Friday, April 28, 2011
The sunday school class that we started began to meet weekly under the big shade tree in Tampa, Florida and couples began to share their struggles and trials in doing marriage. Some were having financial problems. Others were struggling with communication and listening skills issues. Still others were unable to resolve their conflicts. The more we listened, the more we began to realize the problems that these couples were facing. We needed to take an accurate appraisal of what was really taking place so that we could become more strategic in the lessons we developed to more effectively minister to the needs of the couples.
Nehemiah was released by King Artaxerxes to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall and fix the gates of the city. When he arrived in the city, he met the people there, but didn’t tell them what he was planning to do or why he was there. He stayed in the city for three days and then at night took a few men and surveyed the wall and its gates. “I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on. By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal Well and the Dung Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and it’s gates, which had been destroyed by fire. . . .Finally I turned back and reentered through the Valley Gate.” (Neh. 2:12-15). He made a complete circle of the wall inspecting all the damage and the resources that were going to be needed to rebuild the walls and fix the gates. He was seeking to find the scope of the project before he challenged others to become a part of completing the task. It reminds me of Jesus when he spoke of counting the cost before building a tower to see if you have enough money to complete it (Luke 14:28).
I hate to admit it but there have been a couple of jobs in my life where I didn’t survey the task and jumped in to the project before I realized the enormity of the task. It was replacing some plumbing fixtures and when I got into the task, the rust was more than I could handle and had to call a plumber to come and fix the mess that I started. Surveying the task before you start can eliminate much grief and embarrassment if you take on a task too big for you to handle. But if God has called you to a ministry, He will be able to give what you need as you have need.
An important step in God calling you is to survey the task of what He is asking you to do as you journey with Him.