Doug Idema

2018 Leadership Series: The Resourceful Leader

Nehemiah 4: 7-23

Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome. (Nehemiah 4:14 ESV)

Are you resourceful?

I admire resourceful people. People who face difficult situations and find inventive ways to overcome. Let’s face it, successful leaders excel at this. They must because anything worth doing is going be challenging and face opposition.

A famous poem by Rudyard Kipling starts with the words. “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you…”

These words ring true in many ways. True leaders can resourcefully work through a crisis (keeping your head when everyone else is losing theirs) and keep things moving forward.

Do you consider yourself resourceful? In your personal life? In your business life? In your church life? Resourcefulness is what sets individuals and especially leaders apart. Problems, complaints, fears and issues. Any meaningful work is going to be beset with these.

Do you want to be involved in God’s kingdom building work? You are going to face trouble. Jesus said we would (John 16:33).

Resourcefulness is seeing the obstacles, coming up with solutions, overcoming the problem and continuing to move towards the goal.

Nehemiah’s resourcefulness

The rebuilding of the Jerusalem wall was going well. The people were focused on the goal, the wall was being joined together. The people had a mind to work (Nehemiah 4:6).

On the outside, the naysayers and enemies became very angry at the progress, to the point of plotting together to fight and disrupt God’s program (Nehemiah 4:7-8). From the inside, the concerns were many. Our strength is failing. There is too much rubble. We can’t do this by ourselves (Nehemiah 4:10-11).

I am so impressed by the resourcefulness of Nehemiah. With these kinds of external and internal threats, many would have packed it in. But not Nehemiah. Nehemiah draws on the resources God had given to keep things moving forward.

Lessons for us

Nehemiah’s example reminds me that:

1.Our primary resource is God. Nehemiah recognized that to overcome the threats from outside and the discouragement from inside he needed God’s help. In Nehemiah 4:9, Nehemiah and the people called out and prayed to God. In verse 14, Nehemiah said to the people “Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome.” Shame on me for trying to overcome obstacles without His help.

2. We need to keep moving forward. Nehemiah was fully dependant on God, but he also moved forward in great faith and dependence. He needed to protect the people and the wall. He set guards (verse 9, 13). He allocated the resources between construction and defense (verse 16). Additionally, Nehemiah had each of the construction workers carry a weapon (verse 18).

Many Biblical examples of resourcefulness exist, including the example of the friends of the paralyzed man. They wanted their friend healed but couldn’t get through the crowd to see Jesus (Luke 5:7-26). With resourcefulness they tore open the roof to lower him in front of Him. Ultimately, Jesus healed the man but he especially commended the friends for their faith… their resourcefulness.

God has given us many resources. People, gifts, talents, technology, tools, experience, money and time. He has given us minds to cleverly work around and through obstacles.

Above all, He has given us the gift of His Spirit, indwelling us, to empower us.

Are you facing with a big challenge today? Be a faithful, dependant follower of Christ and a faithful steward. Be resourceful with the things God has given you and watch how He moves to accomplish His purpose and plan.

Doug Idema
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