SERIES: Guest Speakers
MESSAGE: The Heart of the One God Uses
SPEAKER: Robert Furrow
SCRIPTURE: Nehemiah 1:1-4

Have you longed to be used by God? What does it take to be used of God? Nehemiah prepared his heart with prayer and fasting, David prepared his heart during a long night with the sheep. Both Nehemiah and David knew the God of their fathers. Pastor Robert Furrow provides clarity from the book of Nehemiah with insights on "Having a Usable Heart Before God." If you desire to be used by God you will need to have a Usable Heart Before God.

We need to know what makes a man or woman the kind of person God chooses to use. People are ready to give a list of the reasons they should be chosen for a position in a business setting. This is the exact opposite of the way God chooses people.

God is looking to use those who feel they are inadequate. It's not that God is looking for the dumbest among us. He looks past our abilities or our lack of abilities. He looks past our accomplishments or our lack of them. He looks past our brains and our schooling, or again, our lack thereof. What God looks at is the heart. It is not about us, but instead about the people God wants to reach. When we think that it's all about me, we lose all perspective about what Gospel of Jesus Christ is really about, which is to reach out to those who are lost, hurting, and so desperately in need of Jesus Christ. God wants to use us.

1 Peter 4:10-11 tells us that each one of us has been gifted by God and so that we can minister to one another. This passage goes on to say that when we do what we do, do it with the ability that God supplies so that He gets the glory. People should think that God must have been responsible for the action, because there is no way we could have done it on our own. In Old Testament times, God anointed the leaders. The book of Joel says that in the last days God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh. God wants to use ordinary people to affect the world around them. God uses leaders to accomplish great things, but they are unable to personally affect many. This is where we step in because everywhere we go we can personally affect those around us.

According to the book of Ephesians, the responsibility of the pastor is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. He is to get us ready to do the work God has called us to do. Pray that God would use us to transform the lives of those around us.

Nehemiah was not a prophet, a priest, a king, a judge, nor a leader in Israel. Nehemiah's job as cup bearer did allow him to speak to the king, but he was not a leader. Like Nehemiah, God has given us a unique job in a unique place with a unique sphere of influence around us. When we are tempted to doubt that we are qualified to be used by the Lord, remember Nehemiah, a man with a unique position which he uses to accomplish the will of God. God is looking to do some pretty neat things through us, as well.

Nehemiah did not crave leadership. We do not read that he wanted to lead the effort to rebuild the wall. We also do not read that Nehemiah prayed and fasted for a very long period of time so that God would be able to use him in a leadership role. Prayer and fasting are not ways to charge our spiritual batteries. Fasting is a way of mourning or grieving, not a way of putting a spiritual headlock on God.

Nehemiah asked about the Jews who had escaped captivity and returned to Jerusalem. When he learned that they were in great distress, he wept for them. He cared deeply for them. God may very well be looking for people today who care deeply for those around them, for those realize that it's all about those who need to be ministered to. God is looking for a heart that is loyal to Him. What made Nehemiah usable wasn't his position, but the fact that he cried when he heard that his brethren were in distress. He cared about them, he loved them, and he wanted to see some kind of a transformation take place in their lives.

Nehemiah fasted and prayed for these people, mourning for them. He cried out to God for them. Nehemiah also made himself available to God. We need to be available now to God. Nehemiah was willing to step up for the people. When we see people who desperately need Jesus, who are hostile toward the Gospel and also quite possibly hostile to us, we need to step up for them, realizing this hostility is often because God is touching their heart. We must ourselves available for that which God has called us to do.

Nehemiah was called by God to oversee a construction project which was completed in 52 days. When we start to feel that God's calling upon our lives doesn't include something great, remember Nehemiah. Is a construction project a great thing? These were the walls of Jerusalem, but it was still a construction project. All of the spiritual principles that he used also applied in this construction project. Do not ever think that what God calls us to do or how He gifts us is insignificant. God's desire is to do great things in the construction projects He gives us to do, or whatever He has gifted, empowered, called, and anointed us to accomplish.

These walls also are an analogy of our lives. Make sure that we have the walls up that we need to have up personally, so that we can be secure. When we come to Christ and our relationship is right with Him, the walls are around us. The enemy may attack, but he can't get in. If you have gaps in your wall, be encouraged to rebuild the wall by making everything right with the Lord, by loving Him more. May it be that God would open up doors around you in great and awesome ways, that you would be able to share Jesus Christ with a lost and perishing world. May our eyes be kept on the cause. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is what will continue to change this city. May God anoint you and pour His Holy Spirit over us. May He fill us and empower us. May we be the salt and light in this world.

Topic: Usable Heart

Keywords: abilities, accomplishments, inadequate, ordinary, equip, transform, unique, qualified, leadership, prayer, fasting, construction, insignificant, walls

The Heart of the One God Uses - Nehemiah 1:1-4 |
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