“I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?” (Nehemiah 6:3 NLT)
In a busy world with lots of things happening, being a good leader means staying really focused on what you need to do. A long time ago, Nehemiah had a big job—fixing the walls of Jerusalem. Some people tried to distract him, but he said, ‘I’m doing important work, so I can’t come. Why stop working to meet with you?’ This shows how important it is to stay determined and focused, just like Nehemiah did. We can learn a lot from his story, and it still matters for leaders like you today.
WHO WAS NEHEMIAH?
Nehemiah is a prominent figure in the Bible, particularly known for his leadership and administrative skills. His story is found in the Old Testament, specifically in the Book of Nehemiah where he acted as a great worker and leader during a critical period in Israelite history.
In the 20th year of Artaxerxes’ reign, Nehemiah learns about the dire condition of Jerusalem, his homeland. The city walls were in ruins, leaving the inhabitants vulnerable to attacks and making the city susceptible to disgrace. While working as a cupbearer in the Persian kingdom, Nehemiah’s heart was moved, and he felt a deep sense of responsibility to rebuild the ruined walls of Jerusalem
Nehemiah’s leadership shows us what we need for success in anything we do, like dealing with changes at work, encouraging new ideas, or solving important problems in society.
START WITH PRAYERS
When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. (Nehemiah 1:4 NLT)
Nehemiah was a great leader because he believed strongly in God. Before making decisions, he prayed and asked God for help. This helped him be a good leader because he made sure his actions were in line with what God wanted. His trust in God was a big part of how he led.
Times spent in prayer will allow you to approach your tasks with favour and grace. Instructions and knowledge come in the place of prayer.
FEAR AS A WEAPON OF THE DEVIL
The word Fear was mentioned four times in Nehemiah 6. Private messages, open letters and false instructions were sent to intimidate Nehemiah from completing his work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.
Despite facing opposition from neighbouring enemies, including Sanballat and Tobiah, Nehemiah remained steadfast and resolute. He implemented strategic defensive measures, ensuring that the people continued working on the walls while being prepared to defend themselves if necessary. His determination and courage in the face of adversity exemplify the qualities of a strong leader.
God has called you to a great work but the Devil will try to inject fear. If you don’t guard your heart in these times, fear can creep in and prevent you from completing the great work.
This is similar to how people fear thunder yet lightning does the actual destruction. Fear kills people faster than the physical damage done. Eliminating fear is important and that’s why God has given you the Spirit of power, love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)
BE CAREFUL OF WRONG ALLIANCES AND PUBLIC OPINIONS
There were attempts by Nehemiah’s adversaries, including Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem, to undermine his leadership and the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls. They sought to distract him from his mission by inviting him to a meeting under the guise of forming an alliance. Nehemiah, however, discerned their deceitful intentions. He recognized that entering into such alliances could compromise the integrity of his leadership and distract him from the crucial task of rebuilding the walls.
There are so many opinions and facts in the public space. And most of these opinions come from evil people and places to provide anxiety and confusion. When anxious and uncomfortable thoughts come, rebuke these thoughts immediately and pick them as a signal to quickly come back to God.
Remember there is only one Truth i.e. the Truth of God that gives you freedom. Always Seek God’s Word to know the truth.
BE OPEN TO HEARING IN THE SPIRIT
Despite facing false rumours and attempts to tarnish his reputation, Nehemiah remained steadfast. He responded firmly, stating that he was too busy with the important work at hand and would not be swayed. Nehemiah was able to discern the motives of his enemies throughout his work of rebuilding the ruined walls of Jerusalem.
Your heart must be open to perceive the voice of God. He is always speaking. When God asks you to move from one place to another, it’s not because of the fear of the enemies attacking you. It’s the confidence in what God will do for you.
When you make a decision, ask the Holy Spirit what is your underlying motive for the decision. Is it fear of the enemy or faith in God?
The devil is frightened and humiliated when you complete the work with the help of God. You must focus on the work that God gives you rather than being distracted by the antics of the devil.
WHAT IS THE GREAT WORK?
Nehemiah’s efforts were successful. The walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt in an astonishingly short period of time. (The walls had not been built in 70 years but Nehemiah built them in 52 days). This was a testament to his effective leadership, organizational skills, and the unity he fostered among the people
Nehemiah’s story serves as an inspiration for leaders in various fields, emphasizing the importance of faith, vision, perseverance, and a commitment to the well-being of the community. His legacy as a great worker and leader continues to resonate in both religious and leadership contexts, making him a revered figure in the biblical narrative.
Nehemiah’s great work was to rebuild the walls and establish the gates of Jerusalem. He restored the pride of Jerusalem in 52 days.
What’s your great work? – As a believer, your great work is to establish the kingdom of God on earth.
The devil uses the same tactics of fear and intimidation today. Be aware of contradictions preventing you from establishing God’s kingdom. Focus on the great work you are sent to do.
PRAYER REMAINS THE MASTER KEY
With prayer, your spirit is more attuned to listening from God. Every major event in the scriptures started in the place of prayer. Nothing happens by mere circumstances. As a believer, you can influence your reactions by starting with prayers. Prayers also guard you with wisdom to navigate your tasks and accomplish great work.
ALWAYS DO GOD’S WORK. IT’S THE GREAT WORK
Always wear the full armour of God and live His Word daily when establishing God’s kingdom on earth. Doing this will allow you to accomplish the great work with speed.
Establish God’s kingdom everywhere you go, including your workplace. And be rest assured that when you do God’s work, he will do your work.
Originally Written by Fredrick Osheku