By Andrew Stoddard
There is a holy sort of confidence that comes from knowing that you are working under God’s calling on your life. It’s not prideful or arrogant, and it’s certainly not a confidence that expresses itself in brash talk or seeks to put down others.
We catch a glimpse of this holy confidence in the life of Nehemiah. For a myriad of socio-political reasons, Nehemiah’s undertaking should have been an impossible one. Power, money, and the dominant culture and thinking in his day would have surely been working against him in rebuilding Jerusalem. Yet Nehemiah set out with courage and passion because he knew the “gracious hand of God” was on his life, a fact that he mentions and remembers in his heart several times (Nehemiah 2:8).
All too often, we falter in our own missions because we forget or neglect the power of our calling. More than Artaxerxes’s commissioning, Nehemiah knew he had been sent out under the authority and presence of God. This gave him courage to be bold in his pursuit of God’s causes, and it also offered reassurance when he encountered resistance.
When you go out this day, remember Who is sending you. Like Nehemiah, keep your focus fixed there—not on the problem or challenges in front of you, but on God’s power to change the unchangeable, to conquer the unconquerable, and to restore the unrestorable.
For those of you who already possess a deep sense of God’s calling and hand on your life, remember to steward it well. That holy confidence comes with divine expectations; it’s not a gift that you’re meant to wield for your own purposes or gain. In fact, Scripture is laced with examples of leaders who misused the influence of their calling. This repeatedly backfires, and usually carries with it a great deal of collateral damage.
For those of you who have lost your sense of calling, or perhaps are seeking it for the first time, take heart: Nehemiah’s mission came in the midst of some dire circumstances. Also, keep watch: God’s vision and mission for this season of life may look different from what you anticipated. When your spirit senses His commissioning, take hold of it and refuse to let it go, and rest assured that His gracious hand is on you.
Written by Andrew Stoddard
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10 thoughts on "The King Sent Me to Jerusalem"
I find it amazing that Nehemiah was able to do what he did. He left where the Israelites were condemned to, and did so under good circumstances. He had so much favor with the king, he was able to get the king to sponsor or provide financial support to help rebuild Jerusalem. God’s favor wasn’t just a little bit of it, it shined through every circumstance.
I AM sent me…. Like Moses and Nehemiah, I’m called to the impossible working with troubled teens. Like Moses I must be confident in who sent me more than the odds of what I’m doing will be successful.
This story is another great example of God taking the unexpected and unlikely people to do do tremendous things for the glory of God.
Nehemiah had God’s calling on his heart. With prayer and humble petition, he was bold in his pursuits. I pray for a humble boldness in my own pursuits, resting in knowing that the Lord goes before me laying the masonry.
The circumstances I’m under now are such the I never would have expected a year ago. God is certainly walking me through hardship, and answering my prayers from an earlier time. This season is difficult, as I keep hearing God tell me to be faithful with what’s before me, and patient for what he has promised. This requires a new personal commitment nearly every day, but I know God will give me the strength to stay faithful.
I love the scriptures linked to today’s reading. Nehemiah’s sadness over the condition of Jerusalem should be mirrored in me as I think about the state of “the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven.” I pray I can feel the same sense of calling and “sent-ness” that Nehemiah felt as I do the work he has prepared for me beforehand to walk in.
“If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight…”
I Just love how Nehemiah approaches the king. I think sometimes we think we know what God wants us to do or what He wants for us. But we forget to ask if what we are about to do “pleases the King.” We serve Him! He is our King! If it doesn’t please Him, then we probably shouldn’t do it. Our attitude and posture should be the same as Mary ,”let it be done according to your will.” When we fully surrender to Him we will see the breakthroughs that we have been praying for, we will have a more intimate relationship with our King.
Day 2: The power of Gods calling is immense. I feel like I forget that sometimes and either complain about the situation I’m in, or find a way to forget who put me where I am. The power of knowing Gods calling and or searching for it should take over why we do what we do. He’s allowed us to be here. Right now. Wherever you are, he’s got a plan for you. He’s ready for us to commit that day to him, that situation or job to him. Mike I think this could hit home for you a bit. Searching for where you’re supposed to be and understanding that may not come in the best of times, but also recognizing Gods calling on your right now to be at Tri. He’s got you there for a reason! Love y’all.
As the devotional explains, Nehemiah was given support and orders to return and rebuild Jerusalem by Persian king Artaxerxes, but even greater was the Hand of God upon him.
God’s will is powerful. It moved Nehemiah and Artaxerxes into action to do something that seems logically impossible. No barriers were in the way.
When we are convicted by God we should similarly realize that God will pave the way, we should live in His confidence and recognize the power to surprise or His divine providence.
Nehemiah’s calling was firmly rooted in Gods will. When we experience a calling like that, we should have the confidence in Christ to pursue that mission. God has been so gracious to us and if we calm ourselves and take the time to examine our situation, it is possible to see His hand upon our lives. I am so thankful for God’s faithfulness to me even when I don’t deserve it.
Help me to be steadfast in the work you’ve prepared for me. Help me to be a good steward of the time and resources you’ve provide. Help me to love your law and mediate on you’re work in me and through me. Thank you my Great God for your amazing grace!
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