Nehemiah

After the Iloilo journey, I immersed myself to the new series of The Feast dubbed “WorkaHolyc”.

The title of the series is a twist of the word workaholic. A workaholic is a person who loves to work, works all the time, and cannot stop working to the point that he is so addicted to working, that work, like a prohibited drug, is already destroying him.

Nehemiah

Nehemiah creating and sharing an inspiring mission for the city of Jerusalem. He took initiative. He didn’t want for anyone else to do it. He asked the king if he could go to Jerusalem. He asked the king for the materials he needed. He asked the king to provide protection for the travel. He went to the city. He did rebuild the wall. He showed them what was possible. He told them how God had been so gracious to him in the presence of the king. He said “let’s.” He knew that he could not rebuild the wall alone. He was going to rebuild the wall with them. He knew that city transformation had to be done together. Nehemiah would work alongside them the entire time with his time and with his money. He prayed. Nehemiah prayed when hearing the news, when sharing his desire with the King of Persia, during the work, when the work was done.

Being a workaholic may be bad for you. But if you must work, you can be a Workaholyc— which means you can make your work an important part of your journey to a holy life.

You can make your work your worship to God.

The story of Nehemiah took centerstage for the Sunday service.

Nehemiah 1:11
O LORD, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer.

This is the end of Nehemiah’s prayer to God in which he asked for God’s mercy and guidance so that he could accomplish the task of rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls in accordance to God’s will and promises. In the very last sentence of the verse, right after the conclusion of his prayer, Nehemiah identifies himself as “the king’s cupbearer”.

A cupbearer is a butler. So, Nehemiah the butler was offering himself to God to spearhead the huge project of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. The people had been unable to accomplish this task for 94 years! But the king’s butler is now preparing to do the job.

The lesson for us is clear: God can use anyone to accomplish His will. God does not care about our worldly qualifications; He cares about our yielded spirit. Nehemiah worshipped God, Nehemiah knew God’s Word, Nehemiah was humble before God, Nehemiah would obey God’s will: those were ALL the qualifications that God was looking for.

When Jesus chose His disciples, He didn’t choose the “best and the brightest”, He chose fishermen, rebels and a tax collector. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being smart or ‘well qualified’. God Himself has blessed us with brains and various abilities. However, scholarship and other human accomplishments are not what qualify us for joining God’s workforce. God looks for devotion over degrees, desire over duty, enthusiasm over experience, fellowship over fame, and connection (to Him) over ‘connections’.

To accomplish the work God has planned for each of us does not depend on how much wisdom/knowledge we have (or don’t have), or how much might/power we have (or don’t have), or how much riches/money we have (or don’t have). To accomplish God’s will, to do what seems difficult or even impossible ALL we need is to know Him, to live in humble fellowship with Him, and to obey His commands.

God has already supplied ALL believers with EVERYTHING needed to do the work He has prepared from the beginning of time.

God used a butler to build a city wall; He can use you too – if you answer His call.

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