By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
When listing the most courageous men of the Bible, Nehemiah’s name rarely comes up. But what we see in Scripture is, not only great courage, but great faith at work in the life of Nehemiah.
Nehemiah was cupbearer to the king. He would bring King Artaxerxes his wine, tasting it beforehand to ensure it was free of poison. What a fun job! Must of had great benefits.
One day, something so moved Nehemiah’s heart that his face displayed great sadness in front of the king.
And whether by a great movement of God or the king’s curiosity, Artaxerxes spoke to his lowly cupbearer: “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart” (Nehemiah 1:2).
Nehemiah explained that his heart ached for the city of his ancestors. He received word that the gates and walls of Jerusalem have been destroyed and the city lay in ruin.
Then, King Artaxerxes asked a seemingly impossible and unexpected question of his cupbearer:
“What is it you want?” (v.4).
That’s a big question! I’m sure Nehemiah had to think for a few moments before issuing a response. So what does he finally ask of the king?
“If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it” (v. 5).
Nehemiah asks to leave his post as cupbearer to go and rebuild the city of Jerusalem. He doesn’t have a plan, and he certainly doesn’t have any help, but his heart is so moved that he cannot help but go.
Miraculously, the king grants him his request. He’s able to leave and attempt to rebuild the city. But Nehemiah isn’t done asking big things of the king. After mustering up the courage and faith that it took present his first request, Nehemiah rides the momentum into another big question.
Nehamiah asks, can I also get a letter to the governor so that I will have safe passage when I arrive? Maybe some officers, soldiers, and horses to keep me safe? Also, now that I think about it, I’m going to need some building supplies. Would you be willing to write a letter to the keeper of the royal park and have him give me all the trees and lumber I may need?
Whoa whoa whoa! Nehemiah, do you have any idea who you’re talking to!? Sure, the king’s granted you a little vacation time, but that doesn’t mean you get a mini-army and a bunch of lumber too. What are you thinking? There’s no way the king will give you all of that.
“Because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests” (v.8).
The king said yes without hesitation, and Nehemiah gives all the credit to God.
When we follow God’s will, He wants us to ask for BIG things–both of God and people. Asking for BIG things shows that you have BIG faith in your God to move. Whenever the Holy Spirit prompts you to make a BIG request, it usually means that God is ready to move in a BIG way.
BIG things will never happen if we don’t dream BIG and ask BIG.