High school students ask this as they weigh their college, major, and vocation choices.
Adults see this as the fulfillment of their job, family, and overall life.
It can be empowering when we know the answer. It can be deflating when we are dumbfounded.
Often we wait....and wait...and wait for an answer from God. But, what if sometimes God just wanted us to act based on what we already know?
Enter Nehemiah - a man who is discussed far to infrequently to children in their faith development.
Basically, here's the story. Nehemiah's hometown (Jerusalem) was destroyed before he was born during the Babylonian Empire and all the smart guys and good looking women were taken to Babylon to be slaves for King Nebuchadnezzar. Eventually, the Babylonians are overthrown by the Persians, to whom Nehemiah is a servant for the King.
Nehemiah hears that Jerusalem, approximately 150 years after having its walls torn down by the Babylonians, still does not have a wall around the city! Having a wall around your city is a big part of protection and honor.
What does Nehemiah do?
He prays to God for forgiveness for his people's lack of obedience. And he asks the King that he might go home to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. And the King says yes. It's a long story....but basically, no one near Jerusalem wants the wall rebuilt. In fact, Nehemiah and his fellow wall rebuilding crew are threatened and a plot is setup to fight Jerusalem.
These enemies "all plotted together to come and fight against
Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. And we prayed to our God and set a
guard as a protection against them day and night." Nehemiah 4:6-9 ESV
But they didn't stop to fight....verse 17 says "Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 18 and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked." That's determination and focus!
1. Heard the problem (Jeursalem in ruin).
2. Prays for forgiveness of his
people AND for opportunity.
3. God works through the King to
let Nehemiah go home
4. Opposition. More opposition. Pep talks (not included above).
5. Prepares for worst (a battle) but never stops with his God given
6. Wall is built in 52 days. 52 DAYS!!!!
While it is good for us to seek God's guidance, many of us wait for that burning bush or parting of the Red Sea to know what God wants us to do. Not Nehemiah, he found a need, prayed to God, and then got it done!
See the needs around you. Pray to God for wisdom and strength. Get it done. That is what you're supposed to do with your life.
This post is a part of my 2013 Lent back to blogging decision. To see my other posts click here