Day 7

Spiritual Gifts - The gift of leadership from the life of Nehemiah 


Nehemiah is a great bible example of a person with the gift of leadership. His heart was broken over the suffering and distress of his brothers and sisters in Jerusalem. When he heard that the walls were broken down and the gates reduced to cinders, he wept and grieved and prayed for days going without food. 

Nehemiah's prayer in chapter 1 is a brilliant model of deep and genuine repentance. There was no blaming God, no rationalizing of sin, but full acceptance of personal responsibility. 

If we would pray like Nehemiah did we would get the results that Nehemiah did. Real leaders facing a crisis see prayer not as a last resort but a first response. Like Nehemiah we are to fall on our faces, pour out our hearts to God, and seek His face and heart about the crisis. 

Then Nehemiah reveals by his actions the traits of the gift of leadership. Leaders have a clear cut vision of what they want to do. They set specific, measurable goals, that literally call others to their side. Leaders know that nothing is dynamic that is not specific. "I want to build a wall". Like Nehemiah, leaders are able to see resources and to boldly enlist the help of others to accomplish a task. I remember how Campus Crusade founder Bill Bright would walk into an office armed only with a vision and plan to reach the world with the Gospel, and come out of that office with a million dollar check. 

Leaders know how to eat an elephant - one bite at a time. They organize, delegate, set smaller, achievable goals, motivate workers, encourage discouraged laborers, and provide the resources they need to finish a job. Like our bible example, they take on God-sized projects with a God-sized faith. They visualize final results because they can literally see the end from the beginning.  Leaders rely on the power of vision to draw like a magnet and point like a compass.

Leaders have a compass in their head and a magnet in their heart. 

I also find in Nehemiah's story this critical quality of a spiritual leader. He or She can withstand hostel reaction from others. Leaders fight for God's will and vision and instill courage in others. Each laborer was a fighter. He had a tool in one hand and a spear in the other. 

Leaders like Nehemiah make jobs look easy and completes tasks quickly. Would you believe it only took 52 days for Nehemiah and his volunteers to build that wall! (Nehemiah 6:15)

Nehemiah then turned to Ezra the priest to teach and restore God's Word to the people. That's what spiritual leaders do. The physical wall was a object lesson of spiritual walls that were broken and in ruins. When the wall was finished the Word was taught, and people returned to the Lord. Restoration is complete. 

Lord, do it again! Raise up true spiritual leaders who can look at the broken down walls of our families, our churches, our businesses, and our nation, and by your grace and for your glory, lead us to "rise up and build".

In his grip of grace,