Nehemiah 2:1-10 (KJV)

1 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been before time sad in his presence.
2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,
3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?
4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.
5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.
6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.#
7 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;
8 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.
9 Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.
10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.

After Nehemiah heard about the desperate condition of the Jews who had returned from exile to Jerusalem, his heart was burdened (Neh. 1:3-4).

By getting his attention in this way, the Lord could reveal what He wanted Nehemiah to do. Scripture doesn’t spell out the man’s reaction on realizing that he was to be a part of the solution, but we can imagine a sense of inadequacy probably engulfed him. How could he possibly help? He wasn’t even near Jerusalem, and as a servant of the king, he didn’t have the freedom to pack up and leave.

But whenever God puts a burden on our hearts, He will open a door to accomplish His will.

In this case, the Lord used Nehemiah’s sad expression and desperate prayer to prepare a pagan king to send him on his mission.

How do you respond when you sense the Lord is calling you to a task that seems beyond your abilities?

Do you list all the reasons you can’t possibly do it? God already knows everything about you and the situation. He’s not asking your permission to proceed; rather, He is calling you to move forward with faith and obedience. He didn’t make an error in choosing you for the task, but you will make a huge mistake if you refuse to do it.

God will equip you for whatever He calls you to do.

Because the Holy Spirit dwells within every believer, we have all we need to fulfill the Lord’s mission.

Instead of letting inadequacy hinder you from obeying, let it drive you to your knees so you can arise with renewed insight and power.

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