Often, the Gap in being the light in dark places is knowing what to do.
Today, we will take a closer look at Nehemiah’s journey.
The Spark That Fueled the Fire
Nehemiah 1:3 (ESV) – 3 And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.”
Nehemiah’s response to crisis began with four months of prayer and fasting for clarity.
Nehemiah 1:4 (ESV) – 4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
The life of Nehemiah is a case study of how to help people in crisis.
Nehemiah 1:6 (ESV) – 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned.
Nehemiah 1:11 (ESV) – 11 O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” Now I was cupbearer to the king.
Nehemiah leveraged his job position to bring healing and deliverance to an oppressed people.
Nehemiah brought light into a dark community, oppressed by others.
What gave Nehemiah his unique edge?
- Built a reputation of reliability
- Willing to use his influence to help others
- Had a heart for his community
- Sought God for what to do
- Asked his employer for significant resources
- Asked for paid leave
- Personally surveyed the city needs
- Identified skilled laborers
- Inspired the community to do the work
- Equipped workers to both rebuild and fight
- Repaired the wall in 52 days!
- Stopped predatory lending
- Became governor of Jerusalem
If we don’t identify with people in crisis, our heart is not in a place God can use yet.
Once you are aware of the crisis, doing nothing is not an option.
Acts 10:38 (ESV) – 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
If Jesus was sent to the oppressed, so are you.
To deny the fire of God’s passion in you, is to deny God from rescuing the oppressed.
Stop running from dark places.
Just do good and God shows up!
© Bishop Ed Smith, 2022