Do you have a seemingly impossible dream? It’s really hard to know how to chase your dreams, especially if they are unattainable, insurmountable, or just plain out of reach. As I continue to read Nehemiah, I think of my own dreams. As I’ve read each chapter, I have gleaned so much wisdom and had so many realizations on how to tackle my own goals and dreams. This was encouraging to me and I hope it encourages you!
1. Before Nehemiah could work out the problem, God worked in his heart.
Throughout the book of Nehemiah, we see a man with a vision to rebuild what has been torn down. A city he didn’t reside in, full of people he did not know, had a broken down wall and burned down gates. The city was supposed to have been restored, but it remained in the same broken state for decades. Upon hearing the state of the city, Nehemiah was very upset.
I remember the day I felt called to be a minister. I was in a service and the speaker was talking about people who were hurting. My heart broke and I sobbed at the altar. I asked the Lord to use me and ten years later, I still ask the same question as I get the beyond amazing opportunity to minister to children and teenagers. Maybe your God-size dream looks different or maybe you feel less emotional and more called to action. That’s okay too. The important thing is that you have a stirring in your heart.
2. Pray over the situation. Then pray some more and after that pray even more!
Nehemiah was broken for this city. He prayed for months before he went to rebuild Jerusalem. Between chapter one and two, around four months had passed. Far too often I have found myself depending on that ten second prayer that I prayed once a few months back, and consider it good enough to move on and do what I want. I wonder, if I took the time to truly pray consistently, how my decisions would shift and how my circumstances would change.
3. Obstacles are often opportunities to let God step in and take control.
Nehemiah had to have a perfectly timed circumstance to set him up for success. He not only had a perfectly timed conversation with the King, but also acquired favor, time-off and resources to go to Jerusalem. Even then, after he arrived, there was no shortage of obstacles in his way. People mocked him, some refused to help and others weren’t trained to complete the job. On top of that, people plotting to attack the city. They had to clean up a mess that had accumulated throughout the ruins, and in a last-ditch effort some men plotted to harm Nehemiah and slander his name. However, God worked out every single obstacle for Nehemiah. This reminds me that even when I feel discouraged or let down by a situation, it does not mean God let me down.
4. God is looking for availability not qualifications!
It took only 52 DAYS to correct a 100 YEAR problem. Nehemiah wasn’t a professional contractor, he was not from the area, and honestly it would have been easy for him to ignore the huge problem that was going on in Jerusalem. However, Nehemiah made himself available to God to correct this problem. No matter how unqualified or unprepared you may feel, if God wants you to do something He will make it happen only if you are willing. Chase after those dreams!
Featured image by Nine Köpfer