destruction in Jerusalem he “sat down and wept.  In fact, for days I mourned and fasted and prayed to the God of heaven.” (Nehemiah 1:4).  Actually, throughout the entire book of Nehemiah we see account after account of him turning to God in prayer. A conversation with God was His go to posture.  We often forsake the relationship with God for the work that He has called us to do.  Nehemiah understood that in order to be firmly planted in the will of God took the courage to be still in His presence. 

3.   Perseverance – God’s will always wins… When we get out of the way. 

Keep in mind the Israelites are straggling back from exile and those who wished to continue to oppress them had no desire to see Jerusalem returned to its former glory.  Nehemiah and his wall building crew had enemies. Lots of them.  Yet, they didn’t let that stop them, they trusted that God had it under control and kept moving despite the opposition (Nehemiah 5:16-17).  They held their tools in one hand and their weapons were at the ready in the other hand.  You have all you need to be part of God’s plan –  availability and willingness – it’s all He requires, He’ll take care of the rest. 

4.   Speak truth and live according to God’s purpose.

Often the things that Nehemiah had to say or do were not popular.  In fact, there was a time he had to point out the injustices the Israelites were committing against one another (Nehemiah 5).  There are going to be times when what you need to do, need to say, will not be the most popular opinion.  Others may think you’re making a mistake. If you’re like me your measuring stick becomes what other people think, not the knowledge that you serve a good God and that He has a purpose. It may not seem like it at the time but truth always wins… Always. 

5.   Not all jobs are glamorous.  There’s poopy ones too!

“The Dung Gate was repaired by Malkijah son of Recab…” (Nehemiah 3:14). You caught that we’re talking poop here, right? This poor man for time and memorial will be known as the guy who made sure the poop and garbage could leave the city. Here’s the thing.  Jerusalem needed a garbage chute, and someone needed to build it. There will be days when the work you do as an available, ready servant of God will be the quiet, unassuming, less than desirable and messy tasks that would otherwise make us turn up our noses. But, there’s always a reward.  Doing Kingdom work sometimes means doing the very basic of things.  It’s from the seemingly simplistic that God builds His kingdom, never doubt that. 
Join me next Thursday as I finish this series.  Until then?
Go to work on YOUR wall.  

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