The wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. . . . This work had been accomplished with the help of our God.
Today, perhaps like never before, the world is desperately looking for leaders. Lee Iacocca wrote a bestselling book called “Where Have All the Leaders Gone?” Isn’t that what we are asking today? Where are the leaders we need in Washington, DC? Where are the leaders we need to navigate our great corporations out of economic turmoil? Where are the leaders we need in the church? One reason we so desperately want leadership is because no corporation, no church, no government, and no family ever rise above the competency and the commitments of its leaders. Leadership is essential to success.
What is a leader? A leader is someone who takes people from where they are to where they need to be. In one way or another, all of us are leaders. Perhaps you are the leader of an organization or a division in that organization, and you are trying to take your group from where they are to the place of success. If you are a teacher, you are in charge of leading your students into a deeper knowledge. If you are a parent, you are trying to lead your child to a place of spiritual and emotional maturity. And if you cannot think of anybody else you are leading, you are at least leading yourself. All of us have as our primary responsibility to lead ourselves from where we are to where God wants us to be in our career, in our family, and most importantly, in our relationship with Him. The world desperately needs competent and committed leaders.
Before Lee Iacocca ever wrote his bestselling book on leadership, there was a prominent politician who sat down and wrote his own book on leadership. In fact, in his memoirs, he described how he led a ragtag group of people to rebuild the massive wall around Jerusalem in just fifty-two days. His name was Nehemiah, and his book in the Old Testament is going to be the subject of our study for the next few months.
In this book, Nehemiah is going to tell us how to cast a vision and keep it before the people. How to enlist other people to join us in our effort. How to handle criticism. How to deal with discouragement. How to handle challenges. How to depend upon the power of God. All of those things are included in the book of Nehemiah. But there is a second reason for studying this book, a more personal reason. Henry David Thoreau said, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” All of us realize that there is more to life than just eking out an income, trying to grab a few moments of pleasure. God has put us here for a greater reason than that. And in the book of Nehemiah, we learn how we can find our unique calling in life–how we can discover our God-given dreams and fulfill those dreams. All of that is found in the book of Nehemiah.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Living Your Dreams” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
Lee Iacocca, “Where Have All The Leaders Gone?” (New York: Scribner, 2007).
Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible®, copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.