Responding to God’s call

When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of Heaven. (Nehemiah 1:4).

God has always called leaders. Leaders must hear God’s calling to lead and respond to that call. Nehemiah understands his leadership as a calling from God. His Passion includes vision, enthusiasm, drive, determination, creative dreams and innovative ideas. Leaders with passion can grasp the big picture without becoming in preoccupied with all the details. Nehemiah could sleep as he imagined

This is always the outcome of real waiting on God. Before Nehemiah was called to build the walls, he first had to weep over the ruins. The ruins of his people’s coldness, their selfishness, and defiance against God, showed over hundreds of years before he was even born. Nehemiah had a sense of responsibility which most of us lack.

We seldom feel part of the Church in quite the same way Nehemiah felt part of Judah. We value our individuality, but Nehemiah identified with his people. Yet his confession was personal. Nehemiah identified himself as a sinner among sinners. No excuses are offered. Instead, there is the profound recognition of sin as–an offense against God. Remember confession leads to forgiveness, and cleansing comes before usefulness. The more we are brought to our knees before God, the more we will be concerned about the spiritual needs of the world, and the less we are likely to want to throw stones. Nehemiah dwelt on the greatness of God which led him to confess the sins of his people.

Nehemiah has a deep sense of personal concern. He will face the facts, to weep over them, and tell God about them. That is always the place to begin. There is nothing superficial about this. A popular song today says, “Don’t worry, Be happy.” But that is mere salve over deep cancer. What is needed is an honest facing of the ruin, whatever it may be, and, without blaming or attempting to involve somebody else, tell it all to God? By yourself, alone, face the facts. Take all the time you want and pour it out before God. Weep, if you feel like it.

Tell him Tell him all the hurt, the fear, and the pain. That is always the place to start, according to Scripture. A broken spirit and a contrite heart God always welcome. I would suggest that you follow the pattern of Nehemiah’s prayer.

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