The Best Way to Rebuild Your Dreams
Pastor Ryan Rice, lead pastor at North Valley Community Church, has been speaking a series called “Rebuilding Dreams” from the Biblical book of Nehemiah.
In his most recent sermon in the series, entitled “Before You Rebuild,” Ryan laid out what differentiated Nehemiah and made him successful in his dream of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem.
Speaking from Nehemiah chapter 2, Ryan detailed point by point why Nehemiah succeeded.
Before delving into the roots of Nehemiah’s success, though, Ryan said that Nehemiah faced what all successful leaders face: relational opposition. According to the book of Nehemiah, two men, Sanballat and Tobiah, stood in Nehemiah’s path and jeered at his dream to rebuild the walls.
Ryan stated that stepping up to the plate of leadership means that you will have both more fans and more critics. You have to lean on the encouragement of your fans if you are going to withstand the criticism that inevitably confronts successful leadership.
Nehemiah was a man who overcame criticism to accomplish God’s calling on his life.
He was also a man who knew the importance of rest, not just work. Nehemiah rested three days in Jerusalem before beginning his work.
Ryan said that God has called us to rest as well. We should take a daily Sabbath as well as a weekly Sabbath, making sure that we spend time in God’s Word and prayer daily, not just on Sunday. Also, relaxation in general has a place in the life God wants of his believers.
Nehemiah also was not a one man show- he recognized the critical importance of teamwork in success. He motivated his fellow Jews in the great project of rebuilding the walls, saying, “ Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” (Nehemiah 2:17, ESV)
Ryan also noted that Nehemiah took time to observe the problems before commencing work on the project. Nehemiah’s forethought was fundamental to the success of his solutions as a leader.
Critically, Nehemiah was also at heart a solution generator rather than a chronic complainer. Nehemiah already knew the difficulty of the task at hand. Rather than waste time complaining a lot about it, Nehemiah focused on what he could do to help. He was a man of action who moved people to act on his God-given dream to rebuild Jerusalem.
Finally, Ryan noted that Nehemiah was a bold man. When dealing with his powerful critics, Nehemiah courageously stood up for what was right, stating: “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no right or portion or claim in Jerusalem.” (Nehemiah 2:20 ESV)
By following Nehemiah’s example, you can accomplish your dreams in God’s way. While you may temporarily enjoy success without God, in the long run, true success depends on adherence to godly principle. Nehemiah knew this, and his life reflected it.
While the road to godly success is challenging, you will find that it is always worth it.