Personal blog detailing the perspective of life and ministry that Christ Jesus my Savior has given me.
Often in life and ministry, there are times when we face situations or events that are simply out of our control. A natural reaction to that is to get discouraged or allow worry to dominate our hearts and minds. Of course, this leads to a lack of dependence on Christ and what He desires to do through those times.
Over the course of the last year, I have had the privilege of facing some of these times. I believe that if we can approach the situation as something God wants to use, I believe that we will be able to count them as privileges when we look back on them. That does not necessarily mean that everything will be easy, but it does mean that everything will be put in the hands of the One Who can take care of it all. Over these last several months, the Lord has taken me into more of study of the book of Nehemiah. I have seen how several people in ministry have mentioned this great book before in tweets, messages, or other ways. I do not desire to repeat what someone else has mentioned. I simply want to share with you a few thoughts that the Holy Spirit showed me from Nehemiah when I was facing something that was out of my control.
1. Never lose your burden - Nehemiah 1:1-4 - We see in this passage that Nehemiah was certainly in a position that he did not want to be in. Being in captivity was certainly out of his control. However, he still kept the burden for God's people alive in his heart. When he heard of the condition of the people and the city, the Bible says that he "...sat down and wept, and mourned certain days..." This reveals much about his burden. He could have sat around all day and complained about his predicament. He could have cried about things that were out of his control. Instead, he stayed focused on the burden that God had given him.
2. Make sure that you talk to God before deciding anything - Nehemiah 1:4; 2:4 - Regretfully, there have been many times in my life when things did not go my way that I failed to talk to God about it first. Without fail, I reacted and made decisions in the flesh that negatively impacted the situation. The easy thing to do when mistreated, verbally attacked, or falsely accused is to defend ourselves. However, that is only a show of the pride that is in our heart. When Nehemiah learned of the condition of the people, he never verbally attacked the king. He never armed himself and foolishly charged into a physical battle. What he did was the most powerful thing he could have done--he prayed! Not only did he pray when he first learned of the condition, he also prayed when the king asked him a very serious question. Nehemiah talked to THE King before he ever responded to A king. Truly, that is a great testimony. May it be said of us that when things do not go our way or are out of our control, we stop and seek the face of God.
3. Fulfill the task that God put before you - Nehemiah 2:12; 4:6 - There have been many times when things were out of my control that I would have loved to quit. Maybe I am the only one that has ever felt that way, but if I can be open and that help someone else, then that is my desire. I am sure that all of us have faced adversity and were ready to give up. You may have gone through it or may be going through it now. It is a vital thing that we remember why we do what we do--for God's glory! Nehemiah was very clear about the task God had put on his heart to do. He says so in verse twelve. That is important because when the conditions get rough (read the rest of chapter 2) and the enemies attack (2:19 and throughout the rest of the book), the motivation we must hang on to is our service to the King. We must recognize that quitting is NEVER an option. It will be the easiest option many times, but it is always the wrong option. Nehemiah knew the task would be difficult, but he stayed faithful to the Faithful One and was able to say in chapter four and verse six "So built we the wall..."
There are many more principles that can be mentioned. This would be one very long blog if we even attempted to go over several others. I desired to just share a few brief thoughts with you. If you have never faced a time in life or ministry when things were out of your control, I promise you, it is coming. That is not something to run from or hide from. That is something that should show the strength of your walk with the Lord. Nehemiah set forth an amazing example for all of us who face those times. May we look back and rejoice over how God delivered us through those times and allowed us to "build the wall."