“Moreover, from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year until the thirty-second year of King Artaxerxes, twelve years, neither I nor my brothers ate the governor’s provisions.” Nehemiah 5:14
I remember hearing an interview with the late H.M.S Richard, Jr., in which he was telling about how his father, H.M.S Richards, Sr., who was the founder and first speaker for The voice of Prophecy radio ministry, had been approached by R.K.O Radio and offered a generous contract to work for them. They loved his voice.
Pastor Richards told them, “No.”
Some people, including then teenage son Harold, thought Pastor Richards was crazy to turn down a big opportunity, and paycheck, like that to keep carrying heavy responsibilities for comparatively little pay. But Pastor Richards knew what God had called him to do and fulfilling that calling was the only thing he wanted to do. In the end this resolve was the secret of Pastor Richards’ success
I believe Nehemiah felt the same.
During all the years that Nehemiah served as governor over Judea neither he nor his brothers ate the governors provisions from the food stores. He provided for his table from his own treasury. And providing for his table was no small task. Daily there were more than one hundred and fifty people eating from Nehemiah table, including many government visitors from the neighboring territories. The shopping list for providing for this crowd was substantial.
Previous governors, and their servants, had drawn heavily upon the resources of the people to provide for their wants and needs but Nehemiah did not.
Nehemiah knew that God had called him to lead in rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem and in building up the people of Israel and he could neither well if he was also laying additional heavy burdens on already over burdened people. He wasn’t here to please himself and those that served with him. He was here to do the work of God.
Why are you here doing what you’re doing? What is it that God has uniquely qualified you to do and is calling you to accomplish for him?
No one is here on planet earth to live for themselves alone. God’s kingdom doesn’t work that way. The people of God’s kingdom look out for the interests of other people just as much as they look out for their own. (See Philippians 2:4)
Nehemiah knew this and he knew what God was calling him to do and he didn’t let anything hinder him from fulfilling God’s will for his life. This was the heart of Nehemiah success and it can be ours as well.