Nehemiah brought about tremendous influence and impact for his entire nation. His life modeled what it means to be a kingdom-minded person living under God’s rule. We can increase our positive impact when we seek to apply the following three spiritual principles from Nehemiah’s life. He was a person of faith, justice and perseverance.
1. A PERSON OF FAITH
In order to be a person of faith, your view of God must be bigger than your view of your enemies. If you have a bigger view of your enemies, then they will control you. Wind can’t move an iceberg because most of an iceberg is beneath the surface of the water. But the current can move an iceberg, even in the face of a fierce wind, because the pull of the current is stronger than the push of the wind. If the pull of God is stronger in our lives than the push of our enemies, then God’s influence will win out. I’ve been intimidated at various times, especially when my life was being threatened. But if I ever allowed the threats of the enemy to control me, I would have quit what I’m doing a long time ago. If we are going to do anything lasting for God, we must be people of faith. And there will come those times when we need to take our stand together, shoulder to shoulder, as people who believe God.
2. A PERSON OF JUSTICE
Nehemiah held the leaders of Jerusalem accountable for being men of honesty and justice. Then, he reinforced the seriousness of the situation and the need to make things right. Nehemiah didn’t let God’s people get away with their unjust business practices, with holding their brothers in slavery. In this case, the problem was classism, the wealthy oppressing the poor. Let’s be honest with each other. Some of the stuff we as Christians tolerate isn’t even on the borderline. It’s just wrong. So, if we are going to be people of godly impact, we must be people of justice like Nehemiah. We must practice it, insist on it and fight for it when necessary. The question we need to ask ourselves is, “What does God think?” not “What will others think?”
3. A PERSON OF PERSEVERANCE
If you want to make an impact, don’t stop doing what God wants you to do. Don’t give up the dream God gave you just because trouble shows up. Keep rebuilding. Don’t let other people knock you off the wall. Too many of us are hearing the world say, “You can’t make any difference. Don’t even try. It’s not worth the effort.” Who says? I’ll tell you who says. No one with any real authority. The problem is, we’re listening to these voices rather than continuing with the work. Keep on going. Don’t let those who have no spiritual perspective stop you. The great thing is, when you persevere in what God called you to do, you make an impact that carries on for generations.