PREPARE BEFORE THE OPPORTUNITY

The king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your presence, [I ask] that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, so that I may rebuild it.”  The king, beside whom the queen was sitting, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a definite time [for my return]. Then I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of the provinces beyond the [Euphrates] River, so that they will allow me to pass through until I reach Judah, 8 and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, so that he will give me timber to construct beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, and for the city wall and for the house which I will occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me. Nehemiah 2:4-8

Today’s devotion is a wise reminder to count the cost before one starts building. Based of the life of Nehemiah the great prophet of God. After hearing of the state of his people back in Judah and Jerusalem, he immediately started interceding before the Lord for the people. We later learn that the Lord appointed him to rebuild the wall of Judah. However, we get to see the finer details of this plan when the king inquires further from his humble request.
This meant that Nehemiah had to have prepared earlier about the finer details of his plan to rebuild the wall that Lord commissioned him to build this is regardless of whether or not he had enough resources to accomplish the task. He had to have walk by faith and not by sight.

This was the preparation stage for his mission to rebuild the wall and it was inspired by having a heart for others, caring about their living conditions. The preparation stage involved seeking the Lord, interceding before Him day and night on behalf of his people, taking down notes of His response, assessing the available resources the Lord has granted him to enable to fulfil the task.

Nehemiah was all ready in an established position before the king serving him, God placed him their because he could use the resources and power to the king to help restore the wall. Nehemiah knew the resource the Lord gave him and he steward it for the benefit of others who needed help. God blessed Nehemiah for the benefit of those who survived captivity in Judah. It reminds me of proverbs 21:22

A warrior filled with wisdom ascends into the high place and releases regional breakthrough, bringing down the strongholds of the mighty.

So Nehemiah knew when need the king’s favor which only the Lord could give and he sought after it in prayer. He also planned the finer details of the project such as how long it would take, the letters from the king different officers to he got all he needed and security. By the time Nehemiah presented his petition before the king, he was ready to go to Judah to rebuild the wall.

We should all learn from Nehemiah and take our preparation stage seriously to make the most of it and be ready when the opportune moment arrives. We cannot prepare during the opportunity. Rehearsals always precede the recitals so don’t sleep or waste your time when your are supposed to be preparing. Paul eloquently puts it like this:

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Ephesians 5: 15-17(AMP) 

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