The Making of a Good Work

 
The challenge you face reveals the calling you’ll embrace.
 
In other words, the thing that tends to upset you will often drive you into a ministry to make a difference in the lives of somebody else.
 
How do you do the work? How do you make a difference? Nehemiah shows us four steps in the making of a good work.
 

1) Seek God faithfully.

See Nehemiah 1:11; 2:1-5. Nehemiah was a man who’s walking intimately with God which allows him to just talk to God at any moment. I hope that you’ll pray both ways, that you’ll pray long and powerful prayers with God so that in the moment, you’re already close to God and you can send short prayers to God.
 
If prayer isn’t necessary for you to accomplish your vision, you aren’t thinking big enough. There’s nothing too big for God’s power and there’s nothing too small for God’s heart.
 

2) Define the vision clearly.

If you have a heart for something, you have a vision for something. For most people when it comes to the vision, the problem is not a lack of caring, it’s a lack of clarity. I want you to watch the crystal clear clarity of an ordinary man with a vision from God. See Nehemiah 2:5. One sentence. Absolute clarity. In a sentence, what is it that God is leading you to do? If you can’t define it, you won’t do it.
 

3) Make plans carefully.

A goal without a plan is just a wish. Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is get organized. See Nehemiah 2:6-8. What does he do? He asks for protection and he asks for provision. He is very, very clear. I need protection to travel and I need provision to build. He created a plan and said this is how I’m going to accomplish it. What’s a good plan? Do the next right thing. If we try to get all eventualities worked out, we would be overwhelmed. Simply do the next right thing that moves you toward the vision. Success is not in achieving some accomplishment out there in the future. Success is being faithful to do the right thing today. So what’s the next right thing for you?

 

4) Inspire people passionately.

See Nehemiah 2:17-18. Inspire the people around you to believe that God is for what we’re doing, that God is with us, He’ll never leave us, He’ll never forsake us, He’s empowering us, He’s going before us, He’s opening doors that we don’t have the power to open. He’s giving us favor with the hearts of people, our God is with us.
 
“Light yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn.” — John Wesley
 

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When You Can’t Take It Anymore

Read: Nehemiah 1:1–3.
 
For nearly a century, the Jewish remnant had been back in their own land, and Nehemiah could have joined them; but he chose to remain in the palace. God put Nehemiah in Susa. When God wants to accomplish a work, He always prepares His workers and puts them in the right places at the right time.
 

God has a good work for you to do right now, right where you are!

 
What do you do when you see something that bothers you deeply and you can’t take it anymore? Three phases to begin your good work.
 

1. Sit Down and Cry (Nehemiah 1:4)

 
The first thing we see Nehemiah do is what you may end up doing at some point of your life. You sit down and let whatever it is, the injustice in the world actually break your own heart.
 
When Nehemiah heard the news he didn’t do what’s so often the easy thing to do — brush it off. Instead, he sat down, he broke down and he started to cry.
 
What breaks your heart? What is it that burdens you? What is it that creates a righteous anger? What is it that burdens your soul? Let it in. Let it wash over you. Let it move you.
 
I don’t worry when every now and then something breaks my heart and moves me to the point of tears. Rather, I worry when it’s been a long time since that has happened. I want my heart to be tender, to be broken by the things that break the heart of God.
 

2. Kneel Down to Pray (Nehemiah 1:4)

 
If it’s big enough to cry about, it’s big enough to pray about. If your heart is broken and deeply touched by a need, sit to cry and then kneel to pray. Nehemiah’s prayer confesses his own sin, confesses the sins of his people and brings to remembrance God’s promises and God’s faithfulness in the past (See Nehemiah 1:5-11). We see Nehemiah praying several times throughout this book.
 

What you pray about reflects what you believe about God.


If our only prayers are bless this food and keep me safe and give me a good day, you really don’t believe the real powerful God. But when you ask God to stretch you, to use you, when you pray for the impossible, you believe in the power and the glory of a good God.
 
Through prayer, the burden grows and the vision narrows. Real prayer keeps your heart and your head in balance so your burden doesn’t make you impatient to run ahead of the Lord and ruin everything. As we pray, God tells us what to do, when to do it, and how to do it; and all are important to the accomplishing of the will of God.
 

3. Stand Up and Act (Nehemiah 2:1-5)

 
If God places that burden on your heart, He is wanting you to do something about it! But who am I? I’m not…(fill-in-the-blank). You don’t have to be appointed by man if you are called by God. You don’t have to be chosen by people if God prompts your heart, stirs your spirit, gives you a burden. You just step into it. Trust him and watch him act. Feel the presence of God stirring you.
 

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