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Logo of InVerse, 4th Quarter 2019: Nehemiah: Principles of Biblical Leadership

01-Discovery of Calling: Prayer and Purpose

Israel Ramos Justin Kim Sebastien Braxton Sikhu Daco

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  • October 5, 2019
    9:30 AM

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Purposelessness is the issue of our age are like pieces a little plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean with nowhere to go and with that lack of purpose is a lack of passion for life on this episode we're looking at a new book The Book of Nehemiah chapter one on how this character develops purpose his life we got a new logo a new topic a new scope a new everything but the same people stick around. Coming to you from Silver Spring Maryland welcome to in the Bible based conversation or my sense of contemporary issues and thought provoking. Now here's your host just until within the next. Day friends where you are in the studio again for a new season a new topic and we're so excited to be studying the book of Nehemiah especially in the context of leadership and whether you out there are a leader political leader economic leader maybe your student council president or yours the regular person we are all called to different forms of leadership according to the Bible so in the studio of my team my friends my gang here and we're going to look at me in my own chapter one and we're going to stories about our former you know gang life and whatever but we need prayer as you see we need prayer right now so you can you open us up was with the Lord's blessing it's a loving Father we thank you for the privilege that it is to study away and we pray that you would open our minds and our hearts to understand scripture that the Holy Spirit would be out teacher and that we would leave the study of the Bible as transformed people who play these things in your name Amen amen is New much after one resent Israel verse one through something there. The words of Nehemiah the son of how it came to pass in the month of Kislev in the 20th year as I was in shoeshine the citadel of Hernani one of my brother in came with Ben from Judah and I asked him concerning the Jews who had escaped who had survived the captivity and concerning Jerusalem and he said to me the survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are in great distress and reproach the wall of Jerusalem is also broken down and its gates are burned with fire so it was when I heard these words that I sat down and wept and mourned for many days I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven all right so where in the beginning of Nehemias and special Let's help us get into this give us some context for the context to get into the text with me. So the book of Nehemiah finds us at the end of the Babylonian captivity which is the captivity references in the text and this time to really ended because the Persian Empire had conquered the Babylonian in part somehow only a Maya as a Jewish laving captive was elevated to this very high position we're now he's in shoeshine in the palace and from this place despite the fact that he's living the life of luxury he comes in contact with some of his own countrymen through this contact develops a sort of interesting curiosity of how are things in terms of the people how is the city back home in Jerusalem and he gets a report that's less than favorable and that ultimately compels him into several months of prayer and ultimately of planning and sensing a bird in a calling in a sense that God is really moving on his heart to do something about this. In this guy is a Jew at the really a white collar upper class position here and he sees his brothers we don't know if there is a biological but you know in the back from the home town he's like hey how's how's the old village Tony's gets a bad. Port so is or what why why does he react this way what's what what's his investment there well well 1st of all that's where he comes from and you know especially back in the day when kings would conquer other nations would come and conquer that you member like Daniel is 3 friends they would take the very very best of society and they would elevate them in this seems to be kind of what has happened with Nehemiah he finds himself in a very good position and I don't know if there's an issue of guilt or you know something that he was blinded to before is now revealed to him but he realizes 1st of all his hometown is completely the the walls are broken down and so there's a there's a visual impact that has happened in his society the other thing is that the people there are in reproach right so there is something that has happened to the people there something that has happened to a city and I think that there is an overwhelming sense of men my situation at home is not a good situation and it develops a burden within the heart of Nehemiah I remember just a couple years ago actually I went back to the place where I was born and I visited and I was in California. With an extremely lucky although for all of that a lot. So you know I went back I went back to I went back to California. With a friend and I was kind of trying to show them Hey this is a place where I grew up and kind of give them a tour and I remember how things were so drastically different now as an adult than when I was a little child and so when I when I went back I kind of I was hit back a little bit like oh this is not at all what I remember it like and you start