What Are You Building?

March 30, 2015

stockvault-bricks-close-up117518Through the next few weeks, we will be posting a devotional series based on Nehemiah 1-6. Start each devotion by reading the text. Then, answer the questions that follow. Each devotional will end with a Personal Application and Encouragement to help you apply what you have read to your every day life.

Read Nehemiah 1-2:8

Some questions to answer:

  1. Who was Nehemiah?
  2. What was on his heart to do?  Why do you think he wanted to do that?
  3. How was God instrumental in allowing him to go on his mission?

Nehemiah was just a simple cup-bearer. He didn’t have real power or authority to do anything. But his heart was to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall that was destroyed when Israel was taken over.  Why the Jerusalem wall?  It does not say for sure, but back in those days, a lot of cities had walls around them for protection against invaders.  If the walls were high and strong, the better the chance at defending against attack.  In the same way, if the walls were broken down and destroyed, the more open a city was to attack.

The reason why the Jerusalem walls were destroyed in the first place was because Israel messed up big time.  Even though they were God’s chosen people, Israel continually turned their backs on the Lord by worshiping other idols.  Therefore, God allowed them to be attacked and taken over by the Babylonians.

With all this in mind, Nehemiah knew that Israel repeatedly turned their backs on the Lord (1:5-9). Nonetheless, he was deeply upset and distressed over the current state of Jerusalem.  So he went before God and prayed for a chance, an opportunity to go before the King and make his petition to rebuild the Jerusalem wall.  Then, the King noticed Nehemiah’s distressed state and asked him what he wanted. (2:1-4a). How crazy is that?  The King’s reaction and question to Nehemiah had God written all over.  Really, how many times do you think a high King would take an interest in a cup-bearer?

Nehemiah had a desire and God provided him an opportunity to go and make an impact.  But it wasn’t easy.  Nehemiah was afraid to speak up to the King when given the chance (2:2). But he did share with the King his heart.  He walked through that open door the Lord provided which was the beginning of what ultimately led to Israel returning to Jerusalem from captivity.

Personal Application:

  1. Is God pressing something on your heart to say or do?  What is it?
  2. What are some of the fears associated with taking that step?
  3. What is one step you can take to pursue the Lord’s guidance?


If God is pressing something on your heart, go before the Lord and pray for a chance to do something with it. Nehemiah prayed for four months, from the month of Kislev (1:1) to the month of Nisan (2:1) before he was given an opportunity to speak to the King about his desire to return to Jerusalem 1.  So do not be discouraged if you do not hear back from the Lord in a day or two or even a few months. Continue to go before the Lord with what he is pressing on your heart.

Then, when God provides you with an opportunity, Carpe Diem – SEIZE THE DAY! God is giving you a chance, now do something with it.  Do not let fear or uncertainty of the unknown effect your decision to go for it or not. Seize the day and be thankful to God that he has given you this great opportunity to make an impact.

If a simple cup-bearer with a heart to do something great can walk through the open door God provided, then we can as well.  Let’s go and pray for something meaningful for the Lord to do in our midst.

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