Nehemiah 2:17- 18
“17 Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.” 18 And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to this good work.”
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Living in the routine of our daily lives gives us stability and tranquility. But sometimes God allows sudden changes to our plans and moves things around to push us out of our comfort and conformity. It’s in these moments when God pushes us to jump into greater things than we had imagined, that we understand that every season we’ve lived has trained and prepared us for the new stage God is bringing us into.
LET’S GO DEEPER
1. INVESTIGATE BEFORE STARTING SOMETHING NEW
The arrival of Nehemiah did not go unnoticed. The entry of a Persian official into the city followed by captains of the king’s army mounted on horseback was not an everyday occurrence. In addition to this, he came in carrying very fine wood that the king had granted for the rebuilding of Jerusalem.
It is very likely that before the last of the army horses that were with Nehemiah passed through the front door, the news of his arrival had already spread throughout the city. “Who are these people? Why have they come? Who is their commander?¨ These must have been the questions the people asked themselves when they saw Nehemiah and his men. No one knew the purpose of his arrival, and Nehemiah didn’t care to share it with anyone (Nehemiah 2:12). In fact, he didn’t share his vision with anyone in all of Jerusalem for at least three days.
Just for a moment, think about how difficult it is to keep your mouth shut when you have something important to say. This is what was happening with Nehemiah, but he knew it was too early to announce his intentions to others. So instead of doing so, he spent a good amount of time scoping out the situation (Nehemiah 2: 12-13).
Nehemiah dedicated himself to walk the walk before he talked the talk. He preferred to observe and examine the situation first. He did not share his intentions or plan when they entered the city. Instead, he devoted himself to an exhaustive investigation. He was not carried away by the emotions or excitement of the moment. Although he must have been very excited, he remained calm and reserved. Usually, when we share a challenge prematurely, it’s likely it won’t be received too well.
Lessons learned from Nehemiah:
Walk the land before talking about it.
Investigate before starting the job.
As that great leader, parent, and/or entrepreneur, you may have to look around for information, explore and prepare the ground before you start telling people what you intend to do. There’s nothing heroic or intelligent about acting out boldly without information to carry out the vision or complete the challenge and project.
Nehemiah’s midnight ride around town was not motivated by a lack of faith. He wasn’t changing his mind. No one could accuse him of not understanding the magnitude of the project.
Let’s look at three things that prevent people from investigating their challenges:
● Impatience: ¨I don’t have time to walk around piles of broken walls. Besides, I already know what the problem is. I will start now”.
● Pride: “What is the point of walking around destroyed walls and contemplating them? What could I learn that I don’t already know?”
● Fear: “I’m afraid that once I discover how bad the situation is, I could get discouraged”
2. WORKING TOGETHER WITH THE SAME MOTIVATION
Nehemiah 2:17 NLT
“But now I said to them, “You know very well what trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire. Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace!”
“But now I said to them…” Nehemiah had said nothing for three days.
Let’s look at these three phrases that stirred up something within each person who heard him that maybe had been asleep: “We are in”, “Let us rebuild”, “Let’s end this”.
In order to motivate others, Nehemiah first identified with their need. Imagine the kind of response he would have received if he had said, “You are all in terrible ruins. Do you know what you need to do? You need to rebuild the wall. If you need me, I will be in my office. After all, I was not part of the problem. ”
When we blame others and criticize them, motivation is suppressed. But when we identify with other people’s problem motivation is stimulated. Nehemiah did not try to hide the hard facts. He did not beg or threaten, nor was he negative in his approach. He offered a solution: “We have to do something about this problem. Let’s rebuild the wall. ”
What do you need to rebuild in your life, family, home, ministry, finances, city, neighborhood, or nation?
There are two kinds of motivation: the external, which is most common but only used by the minority of great leaders, and internal motivation which is created within people. External motivation works as follows: “If you do this, I give you a prize”, it is based on an external reward. This kind of motivation comes from our materialistic mindset, although not all external motivation is inadequate. Nehemiah didn’t promise any material incentive when he addressed the officials in Jerusalem. He didn’t offer prizes to families who worked faster because he wasn’t inclined to that kind of motivation. Nehemiah simply said, “Look at the ruins, we are in a terrible predicament; let’s rebuild together!”. The people replied, “Let’s do it!” because they responded with willingness to the proposal presented because Nehemiah was being led by God.
David is a great example of internal motivation. He took off Saul’s armor and went through the valley staring into the face of the horrible giant and shouted, “Move away!”. He collected a few stones and against all odds, God gave him the victory against Goliath the Giant. David possessed that wonderful internal motivation that never gives up. Nehemiah communicates that same inner strength and stands firm on the promise.
3. VISION LEADS TO ACTION
The reconstruction plan that Nehemiah wanted to carry out could not be based solely on motivation. It was important to have direction, in other words they had to add action to solve the problem. In short, the vision this great man of God had was to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls and gates that had been destroyed.
When we have a clear vision we are able to visualize the future in a way that demands change from the present. We must be willing to overlook our present reality to visualize and through the eyes of faith see how things could be in the future. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Nehemiah was able to permeate the people with this vision and challenge to rebuild. He ignited in them the desire to alter the present in order to build a future of blessing and hope. Nothing could stop them; not the circumstances, not the enemies, not the opposition. There was something special that drove them: unity, motivation, awareness of recovery, and the need to take action until they finished what they had purposed in their heart.
When we all seek the peace and well-being of our city together, we receive the same benefits in our own lives. We know the time to rebuild the walls around Bogotá is now and through prayer and action decree protection, salvation and restoration. During this week, invite four of your closest friends to join the challenge of conquest for Bogotá and build the future of our city. Together we can do it!