kind of thinking more as an adult rather than as a child in your perspective is very different and I feel like Nia My name is kind of growing up here yeah yeah I mean he's living it up in the palace and then he gets a reality check back in its path he's used to life in a certain way not realizing that you know things back at home they have not evolved like you have evolved. The middle person Empire My understanding is that there was in edict or some command with the Jews could go back and to to restore and rebuild Jerusalem and he wrecked Nic we should have been one of those people so maybe there's guilt on that level or we don't know it's not mentioned in the tax writing going to look into it and then he's assuming that these guys would have built through some by now but they haven't taken a verse for I mean there's just there's a lot of reactions going on there can you what's going on there for support it's of a visceral reaction that just has it's it's he's mourning it's a very emotive and you know at one level you can be like what's the big deal you know the walls of the wall is broken down these gates opened fire but walls and gates represent the security. Of the people the safety that they can look to so it's not just. The physical reality points to I guess the state that the people are in and the fact that the was a broken down you know and they and the gates are burned with fire and there's there has been no restoration that has happened and you know it makes me think about like in our lives there are situations that where walls are broken down and gates opened with fire you know and it's it leads to a lack of security a lot. A feeling of safety and then my looks at his fellow brethren and it troubles him that they are going through the situation so I guess I'm thinking like personally apply thing you know they have my is thing do I look at people and see their pain see their lack of security to see the a situation that is less than ideal so to speak and does it affect me visitor really not just oh you know that sucks you know but he has like something needs to happen about this is weeping and praying about it yet there is the emotional reactions of physically actually sitting down there's a spiritual action is fasting and praying and I want to ask you guys this what does the wall represent Ok the wall is in the news a lot and we were refraining from the temptation to demean analogies about the law if you don't know anything about the world God bless you guys out there but many people know about this darn well this is not that wall that by was talking about but what is this ball what Bob what is this wall in Nehemiah's life really this is this is not to be taken literally special Rick and I think for for Nehemiah what he's looking at is the wall represents not just the degradation of his people but it also is attached to their religion and also to the spiritual calling the gone had upon the mass of people this was supposed to be the city set upon a hill that someone is you know our 8 men are going to take the skirt of him that is a Jew and say Take me with you teach me of the ways of the Lord in my eyes thinking how are we going to fulfill God's purpose with broken down walls in broken down people and immediately in essence those walls ultimately represent what it means to him to be a Jew and what he was supposed to represent in the world and so his high position in Persia is nice for you but if it's not going to help further your ultimate central identity in your purpose as a Jew then the is is recognizing there's a. A lot being lost here there's a lot of the point that you bring out that it's not only the project itself that's broken that but the people themselves you're also broken and you see that pan out through the entire book on the m i n but as a dual objective yes it's also it's also a testament to God because God had you know God had said I'm going to work through my people you're going to be the city on the hill it cannot be it you're going to be the theater upon which the grace of God is manifested to the whole world on you Israel I'm going to place everything is going to revolve around the country the country Yeah me too and the 1st part of the Lord is using me. And so you know so you have you have this you have this place this theater that God has established for the world to see how if you follow God the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob in Israel that that you know you will be blessed and so forth and so on now you have all these promises which don't coincide with the reality of what is taking place and this is an embarrassment to not only to the people but also to the God of the people you know and so now the crazy thing about this is that Nehemiah is now kind of like disassociated with that you know he's actually on the side of the other team who are essentially down the road conquered Israel right it was by about one hour you have the 2nd part of the image of Daniel 2 now you have me to Persia So it's like Nehemiah is on the other side of the fence and he's looking into a very embarrassing situation which is the people and we understand there's so much to break that managed level you're saying so let's let's let's tie this up how can we apply how how can i don't apply in a contemporary context for for young adults regular That's for super old adults and old what what what is what is how do we apply that what for me for me is going to be if I call myself a Christian yes and then people look at me as like oh you're a Christian