In reading Nehemiah this morning, I was struck by how he was just a guy minding his own business, performing his job as a cup bearer to King Artaxerxes. His brother had just returned from Jerusalem and Nehemiah asked him about its state and was devastated by Jerusalem’s broken down walls and the trouble and disgrace of those Jews who had returned. He fasted, prayed and confessed his sins and those of his people for some days.
Then, boom. God used him to stand before the king, a guy who can do something about it, and then he gets sent to Jerusalem to lead the mission of rebuilding the walls. In fact, he is a part of the fulfillment of what Daniel wrote about in Dan. 9:25 in relation to God telling him what was happening then and what would happen in the future regarding Jerusalem and the end of all time. Nehemiah had a heart for Jerusalem and for God and the rest is just details.
My thought was that God raises up faithful people whom He has planted all over the place for specific times such as this. They have been in the habit of fasting, praying, confessing, and being obedient to God. They might feel obscure and insignificant, but then God grabs a hold of them for something much bigger than they could ever imagine.
The idea of a purpose driven life seems kind of “me” centered: my purposes and ideas and goals and plans that I come up with. But God calls us to something more like “a God’s heart driven life,” or “a Bible centered life,” or “an available to God” life. I don’t set the agenda, I just need to be faithful and obedient so when God comes knocking I won’t be sleeping or in the wrong place.
Bob and Judy told about how John Piper’s talk and book Don’t Waste Your Life impacted them to give up their life of Riley catching big fish on the shores of Lake Superior to sell everything and go to Albania. I’m not sure they could have hatched such a plan on their own, but God did and He revealed it to them because they were listening and obedient. He moved their hearts from thinking that retirement consisted of living for self fulfillment to doing things they probably never could have imagined as they sat with their investment counselor.
Just like Nehemiah 🙂