Tag Archives: Lead

Four Reasons to Stay on the Wall

In the book of Nehemiah, a mighty religious leader of the day received word of the remnant of the Jewish people that are left in Jerusalem. Their wall of protection is destroyed, the gates have been burned and Nehemiah sits down, weeps, fasts, prays, and then then begins his conversation with God.

Before we take our stand atop our wall there is a few preparatory measures we need to take. First talk to God, make sure it’s your wall to stand on and fight. I cannot tell you of the times I have climbed to the top of a wall that was built on someone else’s ideas instead of God’s. Second, take accountability for the brokenness if it’s yours. And third remember, you are one of the Redeemed! That in a nutshell is Nehemiah Chapter One regarding the state of Israel and Nehemiah’s prayer to God. If it’s your wall, don’t come down.

God is the God of Action. Unless it’s for a time of prayer or preaching, nowhere in scripture do you find God’s people sitting still and being productive. If they’re sitting still (like King David) they’re apt to fall into sin. Busyness isn’t always a sign of productiveness, but it’s certainly a better sign than never being found doing anything.

I cannot summarize the story of Nehemiah and the wall into a few sentences. So much happened and the entire book is so worthy to read. But for bit of encouragement for the both of us I’ll use this scripture from the book to encourage you to stay on the wall.

Nehemiah 8:10

Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry: for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Israel had just heard the word of God afresh. They were mourning for the state of their nation. But Nehemiah gives them (and us) these words of encouragement.

We have a Reason to Celebrate

If God’s people can’t rejoice, who can? The wall was rebuilt in spite of the opposition they faced. And for those of us on this side of the New Testament, we are blessed with the Word of God that has stood the test of time and has proven itself as truth no matter how many times an angry world has tried to tear it down. We can eat the fat and drink the sweet of His glorious word and feel the Spirit in our soul as we do. The world may not know… but we do. That is reason to celebrate! Stay on the Wall and Celebrate what God completed at the empty tomb.

We have blessings to share

Nehemiah reminded them that their blessings were not their own to keep. Neither are ours. I looked around my home this morning at all the goodness of God and His graciousness to me who is so unworthy and I feel shame that I don’t share more than I do. I feel shame that I don’t take the time to thank God and stay in constant prayer that His mercy abounds in my family and friends. You too no doubt have blessings uncounted and gifts in your life that you could encourage someone with today. Stay on the wall and share God’s goodness that world may see what He’s done in your life, and that even the unsaved will glorify God for you.

We serve The Lord Most High

I loved when Nehemiah said “Don’t be sorry.” I believe he was telling the Israelites to move past regret. I am so apt to stay in an attitude of unworthiness because of my failures. I do it to the point of yet another failure; because God has proven I am worthy by His death on the cross. Was not that enough? We serve a risen Savior who took every sin; past, present and future upon His shoulders at the cross so that we could live in victory! We serve the Lord Most High, there is no reason to be low. Stay on the wall and serve in the victory you’re afforded and don’t cower to the demons of Hell that tell you you’re not worthy. You are worthy by His blood.

We have His Strength to Go On

That strength is found in His joy and His joy is found in our service. There is engrained in the child of God a desire to serve. When that desire is fulfilled it brings with it a joy unspeakable and that joy floods the body and soul with strength to go on. Yes, we’ll have some days of doubt, we’re human. But we can look back on the joys of serving God and the fruits of our labor, just like Nehemiah and children of Israel must have looked back on the rebuilt wall. Look what you’ve done in the strength of the Lord! Can He not do more? And will you not continue to stand and fight for those who have yet to make it to where you are in Christ?

I have family and friends who have never experienced life atop the wall. They’ve never known the victory of Spirit filled leaving and confidence in Christ. I’m not done until God says I’m done. Stay on the wall and continue in His strength that others may experience it too.

The wall of Jerusalem was nothing more than bricks and mortar. The Rock for which we stand is indestructible. Stand Strong in His Might!

Are you waiting for the mantle to fall?

While countless people have come in and gone out of my life that I’ve loved, those who have had a “great” spiritual impact on my life have been fewer than those who have had a great personal impact on my life. Both are important and I don’t want to diminish the latter, but of those who have had a spiritual impact I believe they’ll have rewards in Heaven. 1 Peter 5:2-4 says “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” It is my prayer that I will have that impact on people in my life; not that I’m anybody, but that the presence of God in my life will be evident to the point that someone wants what I have and for God’s glory alone.

In 2nd Kings Chapter 2 we find the story of two such men, Elijah and Elisha, and this morning as I read their story I caught a glimpse of that road to Glory for which every saint of God should strive for.

Vs. 9-15 ~

Evidence of the Spirit at Work in our Life

Vs. 9 ~ And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.

