My admiration and appreciation goes out to Christian leaders. We should pray for one another and cheer one another on as we seek to follow Christ and also serve as a leader for Christ. Pastors, parents, church members, missionaries, and so forth, I hope you will be encouraged in the Lord as you lead and serve.
The reality is that we will face, and likely are facing, challenges when it comes to serving and leading for Christ’s glory and mission. The Bible has many examples of leaders and servants of God dealing with various challenges. One leader who comes to mind who felt burdened and faced challenges as a leader is Nehemiah. One of the ways Nehemiah speaks to me as a leader is the idea of being a courageous leader. Leaders can be afraid too! We may feel pressure, may face critics, or may fear the unknown. Nehemiah had a reverential fear of the Lord; he prayed; and he had a clear mission from God.
A Fearful Leader
Nehemiah admits, the Scripture records, that he was afraid (2:2). Nehemiah ultimately decides that more than anything he fears disobeying the Lord and not doing what God has burdened him with doing.
A Prayerful Leader
In verse 4, Nehemiah says a quick prayer. As 2:8 shows, Nehemiah didn’t attribute the king’s favorable response to good luck. Rather, “the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me.”
As Proverbs 21:1 state, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord. He turns it wherever He wishes.” Or, as Hudson Taylor said, “It is possible to move men through God by prayer alone” (cited by Charles Swindoll, Hand Me Another Brick [Thomas Nelson Publishers], p. 43).
A Purposeful Leader
Nehemiah had a clear mission from God. He has been called to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem (verse 5). Thank the Lord that He gave a clear mission to the church and His disciples. We are called to make disciples of all nations. We are called to be salt and light. We are called to love the Lord and one another.
I hope you will take some encouragement today to know that you are not alone as a leader. Part of the joy of being involved with the SBCV, is meeting and witnessing first-hand the leaders among our churches.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9, ESV
Your brother in Christ,