We see this word all the time. Day in and day out we are bombarded with thousands of messages telling us what it takes to be successful. And then, there are thousands of products available for purchase that will give us the step-by-step plans, blueprints, words, and outlines that will help us be successful in 6-months or less!
It can all be overwhelming, right?
Well, here’s the good news! The Bible has MANY examples and tips on how to be successful. And today, I want to share some very specific action points with you from the story of Nehemiah, a very successful man who lived out the assignment that he was given. And believe me, it wasn’t because he was given extraordinary powers to be successful; instead, he knew what needed to be done to be successful. And it’s those things that we too can do that will help us be successful in what it is that God has called us to!
- You must see the opportunity: As soon as you start digging into the book of Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1:1-4), you immediately see that when an opportunity presented itself, Nehemiah grabbed it. He didn’t take it because it sounded good, it was a new shiny object that intrigued him, or because he had a fear of missing out. No, he grabbed it because he was moved by it and he saw an opportunity to do something. If we want to be successful in life and business, we must always have our eyes and ears open to the opportunities that God is showing us. If we are too busy whining and complaining about what we don’t have, we will miss out what it is that God is trying to show us.
- You must have a heart for the work you do:
Nehemiah 1:4: “When I heard this, I sat down and wept. I mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God-of-heaven.”
If we want to be successful, we have to have a heart for what we do. When this opportunity/news was shared with Nehemiah, he grabbed a hold of it because he was moved to tears; his heart was moved. He knew deep down in his spirit that this was something he could not ignore; this was something he had to do and take action on.
What moves you? What brings tears to your eyes? If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Nehemiah 4:6: “We kept at it, repairing and rebuilding the wall. The whole wall was soon joined together and halfway to its intended height because the people had a heart for the work.”
When you have a heart for the work you are doing, even when the days are long and hard, you will keep at it. You’ll keep moving forward because your heart is in the mission and vision of the assignment.
- You must pray on a daily basis: I really believe that one of the KEY things that made Nehemiah successful was his consistency in praying. He prayed day and night. He never stopped praying. And when we look at his prayer (Nehemiah 1:5-11), there are some KEY things we need to be aware of:
- Acknowledge who God is: Immediately, Nehemiah honors God by acknowledging who He is (Nehemiah 1:5-6). Give God the praise He deserves.
- Confess your sins: This one can be a tough one. When was the last time you openly confessed to God the wrongdoing in your life? In Nehemiah’s prayer (Nehemiah 1:5-6), he doesn’t blame other people. He includes himself and realizes that he too has been a part of the problem.
- Remember the promises of God. I LOVE how Nehemiah “reminds” God of the promises that He gave to Moses (Nehemiah 1:7-9). When you pray, don’t be afraid to share the promises that God has given you.
- Be Specific. Again, I LOVE how Nehemiah gets specific (Nehemiah 1:10-11). He boldly asks God to make him successful. And he didn’t want to be successful for the sake of being successful; ultimately, he wanted to honor God. That is why he prayed to God to make him successful.
- You must have discernment: We must be careful with the information that we choose to share with others. And believe me, I’ve learned this lesson a few times. When God speaks to me, I immediately want to tell the world, but sometimes that really isn’t the best thing to do. Sometimes, God just wants to keep it between the two of you for the time being because He knows the hurt and distractions it will protect you from.
Nehemiah 2:12: “I hadn’t told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem.”
- You must believe: There will be hard days. There will be days when you really begin to question your assignment. There will be days when others come against you. But you have to believe that the God who called you, will make sure that you succeed! You have to promise yourself that no matter how hard it may get, you will choose to believe that God will fight for you!
Nehemiah 2:19-20: “…they laughed at us, mocking. ‘Ha! What do you think you’re doing? Do you think you can cross the king?’ I shot back, ‘The God-of-Heaven will make sure we succeed. We’re his servants and we’re going to work, rebuilding.”
Nehemiah 4:20: “Our God will fight for us.”
- You must put your fear to the side and remember what you’re fighting for: The enemy will do whatever he can to keep you from fulfilling the calling and assignment that God has given you! He will do his best to fill you up with fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of mistakes, fear of failure, etc. Don’t be afraid. Push through the fear. Anytime he tries to bring fear into your life, put your mind on the One who has called you!
Nehemiah 4:14: “Don’t be afraid of them. Put your minds on the master, great and awesome and then fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”
God didn’t create us to fail and He doesn’t want you to fail. He has a specific calling and assignment on your life and ultimately, He wants you to succeed because when you do, it brings honor and glory to Him. So, if you too want to be a success:
- See the opportunities
- Know what moves you
- Pray consistently
- Choose discernment
- Choose to believe
- Choose to push your fear to the side
You too can be successful!