Faithlife Sermons

The Leader In You

Change Your World in 52 Days  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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From Life Church's Craig Groeschel, there’s a slice of the world just waiting for your imprint. How will you shape it? Translated into geek.

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Welcome fellow nerds. I am NotoriousFPB, aka Pastor Brandon, and it is great to speak to you again. Like last week, I wanted to get a more one-on-one feel for this series because we are talking about changing your world, whether personal or global.
In this case, we are now approaching the second chapter in the book of Nehemiah, and our focus topic is The Leader in You. All strong causes need great leaders. Gandalf and Aragon (or Strider) in the Lord of the Rings, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., even controversial leaders like Richard Nixon, would be classified as great leaders. These individuals, like our protagonist, Nehemiah, develop certain qualities that God will use to help achieve a great goal. While it may be difficult to see how these five individual have related traits on leadership, their individual unique qualities helped during their times as leaders, but their unified traits is what made them who they are, or were, in their time.
To get really direct with it, the first great quality a leader possesses is to


A great leader needs to make sure that the people he or she will lead knows about their mission or goal in a clear and logical manner. Gandalf becomes the leader for the nine, not because of his wizardry or wisdom, but because the goal he stated was to, “Get Frodo to Mt. Doom to destroy the One Ring.” Not only that, but he is constant about this goal, that Frodo, once separated from both the rest of the group, but after viewing the visions in the Mirror of Galadriel, is now focused on that goal, to continue his quest.
You may ask, “How does this compare to Nehemiah?” While not of a high-status, like the king, Nehemiah still has great wisdom as a Godly man. As mentioned last week, Nehemiah is greatly shaken by the news regarding Jerusalem. He cries and his demeanor is greatly affected that even King Artaxerxes notices this change. Here is where we left off

Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ graves, that I may rebuild it.”

Now, what Nehemiah is referencing is to build Jerusalem’s walls, and more of the city, as the Temple is already built. His goal is very direct. The goal is huge, but definitely defined. So, we come to the first question here:


God is not going to just hand you the goal, you need to have a clear idea that may be huge, or small, but is clearly defined. What happens is God will work behind the scenes in getting the right people to work with you, help you move in the right direction, and envision the larger goal. The other thing that God is not going to do is help you plan immediately. You see, His commandment to not interfere with free will is violated the minute He tells you how to do something. This does not mean He is not there to bring the idea to fruition. This is the part where pastors like to say, “When His plans and your plans are in alignment, then you will see God’s power.” This is not a fallacy, but a misnomer. God is always moving, and He has plans ready to go on the way your goal is to be achieved. Because of his prohibition on limiting free will, your plans must align with His plans. That is when you see the miracles, and achievements. As I said, God is getting people and things in place, you just need to role the dice and move the spaces to get to those points. Of course, the fun part is enciphering the path. I say fun because it is. Oh, you will have hardships, and want the easy way through it, but God plans are meticulous, just like yours should be, and that leads us to our next part of Nehemiah’s narration.

6 And the king said to me (the queen sitting beside him), “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me when I had given him a time. 7 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah, 8 and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.

As you can see Nehemiah


The old adage, “The devil is in the details.” Well, God is in the details also. He is meticulous as you should be; as Nehemiah is. I mean, if LucasFilm actually planned the last three episodes as carefully as George Lucas did with the original trilogy, maybe fans would be hyped about the end of the Skywalker saga. This leads to the final aspect of Nehemiah. He


You probably wondering why I bring LucasFilm into the mix, when I talked about true leaders at the beginning. Here is the point. Titles are meaningless when it comes to inspiring people with passion. As Nixon learned, one false step and all his works are destroyed. LucasFilm is in the same time of their life. Instead of allowing the fans to understand and have a connection with the protagonist, we are forced to like the heroes in these last three films, irregardless of bringing in old characters. And this is a problems with leadership. If you force someone to do something, or act in a certain way that makes them uncomfortable, there is never great enthusiasm on the part of the people you lead. “Just because I am in charge,” or, “I am the manager,” is not going to inspire people. Martin Luther King, Sr. was so inspired by the Martin Luther of the Reformation, that he and his son changed their names. Martin Luther King, Jr. would go on to lead and inspire blacks and whites in his time, and even after his death. He never considered himself the leader of a movement. He always referenced himself as an organizer. How Nehemiah inspired the people with passion is as follows:

17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” 18 And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work.

As you can read, Nehemiah told them something the people already knew. But, he then gave them hope because he told the people that God has blessed this endeavour, and the king approves of this project, through Nehemiah. Many of you are probably thinking, “That would not happen today.”
True, because we have stopped our belief and faith that God can do things. We live in a world where instant gratification is the norm. God does not work this way. The people of Jerusalem endured a city that could not be defended. Not because they lacked faith in God, but they lacked faith in their leaders. God chose Nehemiah to lead the people in the rebuilding of the city walls.


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I am Pastor Brandon Holm, also known as NotoriousFPB on social media and Twitch, reminding you to have fun, be yourself, and be real. Thank you for watching.
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