Following your calling in life is not easy

The bible has many applications for life, some coming from direct teachings, like Jesus giving us lessons for salvation and life. Or the Epistles where we find practical advice for what faith looks like.

Then the bible has lessons in the stories of regular people who God used in times past. One great story is Nehemiah.

Nehemiah was the kings cup-bearer, a slave in Babylon when God laid upon his heart the run-down condition of Jerusalem. So Nehemiah begins an incredible journey to rebuild the city. From this account we learn some practical ways God works in peoples lives to this day.

First Nehemiah had a vision, a desire in his heart to do something - something so big, it must be God. God still uses men and women as he places within them a vision, or a calling to do something in faith.

Has God called you to something big? Perhaps its to be a godly mother or father, that's a huge assignment. Maybe its to step out into an area of service where you are not very comfortable. That's what happened to Nehemiah, he was a cup-bearer but God called him to construction.

Like anyone taking a step of faith, Nehemiah encountered obstacles along the way. First he needed the king's permission. God worked that out as the king not only allowed him to go, but gave him his blessings. Then some men opposed him, Sanballat and Tobiah were two guys who did not want to see Jerusalem restored, so they became discouragements to Nehemiah. First they accuse him of defying the king, then they tell him he's not qualified, then others said, "It's not as good as the old city."

Whenever you step out in faith, be it living a sober life, following God's plan, or moving out in ministry, there will be opposition. Like Nehemiah you may find people opposing what you are doing.

Luke 9:62: (Jesus said) "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

Jesus taught, once you begin your assignment, don't look back. Your rows will be crooked, and you'll get off course. Go for God and don't look back. Of course that's contingent on making sure your work is God's will.

How do we know the will of God? I believe 90 percent of God's will is revealed to us in the scriptures. If we can follow God's revealed will, the other 10 percent, his finite will for us, like Nehemiah, will become clearer.

What is God's will? That everyone would repent and come to him (2 Peter 3:9). That we are joyful in him, in prayer continually, and thankful for everything (1 Thess 4:16-18). To live the Spirit-filled life (Eph 5:16-21) and that God is before anything else in this world (1 John 2:15-17).

Well, Nehemiah did his job, the walls were rebuilt in spite of discouragements. What is God speaking to you about? Maybe it's time to turn to Jesus as Lord. Or maybe time to move out in faith. No matter remember, when God lays a burden on your heart, like Nehemiah, we will succeed for we do it in faith and obedience to our Lord.


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