Day 2 of our guest posts this week and we are looking at Nehemiah 6:16 with Angela Meer.
Lately I’ve been thinking about small beginnings. You see, there has been this ongoing conversation with God about the big dreams of my heart for like…well all my life. And often times those big dreams look like something that others have achieved pretty effortlessly
- Building a dream home
- Developing a platform to promote a book or business or (fill in the blank with almost any God-sized dream)
- Having a family – whether it be marriage and kids, or a church that really feels like family
And what happens when we go on for months or even years without seeing those dreams come to pass is that we are left with a huge gaping hole that Solomon described as hope deferred to a point of making the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12).
I think we are all WAY too familiar with that feeling.
But here’s the thing – the end of that verse says that desire fulfilled is a tree of life. So how do we power up our confidence in the God-sized dreams of our heart?
Answer: There’s a small verse tucked away in Nehemiah that has been speaking to me this week. And it’s got POWER UP YOUR CONFIDENCE written all over it.
As a review, the book of Nehemiah is about the King’s cupbearer hearing about the distress of his countrymen in Israel. Out of compassion, a big God-sized dream forms in his heart and he realizes its time to fix some huge problems in his homeland. Nehemiah gathers the people and instills in them a heart to work together, and they begin to repair the breaches in the city that have kept Israel in poverty and instability.
The reason Nehemiah is so brilliant for learning how to achieve God-sized dreams is because it expertly lays out all the obstacles that Nehemiah faced in 13 succinct story-like chapters. Nehemiah faced over 10 obstacles in this short book, everything from
- Lack of money and resources
- Needing favor from the right people
- Having scoffers and nay-sayers
- Religious people telling him to stop the work
Almost ALL of us can relate to one or every thing on this list!
And here’s the thing…these were the obstacles that Nehemiah faced when he had the first of many projects ahead of him! You see Nehemiah’s goal wasn’t JUST to build the wall, it was to see the people of God dwelling in safety and health, and growing in their relationship with God.
He knew he had to start with safety, which is one of many goals. But the real dream, the real purpose of Nehemiah’s visit was to see Israel settling into their God-ordained destiny.
With that much to overcome on just the first goal, you would think Nehemiah would have given up. But this is where we can really learn.
You see, often the biggest obstacles are at the front of the dream. This is why we often give up dreaming with God before we even meet our first goal. But there is a way to build our confidence for every step of the big God-sized dream.
Smack dab in the middle of Nehemiah, there is a verse that shows how Nehemiah handled obstacles to his first goal.
“When all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations surrounding us saw it, they lost their confidence; for they recognized that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God. (Neh. 6:16).
So what do we do when we know that God has filled us with the dream of our heart, but we have a myriad of obstacles that are stopping us at every turn?
We take a note from Nehemiah, who has #BeenThereDoneThat.
- We ask for the help of God to accomplish our first goal. Praying for the strength, the ability, and the courage to do what we need to do, allows others to see that God is at work in our lives.
- We move out of God’s strength to overcome every obstacle on the first goal of our God-sized dream. This may mean paying for a class, meeting like-minded God friends, and/or taking serious action, even when it seems so much safer to keep that God-sized dream in your head. We do all this while praying to God for strength and courage from step 1.
- We keep completing the steps toward our goal, by praying AND taking action.
If you read the rest of Nehemiah after the building of the wall, you will see that Israel began to turn back to the Lord in record numbers after this first goal was finished. They grew in God, and began to be prosperous, while keeping their families safe. THIS was Nehemiah’s dream, but it only happened because he had a first goal of repairing the wall.
When we accomplish our first goal, the enemy loses HIS confidence because none of His tactics worked! We start to see progressive wins toward our God-sized dream, and each goal begins to be ticked off until we realize we are living out the God-sized dream that God gave us.
Today, challenge yourself to take action, and also pray through the difficult steps toward your God-sized dream. Let God build your holy confidence in His ability to get you through each challenge. The rewards, like Solomon said, is a tree of life to your soul.