Nehemiah shows us three characteristics of a servant leader whom God raises up.
- Unselfish Concern
- The first time we see Nehemiah, he sits down, weeps, mourns, fasts and prays. This is a guy of deep concern for the good of God’s people. He hears that they are in great trouble. He focuses on them, not himself!
- Uncompromising Devotion
- When Nehemiah hears the need, he falls on his face, weeps and prays. For four months he prays, mourns and fasts; he doesn’t start to plan or strategize. He is devoted to seek God’s face! In a book of thirteen chapters, Nehemiah prays in almost every chapter. God reveals the intimate things of His heart when we seek His face. Then we begin to see what God puts in our hearts because of His gracious hand upon us.
- God is always working behind the scenes to prepare His way. This is why it is so important to wait on His timing. Remember that the vision God has for our life is only a small piece of the entire puzzle.
- Unyielding Desire
- Nehemiah 1:10-11 says, “They are your servants and your people…Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name.” Nehemiah has everything. He lives in a palace, has plenty to eat and drink, has a personal relationship with the king, and lets his deepest delight to be in “revering God’s name!” Our deepest delight should be in seeing God’s name honored and glorified!
When you stand as a leader in God’s church, there will be difficulties, sacrifices, opposition and slander. It’s through those times of weakness, trial and struggle that God shows His glory. He shows His strength in amazing ways, and that’s exactly what He does with Nehemiah. When our vision for God is strong, our ambition for God in prayer will be strong. However, when our vision of God is weak, then our ambition for Him in prayer will be weak.
What faith Nehemiah has to wait and to continue to pray! Jesus said living faith can move mountains [Matthew 17:20]! True faith in God brings calmness to our hearts and keeps us from rushing about and trying to do in our own strength what only God can do.
“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).