Do you ever feel like your work is worthless, like you’re just going through the motions waiting for something better to come along? That’s usually the breaking point for most people, and the ultimate question of what to do with my life seems to repeat over and over in your mind.
Step back in history to about 500 B.C. to a time where kings ruled the world and had servants for nearly every task. If you can imagine, there was actually a servant whose sole responsibility was to serve the drinks at the king’s table and to test questionable drinks for poisoning. This person was called the cupbearer.
Doesn’t sound like a highly esteemed job, does it? The funny thing is that the cupbearer was one of the highest-ranking officials in the king’s courts.
In ancient Biblical times, the most famous cupbearer was Nehemiah, a former slave who was eventually promoted to the role of cupbearer. But even with this highly esteemed officer position, great pay, and authority in the king’s court, Nehemiah felt called to do something with even greater purpose.
This ordinary cupbearer would soon transform an entire nation in just 52 days.
What looked impossible became a reality.
What seemed foolish developed into a genius plan to rebuild an entire city.
When corrupt leaders conspired, Nehemiah’s integrity overcame the opposition.
All this happened to an ordinary person who had a desire to do something different in his life and in the world.
Finding Your Purpose in Life
We’ve all been created in Christ Jesus to do good works and to fulfill God’s purpose in our life.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
For those who may feel like their purpose is hidden, understand that Nehemiah’s purpose was revealed to him in a matter of days. Sometimes it can take years before you realize what your purpose in life is. That’s what happened with Nehemiah. He was a faithful worker and probably hadn’t expected to lead the rebuilding of Jerusalem. But in just a matter of days, his purpose was discovered. But the key for him to recognizing this purpose was to have an awareness of the needs around him.
When Nehemiah learned that his hometown was destroyed, he felt a burden in his heart to do something. This awareness wasn’t something that just happened – it was a result of Nehemiah constantly praying and seeking God’s will on his life.
You see, prayer isn’t about ‘getting what you want, when you want it.” It’s about changing who you are so that you can step out in boldness to change the things around you.
The only way Nehemiah could take that next step in fulfilling his purpose in life was through prayer. Remember, Nehemiah had all the reason to stay in his cushy job as one of the king’s officials. It was because of his faithfulness in prayer that his heart was burdened to change the world – a call that he took seriously.
Influencing Others Around YouDon’t let your position keep you from stepping out in courage to change things. Yes, it will feel uncomfortable. Yes, you will be afraid. Yes, it will take everything you have to build up the courage to do it. How do you think Nehemiah felt when he came to the king with his request to rebuild his home city of Jerusalem? He was afraid, probably terrified, and had every right to be. For 140 years the city of Jerusalem had been in rubble and his very king (the King of Persia) had vowed to never rebuild the city because the Israelites were known to be rebellious.
Talk about intimidating. Nehemiah was about to ask the king to essentially change his entire foreign policy because of a burden that was placed on his heart. Those things just don’t happen. The only reason Nehemiah was successful in his request to do the unthinkable was because God’s favor was on him.
Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”
Nehemiah approached the king with confidence because he trusted God would be with him. How did he have so much confidence? It’s because Nehemiah spent time with God in prayer and knew that he would keep his promise.
Realize though, that Nehemiah didn’t just sit back and hope for the best. Those years of serving the king and working diligently in his court were crucial steps that allowed Nehemiah to request rebuilding of Jerusalem. Slowly, Nehemiah was building the king’s trust in him and when it was time to ask for permission to do something unfathomable, the king agreed and Nehemiah could see his purpose working together right in front of him.
Your purpose in life may not be clear right now. Don’t let that keep you from working towards excellence today. Like Nehemiah, you may need to use your circle of influence to take the next step in fulfilling your purpose in life. Never diminish your current work because you’re not quite sure about what to do in life.
Your work has purpose.
You do have influence.
You can make a difference.
Read the story of Nehemiah and see how God used him to rebuild a broken city in a matter of weeks.
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