Text: Nehemiah 1:1-11
When God wants to bring about a change in a situation, family, or nation, God doesn’t step down from heaven to bring about this change. He uses people.
Moses as a change maker
When God wanted to bring about a change in the situation of the Israelites and deliver them from over 400 years of bondage and hardship in Egypt, God used Moses to bring about this change (Exodus 2:23-25, Exodus 3).
Nehemiah as a change maker
When God wanted to fulfill His word that the captivity of the Israelites in Babylon would come to an end and the walls of Jerusalem would be rebuilt, He used Nehemiah to restore back the broken walls and bring about this much anticipated change (Nehemiah 1).
Jesus Disciples and some women as change makers
When God wanted to fulfill His promise in Joel 2:28 to pour out His Spirit on all flesh, He used a group of people who stayed in the upper room; the place of prayer, to pray and usher in the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5, 12-14). The baptism of the Holy Spirit didn’t come automatically, it took some people sacrificing their time in the place of prayer to bring about this change.
God wants to bring about a change in your life, family, church and nation, but this change isn’t going to be magical. You won’t just wake up one day and see changes all around. Whatever change God is going to bring about, He is going to use people to bring about this change.
God wants every one of us to be change makers. To improve the way things are in our family, church and nation. Change makers are an advantage to have around. They are the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16). They add value wherever they go, wherever they are placed.
Characteristics of Change Makers
1. They are not perfect but are working towards perfection (Exodus 4:10)
Moses whom God used to bring about a mighty deliverance in the lives of the Israelites, wasn’t perfect. He wasn’t eloquent, he had physical defects and character flaws. He had a problem with anger, but God still used Him to bring about a positive change in the lives of the Israelites. When God wants to bring about a change, He uses people. But the people He uses aren’t always perfect. However, they are working and striving towards perfection. Don’t wait until you are ‘perfect’ before you start adding value, before you make a difference, before you affect lives for God, before you become a change maker.
2. Change makers recognize the need for change and believe that change is possible
These are two different things. You may recognize the need for a change in the nation, for there to be better structure and accountability, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you believe that a change is possible. Your statements alone show whether or not you believe a change is possible in your situation, family, church, or nation. If you keep talking about the need for a change in your marriage, but make statements like ‘I wonder the year things will even improve in my marriage’, it shows that you don’t really believe change is possible and it is possible NOW!
3. A Change maker is a problem solver not a problem analyst
A problem analysts examines a problem, identifies the cause of the problem and can give a detailed breakdown of the problem, but that’s where it ends. He doesn’t do anything at all to change or solve the problems he identifies. The world today is full of problem analysts. But what the world needs today are problem solvers not problem analysts. What good does it do to any organization, people, or family if you critically analyze all their problems and then leave them as they are; you don’t offer any advice or suggestions or do anything that can change things for the better?
In Nehemiah 2:11-16, Nehemiah took time to analyze the problem, to see the extent of the damage done to the walls of Jerusalem, but he didn’t end there. In verse 17-20, he came up with a plan of action to solve the problem, to change the situation.
4. A change maker is available to do something tangible that will bring about a change
In Acts 1:12-14, the tangible thing the disciples did to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise to baptize mankind with the Holy Spirit, was to take time out to pray and usher in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The tangible thing Moses did to bring about a change in the lives of the Israelites was to go back to Egypt and confront Pharaoh until he let the people of God go. The tangible thing Nehemiah did was to get involved in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and there was change and restoration for the people. You can’t say you want change, yet you are not ready to do anything with your hands, time, abilities, skills and money to spear head that change.
5. A change maker is committed to making change for a lifetime
God wants you to be a change maker for life not for a month or a particular season of your life. Often you hear people say things like in my university days, in my former church, when I was single, before I moved to Lagos, I used to do this and that for God. But what happened to all of that? Why aren’t they doing the same things or even better? Why was it just for a period that they did something that mattered? The simple reason is that it takes consistency to be a change maker and many people are lacking in this kind of consistency. It takes commitment, lifetime commitment to be a change maker.
In Joshua 13:1 when Joshua was old, God told him there were still things He wanted Joshua to do. God had to make him understand that even though he was now old, it didn’t mean he had ceased to have a part to play. God was telling Joshua that whether old or young, keep adding value, keep making a difference, remain a change maker for life.
6. A change maker makes positive change
Not all changes are positive, not all changes are needed. Many people start something new, they introduce a change but the question is does what they have introduced help, bless and impact humanity? For example, King Rehoboam in 1 Kings 12:3- 14, brought about a change but it wasn’t a welcome change. It was a change that made things even worse for the people he was ruling. Don’t just make changes for the sake of change. Do something that will beautify somebody else’s life and situation. Do something that will lighten the load someone has been carrying. Do something that will be worth the change.
No matter how bad things may be today, I want to encourage you to believe that a change is possible, be available to do tangible things that will bring about positive changes, and before you know it, you will testify of an unbelievable change in your life, family, church and nation.
PHOTO CREDIT: creationswap