INITIATIVE: Nehemiah Takes The Lead
“And I said to the king, "If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' tombs, that I may rebuild it."”
Nehemiah might have served as the poster boy for the philosophy, “You never have to recover from a good start.” He powerfully illustrates the role of initiative in a leader’s life.
This godly leader took initiative in praying for Jerusalem’s problem, in planning the rebuilding project, in persuading the people to act, and in pursuing the product they all wanted. And he did it in that order. His initiative showed great insight.
Nehemiah couldn’t imagine sitting still when he heard the walls of Jerusalem lay in shambles. He had to act. Of all the things a leader should fear, complacency ought to head the list.
But what enables good leaders to initiate? Nehemiah demonstrates that leaders know something in their heart or in their gut that prompts them to move. They don’t know everything, but they know enough to act. Nehemiah had insight into the following areas:
1. He knew how long the project would take (2:6). Nehemiah gave King Artaxerxes a definite time period for his absence.
2. He knew how to get there (2:7). Nehemiah asked for letters of permission to pass through the provinces beyond the river to Judah.
3. He knew what he would need to get the job done (2:8). Nehemiah requested timbers from Asaph to make beams and gates for the wall.
4. He knew that God’s hand was upon him (2:8). Nehemiah got all that he requested because the hand of God rested on him.
“21” Crucial Qualities of Christians: #10 - INITIATIVE
I. The Quality Defined
a. Col. 4:3-4
II. Noah’s Bold Actions
a. Gen. 6:9-22
b. Gen. 7:1-5
III. Isaiah Steps Forward
a. Isa. 6:1-13
IV. James Extols the Value of Taking Action
a. James 2:14-26
a. Col. 4:3-4
Women in God’s Kingdom
I. Jesus Came To Save Women, They Bring Souls to Him
a. John 4:13-14
b. John 4:39
c. Acts 16:13-14
d. Acts 17:4
II. Jesus Commanded the Faith of Women
a. Mark 14:3-9
b. Luke 21:1-4
III. Women Help Spread the Gospel
a. Acts 16:15, 40
b. Acts 18:26
c. Rom. 16:3-4
d. 1 Cor. 16:19
e. Titus 2:3-5
IV. Women Serve Under Man’s Leadership
a. 1 Tim. 2:8-15
b. 1 Cor. 11:3-5, 16
c. 1 Cor. 14:27-35
V. A Woman’s Godly Example Is Powerful
a. 1 Pet. 3:1-5
INTIATIVE: One Earmark of a True Leader
One earmark of a true leader is the display of initiative. By definition, leaders cannot wait for someone else to move; if they do, they are really followers, not leaders. Initiative requires an element of risk, faith, and foresight. When did you last initiate something significant? If you haven’t pushed yourself lately and left your comfort zone, you may need a jump star in initiative.
Why do we fail to initiate?
It seems easier to run from a challenge than to step out and take a risk. When we initiate, we commit ourselves to a direction. We may feel uncertain about what the future holds. What if we change our minds? What if no one follows? What if we fail in front of our followers? We run from commitment and intuitive for a variety of reasons.
Jonah had to learn initiative. It started with learning submission to God. Once we surrender to His call on our life and leadership, we can step out to follow Him. We can take risks because our future lies in His hands. Once Jonah submitted to God’s call, he saw all kinds of results. What happens when we accept God’s call to initiate and commit?
1. We assume personal healthy responsibility (1:12)
2. We’ll likely see many come to faith in God (1:13-16)
3. We receive a God-given time and place to gain perspective (1:17)
4. We deepen our experience toward a new level of worship and prayer (2:1-9)
5. We progress toward a new level of personal freedom (2:10)
6. We enjoy partnership with God (3:1-9)
7. We gain the satisfaction of seeing changed lives (3:10)