Focal passage: Nehemiah 2:1-8; 17-18
Serving God requires intentionality. It’s summertime, and many of us are either returning from or planning for a vacation. Depending on your destination, you may have booked plane tickets or changed the oil in your car, but I’m guessing each of you packed a suitcase.
I would classify myself as an over packer. I begin early, and in my humble opinion, you can never be too prepared. My husband, on the other hand, prefers to work under pressure. He believes it’s much more effective to pack everything at once on the night before you leave. Although some might disagree, there isn’t one right way to pack.
And yet, you’ll only be prepared for your trip if you’re intentional about the things you bring. Likewise, although there is not one right method for serving God, we must be careful to plan intentionally while prayerfully relying on His guidance.
When Nehemiah learned of the desperate situation in Jerusalem, he acknowledged his dependence on God and acted on every opportunity. While fulfilling his daily responsibilities, King Artaxerxes asked Nehemiah, “why are you sad?” (Nehemiah 2:2).
Nehemiah prayerfully and carefully explained the plight of the Jewish people. Nehemiah also actively planned the work to which he had been called, asking the king to send him to Judah so he might rebuild the wall. He even requested official letters for both protection on his journey and provision for the rebuilding process.
Additionally, Nehemiah did not attempt to complete the task alone. He enlisted the help of his fellow exiles, saying, “Come, let’s rebuild Jerusalem’s wall, so that we will no longer be a disgrace” (Nehemiah 2:17).
God is calling each of us to serve Him, and we must follow Nehemiah’s example by acknowledging our dependence on God, actively planning for the work, and calling others to serve alongside us.
When I pack for the beach but forget my sunscreen, the resulting sunburn keeps me from truly enjoying my trip. When we attempt to serve God without acting intentionally, we often forfeit the opportunity to glorify God as He works in and through us for His good pleasure.