but you're always mad right all you're a Christian but you you know you're. Use foul language very well you're a Christian but you cheat on your taxes and so forth and so on it's like this is an embarrassment or if I look at my church you know all like you say your church is awesome but look at all the internal struggles that are going on you kind of look at yourself as as a business person you look at your church and you're like oh man I'm on the outside of my church is an embarrassment to God I feel and so for that you can take that even to a physical literal sense if you say your churches you know the remnant church or you say like this is God's church or these are God's people in your life would look at your building look at your parking lot look at the way the church looks inside to say how can this be for the God of heaven and Nehemiah is grappling with that same concept that it was just what the physical literal materialistic pieces represented but what they communicated to the world around about God So your god is the God of Heaven the God of gods and this is his city this is his temple broken down and all these different things in this poll done gradually who's going to follow God They can't even keep your little city protected and I think in essence what it is is that the lifestyle things that we have you know so Christians are not supposed to do x. y. and z. in their lives those things aren't they don't save you you do them because you're saying but then they become a testimony to the world of the God that you worship and and so that's why your lifestyle matters that's why the way that we treat our churches matter that's why you know even dress think the way we dress to go to church like the thing you're saying something about the God that you're going to worship so the external stuff it's not that the external stuff in and out of South is important yes but it points to something our relationship with God and the God I love these extra dollars even on a literal level though I just see that you know there's there's there's Christians out there who are working on nuclear weapons or they're in the corporate world and and then they do that for. 6 days and then they come to church and they're like well we need to feed the poor we need to save lives and whatever there's a does a dissonance between these 2 things yes we're going to get into this we're going to get we're just scratching the surface here we're going to come back after we come back from the break we're going to look at what did Nehemiah do to develop this this this purpose this holy purpose that's developing and maybe maybe that's developing in your mind right now stay tuned after the break. Has impressed been a blessing to you Do you have questions comments or feedback you'd like to leave us find us on social media by searching in the spiral on Facebook that the Instagram for you to know that while they're at the Join us like us comes up next the handle again is in 1st Bible L.-Space with the now back to the discussion with welcome back in Nehemiah chapter one we're looking at the 1st half of this Eichmann how the world view of Nehemiah was coming to a I don't know what the right word is but a crash point a collapse point and he's realizing I've been living this life and 1 point one event in his life all of that is breaking down and he realizes what do I do and it's very interesting the in my shop the one he doesn't throw away his position but he actually subjugates it to the larger world view the biblical world view this and so we're looking at chapter one verse 4 and Sebastian what are some other elements going on here in the eyes like we looked at his political the exterior his world view but also on a cultural level as an interesting dynamic Absolutely there's a certain sense of your national cultural pride you're living in Persia but you're a Jew and in the world in which we live in which globalization is huge and people may be born in one country in our living in another especially we have these 1st world 2nd World 3rd world concepts of how the world is described in mapped out the global north versus the global south and in my culture and Caribbean culture you have this idea that Ok you came from Jamaica or you came from Trinidad and now you're in the. And you're living a nice job you're making money the expectation is that you should be sending money back and every time you come to visit you should be bringing gives you should be bringing clothes you should be paying for this person to go to school and I think in the in my it raises this this burden that there is a certain biblical basis to say if you are in a position where God is blessing you in another foreign land that perhaps God may be laying the burden upon you for your own culture for your own country your own people and using that position to leverage it for the purpose of gone and seeing where that where things are today as they are and so I. I'm very I sense as a group be a person that you have this tension because a lot of us resent that idea that it's like well I worked I went to school I did all this and now there's this expectation that I have to take care of these people because I'm in my position but I think Nehemiah raises a question that you should really pray about that you know consider of God not a Caribbean perspective either I mean it's a like you said it's an immigrant perspective you leave one country to go to another and usually that 2nd country is more prosperous more opportunity it's higher and so you're living that world