Before Elijah left, Elisha had seen the Spirit of the Lord at work in his life. It will do little good if our legacy for the Lord is the last five minutes of our life. Our friends and family need to see the lasting affect over time. They need to see God in the good days and the bad. Elisha had seen that, he wanted that! He’d seen Elijah:

1. Stop the Rain (1 Kings 17:1)

2. Multiply the Oil (1 Kings 17:2)

3. Raise the Dead (1 Kings 17:22, 23)

4. Bring Fire from heaven on the soaked altar (1 Kings 18:38)

5. Bring on the rain (1 Kings 18:45)

6. Bring fire down on 51 soldiers. (2 Kings 1:10)

7. Bring fire down on the second 51 soldiers (2 Kings 1:12) and

8. Part the river Jordan. (2 Kings 2:8)

Our Evangelism Needs to Continue

Vss. 10-13 ~ And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.  And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan;

When Elijah had gone, Elisha mourned but went back and stood at the bank of Jordan where he and Elijah had stood before. When we’re gone there should be someone standing in the gap that we’ve left; we should be leading leaders, training those we love to evangelize those they love. If Jesus tarries I want the next generation to evangelize the next generation and the only way that will happen is if we have them ready before we leave.

Evolving takes humility

Vss. 14-15 ~ And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over. And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.

After Elijah left, Elisha was there, and when Elisha was gone those who had been watching seen Elisha’s miracles too! Elisha had asked for a double portion of the Spirit that was upon Elijah. Elisha’s miracles were as follows:

  1. Jordan River divided (2:14)
  2. Waters at the spring of Jericho healed (2:21)
  3. Bears from the woods, destroying the mockers (2:24)
  4. Water for Kings (3:20)
  5. Oil for the widow (4:1-4
  6. Gift of the son (4:16,17)
  7. Raising the child from the dead (4:35)
  8. Healing of the potage (4:41)
  9. Bread multiplied (4:43)
  10. Naaman healed (5:10)
  11. Gehazi smitten (5:27)
  12. Caused the iron to swim (6:6)
  13. Sight to the blind (6:17)
  14. Smiting blindness to these men (6:18)
  15. Restoring sight to these men (6:20)
  16. Miracle after his death, man comes to life by touching Elisha’s bones (13:21)

Sixteen!!! The double portion.

It is said that those who watched were the sons of the prophets having been formally trained, while Elisha was taken from the plough. When they perceived that God was on Elisha (as He was Elijah) they readily submitted to him as their father in the faith. They weren’t worried about his resume. Evolving (changing into) men and women of God takes humility. A willingness to have a servant’s heart to receive the manifold blessings of God.

If we want to see God move we’ve got watch for opportunities as Elisha watched Elijah; pray specifically as Elisha asked for the double portion; and when it’s our turn we need to stand accordingly.

Hold My Mule… I’m About to Get Happy

Proverbs 23:16

Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.

When reminiscing about the spiritual joys in my life I can seldom go too far without having Preacher Walt come into my mind. Many people have touched my life but only a few have left a thumbprint on my heart because they touched me so deeply. Walt was one such individual because he taught me how to let go of the mule. One of his favorite sayings was “Hold my mule, I’m about to get happy!” Walt was relinquishing the reins and allowing the Holy Spirit to take charge, and sure enough as soon as he did, we had a time in that service! This morning as my eyes opened at 4:30 a.m. I began to pray that God would lay a scripture on my heart that would encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ. One that cause them to be happy in the Spirit of the Lord. And as always, God is faithful. The word “speak” has been on my heart for days. But not necessarily in a good sense; more aptly thinking on how the thoughts of a person’s heart are betrayed by their lips. When I speak what’s on my heart, it’s not always the right thing to say. God said in Proverbs 23:16 that He would rejoice when we spoke right things. I have to wonder if when His reins rejoice, if they don’t loosen a little.

We are held back by the reins

I hesitate to ask some people how they are because it’s often followed by a twenty minute dissertation of how terrible their life is. They’ve made up their mind that they’re going to be miserable and they share that misery with everyone who dare to ask. I don’t want to discourage someone from asking a brother or sister for prayer because they’re going through a rough spot, that’s not what I speak of. I’m talking about ‘those’ folk, and you know who they are, that seldom ever have a good day. They don’t speak right things. They won’t let loose of anger, or bitterness and because of it their reins are held tight. They aren’t allowing God to have control, else they’d have to forgive and forget. You’ll not likely see them get happy in the Lord because their content at being miserable and their speech reflects it.

Hold my mule, I’m about to get happy!

We are Lead by the reins

When our heart is right it’s also reflected in our speech. We speak truth and encouragement; and we can feel the reins loosen a little and God working in our lives. He starts directing us and putting words in our mouth. His words. And joy begins to multiply in our heart and rather than focusing on the negative things in the world we begin to look for the good, and that too encourages us and before long we’ve thought and spoken ourselves happy! And then one day we find ourselves in the Spirit of the Lord, happy for no other reason than God gave us one more breath. Life’s not perfect, but God is. He has a plan, go with it.

We are loosed by reins

If the driver of the buggy never let loose of the reins he’d never travel very far. The horse doesn’t need the reins off to get where he’s going he needs them cracked! That’s how I feel this morning. I feel like God has cracked the reins and I’m moving. He’s doing something in my life, taking me to the next leg of the journey. A mule is said to be stubborn and content to stay put. I don’t want that.

Here, hold my mule, I’m about to get happy!