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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Answering the Call: Lessons from Nehemiah on Responding to God

Answering the Call: Lessons from Nehemiah on Responding to God
Answering the Call: Lessons from Nehemiah on Responding to God

Whenever you begin a task for the Lord, the enemy will likely attempt to obstruct it. One of his most prevalent tactics is discouraging people from doing the Lord’s work.

I received a text message on my phone during dinner with my family, but I ignored it and turned off my phone. Later, I learned I had missed two calls from a pastor friend who wanted to talk to me.

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I wasn’t sure what the conversation would be about, so I prayed for wisdom and courage before calling him back. Unfortunately, the conversation was discouraging, as my friend told me he was considering quitting the ministry and closing his church.

I listened and didn’t say anything for 10 minutes as he explained what had led them to this decision. He began the conversation by saying, “I don’t know what to do, but I am considering quitting the ministry and closing or transferring my church to someone else.”

One thing was clear: my pastor friend had fallen victim to criticism, ridicule, mockery, and shaming that started with one person’s false accusation. The person had chosen to sow seeds of discord in the air to stop the effective work the Lord was doing in the ministry through this pastor.

As we prayed, the Holy Spirit began to minister to us from the book of Nehemiah and how the Lord will always stand by his faithful servants. Three months later, this servant of God had a huge breakthrough and has been in the ministry for more than fifteen years since then and continues to serve God.

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Discouragement is one of Satan’s strongest weapons that he uses to oppose God’s calling upon our lives. Once we answer God’s call, the enemy will continually discourage us. Satan does this with only one purpose in mind, and that is to make us quit.

He will work to cause distractions to slow us down and lose focus. But we must resist him and respond by persevering in prayer and fasting. We must plan, wait on God in prayer, keep working and serving God through prayer, and not underestimate the enemy’s power by constantly staying in prayer and calling on the Name of the Lord who can protect us in our calling to serve Him.

Once called, we will always stay called. God never revokes his call over our lives. The Book of Nehemiah, specifically chapter 1, provides essential insights into how a faithful servant can answer God’s needs in their heart. By emulating Nehemiah’s qualities, we, too, can rise to the challenge of answering God’s call in our own lives.

In the story of Nehemiah, we see him starting to build the walls of Jerusalem, and Satan tries to hinder him by causing discouragement and ridicule. Let’s explore some of Nehemiah’s qualities that we can emulate as we seek to answer the call of God in our own lives in the book of (Nehemiah 1:1-11):

Nehemiah’s Prayer: “The words of Nehemiah, son of Hakaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa,  Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men.

I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile and Jerusalem. They told me those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace.

The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days, I mourned, fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven.

Then I said: “Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments,  let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel.

I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have yet to obey the commands, decrees, and laws you gave your servant Moses.

Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations,  but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.

They are your servants and people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and mighty hand. Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and your servants who delight in revering your Name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king.”

Sensitivity to God’s Prompting: Nehemiah was sensitive to the needs of his people and the city of Jerusalem. We must cultivate a heart attuned to God’s voice in today’s fast-paced world. This means actively seeking His guidance through prayer and meditation on His Word.

Application: Take intentional time in prayer and reflection to discern the needs around you. Listen for God’s prompting in your heart and be open to the possibility that He may call you to address a specific need.

Deep Compassion: Nehemiah responded to the news about Jerusalem’s broken walls compassionately. He wept, mourned, and fasted in response to the suffering of his people. Genuine compassion is a powerful motivator for action.

Application: Cultivate a compassionate heart by intentionally seeking to understand the struggles and challenges those around you face. Allow empathy to drive your actions as you respond to the needs that God brings to your attention.

Prayerful Action: Before Nehemiah took any practical steps, he spent time in fervent prayer, confessing the sins of his people and seeking God’s favor. Prayer is the heavenly lifeline and a powerful weapon that prepares and empowers us for the tasks God sets before us.

Application: Prioritize prayer as the foundation of your response to God’s call. Seek God’s guidance, confess any personal shortcomings, and ask for the strength and wisdom needed to address the identified need.

Strategic Planning: Nehemiah’s response was quick; he developed a well-thought-out plan. He sought the king’s permission, secured resources, and organized the people for the task ahead. This demonstrates the importance of combining faith with practical, strategic planning.

Application: Once you’ve identified the need and prayed for guidance, take the time to develop a practical plan of action. Consider the resources, skills, and support required to respond to the call effectively.

Courage in the Face of Opposition: Nehemiah encountered opposition and ridicule but remained steadfast in his commitment. His courage stemmed from his unwavering faith in God’s calling and trust that God would see him through.

Application: Anticipate challenges and opposition as you respond to God’s call. Choose to be prayerful and have a team of intercessors praying for you. Lean on your faith, knowing that God is with you. Surround yourself with a community of believers who can offer support and encouragement during difficult times.

Conclusion

Nehemiah’s response to the call of God is an example of faith in action that stands the test of time. We can also effectively answer God’s call by being sensitive to God’s prompting, having deep compassion, taking action through prayer and strategic planning, and showing courage in the face of opposition.

Let us take a moment to draw inspiration from the remarkable qualities of Nehemiah. May his actions and values motivate us to impact the world around us positively. Let’s strive to create a better future for ourselves and those around us.

In His Love,

Isabella Mwango Nyakundi

CEO/Founder Vessel For Honor Ministries.

Web: https://www.vesselforhonor.org

https://www.johncmaxwellgroup.com/isabellanyakundi/About

E-Mail: Is******@ve************.org

 

Answering the Call: Lessons from Nehemiah on Responding to God

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