Nehemiah 7:1 Now it came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed, 2 That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many. 3 And I said unto them, Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun be hot; and while they stand by, let them shut the doors, and bar them: and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, every one in his watch, and every one to be over against his house. 4 Now the city was large and great: but the people were few therein, and the houses were not builded. 5 And my God put into mine heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein, 6 These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city.
The physical construction of the wall was over with its attempts to stop it. Jerusalem was secure and populated. The wall was built. Schedules were set. It was running smoothly at last. Isn’t that what we want? There will always be opposition to the work of God. When we launch out, the devil brings on the opposition. Let’s stay focused. Stay the course. We’re still in the work of God. Stay till God is finished with us or Jesus comes. Look at verse 4. The facilities were there but there weren’t tons of people living in the city. We have the facility. Let’s work to fill it. In Jerusalem, the rubble hadn’t been cleared. It was easier for people to build elsewhere. We find it easier to sit down than work. If everyone waits on someone else, nobody gets the job done.
We need to train people to assume positions of leadership. None of us will be around forever. Time passes swiftly. For many of us, the number of days behind us are greater than those ahead. If we don’t raise leaders up, what will the next generation do? The Lord can come today. We need to live like he will, but we need to plan like he’s not coming for a while. We need to work for him. Be a mentor or discipler. Bring a person from salvation to mature growth in the Lord.
Christian leaders need to be open to direction from God. If it’s only from me, you won’t benefit. Faithful people can be trusted. We need to be true to God’s calling. Jesus never rebuked the disciples for being poor (and they were, except maybe for Matthew). He didn’t rebuke them for being uneducated (and they were). He did rebuke them for not being faithful. Let’s keep priorities in order. God must be first, at the top. Next is family. Why not the church next? Because if the family suffers, the church suffers. The church is third. Fourth is our work. If we’re not careful, work comes first and things get out of whack.
God has never spoken to me in an audible voice. He speaks through his Word, the Bible. There has been no revelation from God since John received the Revelation of Jesus Christ. I can speak to God through the avenue of prayer and he speaks to me through his Word. He will make his will known through the Holy Spirit. We get so preoccupied that we don’t hear what God is saying. Let’s open ourselves up to his presence and his will. I can see a vision of a growing church. We must have a vision because without one, the people perish.
Impure leadership must be removed. I see ministers who commit sin and expect to continue without interruption. We are to forgive, but a man called to ministry has a higher honor. A time of proving is in order. Leadership must be spiritual. Aaron allowed an idol to be built while Moses was on the mountain. They even offered sacrifices to it. We have the right to expect leadership to be spiritual. Being emotional and spiritual are not the same thing. I’ve seen emotional Christians who were not very spiritual. I’ve seen very spiritual Christians who aren’t emotional.
Nehemiah finished the job. It wasn’t easy. I’ve read that most people who run a marathon aren’t expecting to win; they just want to finish. Some sprint quickly, too quickly, and run out of steam before the finish line and don’t make it. I’ve seen people run a ways for the Lord and just fall out. Hey. This isn’t over. I want to finish! Many in the Bible didn’t finish well. Many did. I thought I was finished with pastoring when I left NC, yet I’m here. My prayer is that my last days will be my best days. I want to finish and finish well. What about you? We can rest when this is all over. For now, let’s build people. Let’s work to add to the church of Jesus Christ through the salvation of souls.