relentless pursuit


The Passage: Nehemiah 2:6-10

The Point: The importance of making a plan

Space Jam might be the best movie ever made. Rotten Tomatoes may disagree, but what do they know? I mean come on! You put the Loony Toons with the best basketball player ever and some giant space monster, and you’ve got an instant classic. Then to add icing to the cake, you’ve got songs like “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Are You Ready for This?” Needless to say, Michael Jordan and the Loony Toons were ready for it…and so was Nehemiah.

When Nehemiah was on the spot with the king, he was ready to request everything he needed. He hadn’t just been praying for God’s help (although he was), he was also planning what would lie ahead. He knew he needed these letters to resist the opposition on his journey. He even went so far as to learn the name of the person who owned the forest near Jerusalem so he had the materials to build the wall!

Sometimes we like to think the Christian faith is “organic,” which means we fly by the seat of our pants (and sometimes label that the Holy Spirit). But what I find funny about this way of thinking is that the natural order of growth requires detailed structure and planning! Have you ever studied the process of a growing tree and all that takes place? It’s a “natural” process, but a very detailed and specific process. So what Nehemiah is doing is very natural. He’s doing what the Spirit led him to do, but he gets in the game through planning, acting, and leading.

We need to be ready for what God calls us to do. Is God calling you to share the gospel with someone? Why not make a plan? Is God calling you to get more plugged in at church? Why not make a plan? Prayer and planning can be simultaneous. They don’t rival one another; they work side by side.


  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how intentional are you in living for God’s Kingdom? Why?
  • Where do you want to be?


  • How might you incorporate more planning into your prayer life?
  • In what areas do you need to begin to plan or act?
  • Whom do you need to tell?
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