This morning I was reading in the Old Testament book of Nehemiah. It is a veritable gold mine of leadership principles.
The one lesson that jumped out at me today was this: Go big or go home! In other words, why not ask for a lot rather than a little? Why not take big steps of faith rather than little steps of faith?
Nehemiah was a Jew who was in exile in Babylon. He was serving as cupbearer to the King when he became aware of his beloved Jerusalem’s current condition. The walls of the city were broken down and its gates burned with fire. This terrible news destroyed Nehemiah; he wept and prayed for days. Eventually he came to the conclusion that God was calling him to go and do something about it. He was to go and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem! But he couldn’t just walk away. Now he needed to speak to the King and ask permission to do what he felt called to do.
He prayed. And though he was afraid, he mustered up his courage and made his bold request to King Artaxerxes. The King graciously gave him permission to go. The king said yes! But Nehemiah didn’t stop there. He then asked for letters from the King so that he would have safe passage along the way. He then asked for authorization to receive lumber from the King’s forest. After all, he needed to get there safely, and once there he needed building materials. I love it! Nehemiah didn’t ask small – he asked big. And on top of all that, the King also sent army officers and cavalry to guard him along the way!
I think that’s an important lesson for all leaders. Think big. Pray big. Ask big. After all, why not if God is in it?