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The Night Rider

One of my favorite Old Testament leaders is Nehemiah.  Studying his leadership strategy is one of learning the importance of prayer and planning.  Even though I know better, I have been guilty of planning and then praying for God to bless my plans. Nehemiah presents a man who was burdened by what he had heard regarding the condition of Jerusalem.  His first response was not to call a whiteboard session and dream up a vision. Rather, he sat down and wept.  And then he spent time fasting and praying.  He knew that to restore the walls and gates of Jerusalem, and thus remove the disgrace, required divine intervention.  He was right and the Lord was faithful.  As Nehemiah served the king, God had worked in the kings life and blessed Nehemiah with the time and resources to go and repair the walls of Jerusalem.  Upon his arrival, Nehemiah waited three days and on the third night took a few men to ride around the city and inspect the true condition of the walls. In the morning he called for the city leaders to gather, and Nehemiah shared his vision of what could and should be done.  The citizens rose to the occasion and began to rebuild the walls, and despite opposition and potential set backs, they completed it in 52 days.  When it comes to leading a church forward to a better future, we can learn a great deal from Nehemiah’s example.  Before we get out the white board, we need to pray and get an accurate picture of what is our current reality.  Only then can we develop a vision and a plan to move forward together.  Only then will God intervene and provide what is necessary to accomplish what He alone can do – so that He might receive the glory! – Dr. Gary Mathes