view that that country's worldview for you and then God like no I got a larger one and so this is this is a crisis not for Nehemiah this is for every modern young professional immigrant is an immigrant it's a breaking down of your current lifestyle absolutely So you point out for namei how how this realisation I guess as we've been calling it happens is in verse 22 it says you know the Brethren came in he says and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped it starts with asking the right questions and name I asked a question which led to certain revelations and it may be you know the situation is not that the situation didn't exist before he knew about it him asking the question did not develop the situations I'm translating but he was asking the right questions and in order to get I guess coming to that place of purposefulness and developing a purpose is asking the right questions and being curious about the right kind of things and here he was curious about what was happening with his people what is happening back home with God's people I wonder if and this is not a question with just me wondering like if he knew what he was getting himself into but he's just like Hey Hey dude what's going on they have our house you know the pizzeria back home and this cause this catastrophe and new purpose to develop and a new direction for the rest of his life into your point consider the idea that. He could have been so busy being a cut there being successful at what he was doing in Persia that when he asked that question like you said he's not even ready for what's about to come because in his mind he may be saying God is already blessed according to what he said prophetically when he said the Eat it would come and we would be able to go back so his assumption is someone else will make sure that that he's thinking he's already in the line with God's everything is serving God called me here he raised me up in the palace and oh God gave the edict they're going back to Jerusalem is going to get rebuilt doesn't that sobering for all of us because we always think we're we're good I mean we're supposed to be on this t.v. show where we're sort of this is this is where God and God like no I want you to be and you know. If there's anything about the book of the amount of Bush in the 1st chapters that there's a lot of questions we don't know what Nehemiah is thinking we don't know what his life is like war we don't know why this statement is so or this question is so transformational that is important for us to underscore because what emerges from all this is that we don't have to have all of our questions answered in order to be qualified to be a servant for Jesus Christ and that's the emerging theme for me in the part of the we can have all these questions even if even questions about the spirituality of Nehemiah What's he doing serving in Persia as a King's Cup there why did he not go with the people when they went back there are so many things but within all these questions emerge the fact that at one point in history God placed the burden upon Nehemiah and he responded to that burden with prayer with fasting with weeping in other words he responded and accepted the burden of the love that I think our generation needs burdens we shirk burdens we shirk responsibility but now this is coming from the Lord and let's continue on your 1st 5 Nehemiah his reaction is a. They are this is not any normal prayer this is not thank you for this food or Jesus Prayer this is a deep felt prayer so special I got a verse 5 and read on there and I said I pray Lord God of heaven oh great an awesome gone to you who keep your covenant in mercy with those who love you and observe your commandments please let your be attentive and your eyes open that you may hear the prayer of your servant which I pray before you know day and night for the children of Israel your servants and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against you both my father's house and I have sinned we have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments of the statutes and with ordinances which you commanded your servant Moses remember I pray the word that you command your servant Moses saying if you are unfaithful I will scatter you among the nations but if you return to me in keep my commandments in do them though some of you were cast out to the far this part of the heavens yet I will gather them from there in bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for my name 1st tense can you pick up now these are your servants and your people who meet every day and by your great power and by a strong hand oh Lord I pray please let your be attentive to the prayer of your servant and to the prayer of your servants who desire to feel your name and let your servants prosper this day I pray and grant him mostly in the sight of this man for I was the King's Cup era All right so this is a long prayer but still a good prayer and relatively well to be a short prayer to those along the 1st what's going on what are some elements we can we can break down in that prayer. One thing that struck me is is that the use of the inclusive use that that name I use as I can verse 7 we have acted he actually makes it clear at the end of a 6 both my father's house and I have been the name Maya doesn't see himself as Sept. To the situation that's happening in Jerusalem he actually include himself in that he says the reason we are in this is because we have sent Yes it may not have been me specifically because it was their ancestors