By Rev. Ron Swiger-Xenia
February 20, 2014
There are many examples in the Bible of people who were used by God. I would like to look at one of them whose name is Nehemiah. There are some things about his life that help us to know how we also can be used by our Lord. Let’s look at them.
First, Nehemiah refused to be bound by the comfort of his circumstances. Chapter 1 verse eleven says Nehemiah had a job in the palace serving as the cupbearer to the king.
However, when he talked to some from Jerusalem and found that the City was in a terrible condition, he was visibly shaken and resolved to do anything he could to help bring restoration. I am impressed that Nehemiah is the one initiated the conversation. It was not people begging him to help, but rather he was wanting to meet as many needs as he could. He did not look for someone else to step up, but instead said Lord use me.
There are many needs around us as well; let us try to meet as many as we can.
Second, he believed in the greatness of his God. We might be broken by needs and be willing to meet them, but the age old problem surfaces which is we do not have the ability or the resources to help. Nehemiah would say I hear you. He did what we need to do and asked God for help.
The story goes on to say how the King offered him the time off and provided the material that would be needed. It is not really a matter of how great God is, but rather how great do we perceive Him to be. You will find yourself at times facing situations that are far bigger than you to handle, but rest assured they are not as big as God. Our role is to work at exercising the faith that Nehemiah had. He found his God was more than capable of providing the miracle.
The last part of Chapter 2 verse 8 records his recognition of how his God provided. May I encourage you as well that God does intervene when He sees His people doing things for Him. The great missionary William Carey said, “ Attempt great things for God and expect great things from God.” You too will be able to share some fantastic testimonies of how you became an instrument of God’s love and grace.
Third, Nehemiah was determined to overcome obstacles. Chapter 2 verse 10 speaks of those who would oppose his efforts. You can be willing to be used by God, and even sense He is already at work in your midst, but rest assured you will face adversity. Often the deciding factor is how focused we are on seeing the need met.
We can be like Nehemiah and declare that we will not allow anything to stop us. Nehemiah has a very happy ending, and you too can experience the joy and satisfaction of allowing God to use you. A wise person once said it is not our ability, but our availability. Yes, if you are willing God can use you.
We certainly live in a world that is full of needs. There are innumerable opportunities to be involved with. My prayer is that you will ask God to guide you to what He desires for you to do. If you are willing, you will find God putting you in all kinds of situations where you can minister. Nehemiah would say it is an exciting and worthy adventure.
Rev. Ron Swiger-Xenia is with First Assembly of God and is a guest columnist.