Forums Focus: Business Principles of Nehemiah 2
A weekly blog to enlighten and encourage Christian business leaders to lead their business using biblical principles.

Leadership Lesson

Business Principles of Nehemiah 2 – Last week we looked at our response to bad reports. After mourning, fasting, and prayer Nehemiah knew what he was to do and asked God – Please grant me success now as I go to ask the king for a great favor. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.” Nehemiah 1:11 NLT

This episode began in late Fall, we now pick up the story in early Spring. So the king asked me, “Why are you so sad? You aren’t sick, are you? You look like a man with deep troubles. “Then I was badly frightened, but I replied, “Long live the king! Why shouldn’t I be sad? For the city where my ancestors are buried is in ruins, and the gates have been burned down.” Nehemiah 2:2-3 NLT Nehemiah had a good reason to be badly frightened because kings worried when their cupbearer looked troubled as his job was to assure the king didn’t get poisoned! Nehemiah had not just prayed all those months, he prayed and planned with patience.

When the king asked, “How can I help you?” Nehemiah, with a prayer to the God of heaven, was ready when God provided the opening to communicate his plan. He had thought it through down to asking for the resources needed. He not only prayed in his prayer closet, he sent flash prayers before speaking. How is your prayer life at work?

God granted Nehemiah the favor in the king’s eyes he had prayed for. The king even sent along army officers and horsemen to protect Nehemiah. Have you ever asked God to grant you favor from someone who is very unlikely to grant it? (My first experience was as a young Christian in the early 70’s when my “Paul” prayed that God would grant me favor in a situation where I need $10,000 worth of mercy for my company from someone who was very unlikely to grant any mercy, ever! No one thought it could happen. When it did, I knew God did it!)

But with blessings often comes opposition. But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of my arrival, they were very angry that someone had come who was interested in helping Israel. Nehemiah 2:10 NLT

Three days after Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem he wrote – I slipped out during the night, taking only a few others with me. I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem… Nehemiah 2:12a NLT Nehemiah knew God had given him the plans. Do you spend sufficient time alone with God to be sure your plans are inline with His plans?

After he walked the walls, which is always a good thing to do when you begin a new project, Nehemiah wrote – The city officials did not know I had been out there or what I was doing, for I had not yet said anything to anyone about my plans. I had not yet spoken to the religious and political leaders, the officials, or anyone else in the administration. But now I said to them, “You know full well the tragedy of our city. It lies in ruins, and its gates are burned. Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and rid ourselves of this disgrace!” Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me, and about my conversation with the king .They replied at once, “Good! Let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work. Nehemiah 2:16-18 NLT Can you imagine what Nehemiah thought when he saw the people motivated and ready to go to work! God’s project came to fruition through Nehemiah’s Prayer + Planning + Patience! God cares as much about your business as He does about Jerusalem! Do you believe this statement?

But when Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard of our plan, they scoffed contemptuously. “What are you doing, rebelling against the king like this?” they asked. But I replied, “The God of heaven will help us succeed. We his servants will start rebuilding this wall. But you have no stake or claim in Jerusalem.” Nehemiah 2:19-20 NLT When you know God is behind your project it is a blessing that makes facing opposition seem less of a factor.

As you look at your projects for 2011, have you prayed and planned? Are you patiently waiting on God? Are you still praying and planning, or has the project begun and you’re working the plans? Are your plans inline with God’s?

Bit of Wisdom

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 ESV

Forums Ministry News

Running your business God’s way in 2011 begins with learning His principles for business. The Business by The Book Workshop is an excellent way to learn these principles. To view a promotional video go to

If you have not attended a Business by the Book Workshop or Seminar, consider hosting a Workshop at your company or church? For more information email

We plan to begin additional Forum Groups in 2011. For more information on Forums Groups go to If you’re interested in exploring joining a Forum Group, or know someone who might be interested email, or

The Forums Ministry journey includes Business by The Book Workshops, BBB Groups, and Forum Groups. For more information email or

Paul Lantz

CBMC Forums