Leadership Lessons from Nehemiah: Lesson #3

Leaders wait patiently on God’s timing.

A great deal of biblical history is framed around years in which kings reigned. This gives us a point of reference in real time and validates the accuracy of the biblical record. Nehemiah 2:1 reads, “And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, that I took the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had never been sad in his presence before.”  Don’t pass by that first part too quickly, “in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes”. Why does this matter? What is the big deal? Here is why. Between the close of chapter one, and the opening of chapter two, approximately nine month has passed. From the time Nehemiah received news of the tragedy unfolding in Jerusalem, until the time he approached the king requesting to take action, almost an entire year had gone by.

It is important to not get ahead of what God is doing in our lives. It is natural for us to see a need and meet it. It is natural for us to simply make a decision when faced with one. It is natural for us to do what we want to do when we want to do it, whatever “it” is. Leaders know that timing is everything. Business leaders know that the success or failure of a new product is directly linked to the timing of its launch into the market. Military leaders know that the success or failure of any mission is directly linked to the timing of the attack. Spiritual leaders know that success or failure of any endeavor in the Lord’s name is directly linked to the perfect timing of God. I am sure that Nehemiah had a desire to get to Jerusalem as fast as he could. I am sure that Nehemiah crafted his owns plans for rebuilding his beloved city. Instead of pushing forward, he waited for God to give him the “go ahead”. Spiritual leaders must wait on God’s timing. In God’s timing, provision for the task will always be there. In God’s timing, the people God has prepared will always be there. In God’s timing, the peace of God will always be there.

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