The paradigm of kings and priests working together to accomplish God's will on earth is clearly illustrated in the rebuilding of the walls in Nehemiah 3. Nehemiah was a cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, a heathen king. When Nehemiah's brother Hanani visited him from Judah, he inquired about Jerusalem. Hanani reported the exiles were in bad shape, and the city's walls were broken down. Note that Nehemiah was a government employee to a heathen king. He was not a priest.
Nehemiah was deeply troubled about those in Jerusalem. I think this is so incredible. He was living and working in a great palace. How many Jews at this time could say they even saw the king? Nehemiah not only saw the king, but he knew the king personally to some degree. How many hundreds or even thousands of hours had he observed the king's conversations, mannerisms, moods and preferences? And yet his heart ached for his fellow Jews in his homeland.
To solve the largest issues facing our cities will take all of us in the body of Christ. The priests can't do it alone and neither can the kings and queens. Solutions will only come by accepting each other for who we are and not lusting after each other's abilities or roles. We should receive our position and focus on rebuilding our cities.
The job of Nehemiah wasn't to build the temple. He was a government employee sent on pretty much a social project. If kings and priests are to change our culture and influence for the kingdom of God, we must allow people to be themselves and work on the part of the wall for which they have a heart and vision.
Each of us as kings and queens have a part on the wall. In general terms our role is to love, protect and minister to others from various arenas of life. For some, our ministry is social. God may touch our hearts to give or volunteer at the Salvation Army, a women's shelter, a teen addiction center, juvenile homes, pregnancy centers and so forth. For others, our workplace is our kingly or queenly ministry. For some, the ministry is supportive of the local church or para-church ministry. Whatever your calling, go for it! You are able to touch and love people wherever the Lord has planted you.
Principle No. 1: Be faithful and have a good attitude.
Nehemiah provides a great outline for birthing kingly ministry on the earth. Firstly, Nehemiah was faithful on his present job. He didn't just fly off the handle. He showed up for work day after day. Even though his duty as a cupbearer wasn't one of the more impressive in the palace, he must have maintained a positive attitude for the king to notice the change in his countenance.
Principle No. 2: Intercessory prayer and an indwelling of God's Word in your life.
The next thing we see is heartfelt prayer. Nehemiah identified himself before God with the pains of God's people. He knew God's heart and God's Word. He truly bathed the situation at hand in prayer
After praying about it, Nehemiah must have done some homework. He must have looked at a map to see which people groups would let him pass through their land. He thought through the need for wood and knew the top man to deal with to obtain the wood. Nehemiah took time to consider the practical aspects of rebuilding the wall.
Principle No. 3: Write down practical aspects.
The next key principle is to sit down with paper and pen and write out the practical aspects that apply to your ministry calling. If it's a building you need, figure out the costs and proper zoning, shop the market, set salaries for employees, know the tax laws and so on. Whatever the ministry—social, medical, media, para-church or local church—get practical.
Research what others have already done in this area of ministry. So much time in the kingdom is reinventing the same wheel over and over. Decide if this is an abundance ministry you are funding or a nonprofit organization. How will it start to create self-sustaining revenue? I know it's not all spiritual to think this way but, this is important if your kingly ministry is going to be birthed.
Principle No. 4: Get practical, and get your facts straight before starting.
This next step Nehemiah presents in his situation is finding a person who can actually do something about it. I find it interesting that this was a heathen king, not a religious group. This was a king talking to a king. Sometimes it may be as valuable to talk to a few businessmen as it is to discuss an issue with church staffers. Regardless of whom you meet with, make sure you are talking to someone who can actually help you get things done.
Principle No. 5: Talk to others in ministry.
That's principle No. 5. Talk to movers and shakers in your area of ministry who can help you get the job done for the kingdom of God.
The Nehemiah we see is a man of follow-through and motivation of others. He shows up in town, lays out the vision and gets started. He is a persistent king and works hard getting this large task accomplished. Follow-through and the ability to inspire definitely make up the next principle for birthing kingly ministry.
Principle No. 6: Take counsel in the Lord and godly advisers.
Nehemiah knew God and God's heart for this ministry of rebuilding the walls. When the neighbors didn't like what was going on, they spread lies about Nehemiah. They repeatedly tested the man of God. They wanted him to become afraid and discouraged. Nehemiah would have no part of their demonic tactics. He stayed focused, responding to attacks practically, but never stopping. He sought God and stayed focused even under pressure.
Principle No. 7: Seek God and stay focused.
This last principle is to stay humble and enjoy the Lord's deliverance. Nehemiah never took on an air of haughtiness. I think humility is an earmark of those who see a ministry from birth to success.
I hope these principles can help you birth, pray through, practically prepare, involve the right people, go through the fire and see God as a delivering and compassionate God about your kingly ministry. I encourage you to find your place on the wall and advance the kingdom. Frustrate the devil and change the world.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books, including Ministry of Kings and Queens: from Laity to Royalty. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at [email protected].
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