Nehemiah has been given a God-driven plan to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. He was terrified to bring it up, but, driven by God, he did ask king Artaxerxes for permission to go back and rebuild the walls of the city. The king said yes, so he returned.
When I came to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River, I delivered the king's letters to them. The king, I should add, had sent along army officers and horsemen to protect me. But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of my arrival, they were very displeased that someone had come to help the people of Israel. (Nehemiah 2:9-10 NLT)
When we start to see God’s Plan to reach people, it can be overwhelming. It doesn’t take long before we start considering all the pitfalls and shortcomings of the plan. We also start seeing the sheer magnitude of the resistance we will be facing.
So I arrived in Jerusalem. Three days later, I slipped out during the night, taking only a few others with me. I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem. We took no pack animals with us except the donkey I was riding.
(Nehemiah 2:11-12 NLT)
When all these details start flooding our minds, it is easy to start looking for ways to escape. We can be overwhelmed by the prospect of a project far too big for us to imagine, much less implement. When that happens, it is time to turn back to God again and pray.
After dark I went out through the Valley Gate, past the Jackal's Well, and over to the Dung Gate to inspect the broken walls and burned gates. Then I went to the Fountain Gate and to the King's Pool, but my donkey couldn't get through the rubble.
(Nehemiah 2:13-14 NLT)
I’m remembering several times over the years when I walked through an dark room, sat in a car looking out over an area, or just walked around a neighborhood and prayed. God used those times to let me do what Moses did. I gave God all my objections to His Plan, and then listened to God’s answers and further direction in prayer.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
(James 1:5 NIV)
Nehemiah seems to be doing the same thing here. He isn’t telling anyone yet, because he is working through his process. He is making God’s Plan his plan. Then, and only then, will he be ready to move forward with the next step.
So, though it was still dark, I went up the Kidron Valley instead, inspecting the wall before I turned back and entered again at the Valley Gate.
(Nehemiah 2:15 NLT)
How about you? When you see God’s Plans, do you accept them right away? Or, do you go through a process of “discussion” with God before moving forward? Do you do whatever it takes to make God’s Plan into your plan?