Nehemiah 1:1-4, The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, 2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. 4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven …
Nehemiah 6:3, And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I AM DOING A GREAT WORK, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?
As I mentioned in my previous post, “The Book of Nehemiah is a GREAT BOOK because it revolves around a GREAT MAN who served a GREAT GOD and saw a GREAT NEED, which led him to surrender to do a GREAT WORK! Whether we recognize it or not, there is a GREAT WORK that God desires for all of us to find, follow after, and finish prior to going home to heaven [Ephesians 2:8-10; Luke 2:49; John 17:4; 2 Timothy 4:7].
*A GREAT WORK is any work that God calls or leads us to do, regardless of how big or how small, that is done in His name, for His glory, and for the good of others!”
Concerning Nehemiah’s decision to leave what he referred to as home, and all the comforts and conveniences of working for the king, to “GO” and do the work; when you think about it, it wasn’t a difficult decision for him to make. Why is that?
- Nehemiah saw the GREAT NEED in Jerusalem.
- Nehemiah knew that his GREAT GOD wanted the walls of the city to be rebuilt.
- Nehemiah looked around and saw that nobody else was volunteering for the GREAT WORK!
In the passage above (Nehemiah 1:3-4), we find at least three simple, yet, profound lessons.
- Nehemiah recognized that the need was great (1:3).
- Nehemiah’s heart broke over the great need (1:4a).
- Nehemiah took the need to God in prayer (1:4b).
If God is ever going to use us to do a GREAT WORK, we are going to have to recognize the need for the work being done as a GREAT NEED. We are going to have to ask and allow God to BREAK OUR HEART GREATLY over the GREAT NEED, and we are going to have to take the GREAT NEED to our GREAT GOD in prayer!
The key to finding that task God has for your life, that GREAT WORK, is to ask yourself a few questions:
- What GREAT NEED has God revealed to you?
- What GREAT NEED has God broken your heart over?
- What GREAT NEED has God led you to spend time praying for, and about?
- What GREAT (and often difficult) DECISION do you need to make?
- What are you waiting for?
“Here’s the issue: we get to choose whether we want to follow Jesus, but we don’t get to choose what it looks like to follow Jesus. We want to follow Jesus and we want to live nice, safe, comfortable lives that are ‘normal.’ That’s a problem— because it doesn’t work. You can’t have both!”