We are a nation and a world desperate for men and women of God to lead. Today you begin or continue that journey. As Joshua directed the people of Israel I also direct you, “Choose this day who you will serve.” As leaders in this modern world we can be tempted to follow the latest fad or chase after money, fame or power. Will you serve those idols or will you choose to serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
Read Nehemiah chapter 2
My noble brothers and sisters. Those of you who seek to lead, seek to do a good thing. But too many enter into leadership too lightly. They see some sort of perk or opportunity for power and influence and jump on it. To be a spiritual leader means that we stop and become aware of what God wants for us and for our lives. It is critical that we take time to evaluate our motives. Motives matter! Are you seeking the greater good or your own good? Evaluate constantly in light of God’s Word.
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly –James 3:1
Additionally we must spend time to simply become aware.
Nehemiah 2:1 Nehemiah is totally aware of his own emotional state. How often have you made an emotional decision that you later regretted? It is critical if we are to be effective leaders that we must take the time to assess how we are doing. How are you feeling? Are you already angry or sad or overjoyed. These can all bias our decision making processes. Ask yourself before you make a critical decision, “Am I hungry or tired.” Our physical state often creates all sorts of trouble for us.
One of the best ways that I have found to help me assess where I am at is to do a self examination. A self examination is done by looking at things that I say that I believe and consider if I am living my life according to those things. For example I believe that we should follow the 10 commandments. But do I live my life that way? The Scriptures teach the ten commandments are like a mirror showing us our sin. When I become aware of my sin I can then repent and make things right. How often have you looked honestly in that mirror? I have also laid out other scriptures to examine my life by and additionally look at the Boy Scout laws and military leadership principles to examine my life. This is a daily exercise. SELF EXAMINATION BASED ON JOB 31
I also like to do another process that is powerful called self evaluation. With this I look at specific choices and examine them. SELF EVALUATION I ask 7 choices about those choices and consider how I am doing.
Having examined himself, Nehemiah prayed and now depends on God. We should do the same.
Nehemiah 2:2 Notice here that even the pagan king is aware. If you are a leader do you notice how your people are doing? Do you notice if your kids are acting different or if your spouse has a new outfit? Would you notice if your employees had a different emotion than normal?
Optimism is a force multiplier and that seems to be the norm for Nehemiah so the king notices a change immediately. While a healthy bit of humble pessimism might suit some people, the Spiritual leader should be oozing optimism. We have a God that can come through. We serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and He loves you. He is on your side.
Also be aware that God is orchestrating the timing of this request. Nehemiah had been praying for just such an opportunity and here it is. When God sets you up for success do not miss your opportunity. Simply be aware when you are shown your chance. Listen, watch and pray. Continue to pray until God tells you to go for it. Nehemiah is scared a little. Even when we are totally in line with God and His will it can be scary. Go for it anyway.