who had you know been taken into captivity but he takes ownership you know of the sins of his people and that really struck me because he is he sees himself as part of this of the problem and as part of the solution consider inconsiderate like the patience of God right that if Nehemiah indeed feels like I sinned by indulging in my comfort lifestyle and not trying to fulfill the prophecy of God that we're going to rebuild this thing and I just put it off on someone else to do and and I focused on myself that he's saying man this situation has gotten so dire it's awaken to more you know it's we can do it so he's awake and he's been. Jolted into a point to say look which you have neglected look what you've done and now you say it's not just then it would be easy for me to our fathers and that's why I wanted to captivity but now look you're also part and parcel of the problem and sometimes our calling can come out of our failures and out of our neglect of our spiritual duties that when we come to the realisation through the patience of God I'm going to lead you in eventually one day you may come face to face with the reality of this is what I've been doing all this time and yet at that very moment God in His perfect timing in provinces like this is the occasion to actually call you to do what I wanted you to do in the 1st place I love this because he's not he is not complaining and leaning the other maybe it's too superficial of a. For me it's just more simple like the there's problems in the church and I can easily say it's because the pastor that are a wise thinks it's because of our you know head elder he doesn't understand what young professionals are going through and I mean there's so many old people only young Peter's not enough old people and I don't whatever the complaint is he just simply says hey it's their fault and it's my fault and he's praying intuitively like Lord use me in some way at the end he says for I was the king's cup bearer and he's opening himself to use even my position as a as a nuclear scientist or as a bartender in some way. Or you know any way you just incorporate that into your worldview maybe you got to quit my job. And if you're a bartender come back to not tending Ok Israel promise me here there's something something that that comes out for me is the fact that Nehemiah has a clear understanding of the character of God So in verse a he says remember I pray the word that you commanded your servant Moses saying if you want to faithful I will scatter you among the nations so they look remember remember what you have said and there's many components to to this prayer which you'll talk about in your journey. Right there's many components are private Now the one component that impacts me the most is the fact that he goes back to taking God It is word there's that component of the Word of God the promises of God So he has got to remember your word you said to us that if we were unfaithful to you you would scatter as now that clearly if you look around God this is happened you've kept your promise but then in verse 9 it says and I love verse 9 it says but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them the 2nd part is the most beautiful part though some of you were cast out to the fore this part of the have and yet I will gather them from there in other words you saying like the power of God's Word and the vision that God has is that even if you. This will be my my word even if you disobey me and disobedience to my word causes you to spread to the uttermost parts of the world just as I have been responsible for your scattering I will also be responsible for your gathering and what I love about this passage is the fact that you cannot escape like like Nehemiah is not worried what if what if one person is missing and this has this has impact in terms of the grand vision that God has given to His people like God is sometimes or God will always place upon his people a burden that is so heavy that does not make human sense he puts this burden on us to to win the sword for him and you think how are you going to do it was here you find God is able and with that scattering very interesting thing is that he's part of that scattered unit is she's out in the middle of nowhere Ms like men my position now is a sign of my people's disobedience Yes And so he's claiming the promise is like Lord reroute me even if you have to and he's he's opening himself to the peace up as a sions of heaven and saying whatever you gotta do do and I love that openness there's a lot of pain in here is a lot of burden there's a lot of there's a lot of a lot of negative and in a sense like heaviness but in a sense that's good that's that's a good havingness there's a good weight to that in our day and age we need more responsibilities more burdens but this is what the root of purpose and passion and we don't have that in our lives anymore how many of you want it you can only develop it through prayer and join with us as we pray and we study the Bible in dealing passion and purpose in our lives blessing God bless you we'll see you next week. You've been listening to inverse a Bible based part of the station the calendar is wrong on Jonathan Walter Sebastian Braxton. And your host Justin. Inverses brought to you by the hope channel television that changes lives for good and more inspiring episodes there's an inverse Dr Hope t.v. news that Origen find this on social media hashtags in verse 5 until next time this isn't verse.

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