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Good Idea


“Is it a ‘Good’ idea or a ‘God’ idea?”

This challenge from my pastor, Todd West, caused me to consider all the decisions I do make and are they directed by the Lord?  He shared that the USA Today reported that every individual can make up to 35,000 decisions a day.  Wow, that’s a lot but when you consider how many decisions we make as second nature it does add up.  But what about the bigger decisions we are faced with?  We are faced with choices every day where we must discern God’s direction and leading in our lives correctly.

Nehemiah had a big decision as he was challenged to do something about his hometown Jerusalem.  He was passionate about his desire to see the walls rebuilt and the city restored to its former glory.  The book of Nehemiah is often used to teach excellent leadership principles and in this area of discerning between a ‘good’ idea and a “God’ idea it serves us well again.  There is a huge difference between a whim, an impulse, or a desire and knowing 100% that God is behind our thoughts and plans!

Todd then gave us 6 principles of how to discern between a ‘Good’ idea and a ‘God’ idea based on Neh 2:17-18, “But now I said to them, “You know very well what trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire. Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end 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, “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work.” (NLT)

Principle #1:  God Ideas Start with a Burden – Nehemiah saw the condition of Jerusalem and he was greatly troubled by it.  The burden grew and he knew he had to do something.  The burden increased and it remained on his heart calling him to action.  He could not escape this “God” idea!  The King noticed his sadness and even wondered why he was depressed.

Principle #2:  God Ideas Contain Present Reality – His hometown was laying in ruins and the situation was very bad.  There are some who always want to be optimistic, no matter what, but Nehemiah admitted that something was wrong and needed to be done.  He took a step towards being a part of the solution realizing He needed God’s help and the help of others.

Principle #3:  God Ideas Can Be Clearly Stated – Nehemiah was able to articulate the vision of what needed to be done next.  “Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace!”  If you cannot clearly state the next move God desires you to take then you should wait until you can.  If it is a little fuzzy to you it will be very foggy to those you are leading.

Principle #4:  God Ideas Show Evidence of God’s Approval – Nehemiah said this, “Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me.”  Have you prayed and sought His mind on the matter the same way Nehemiah did?  Has God opened doors you could not have opened on your own and you clearly see him in this idea?  You see His movement and His hand!

Principle #5:  God Ideas are Affirmed by Godly People – When Nehemiah shared the vision with them they said, “Let’s start rebuilding” and they were encouraged to do this good work!  There is wisdom in the multitude of counsel.  If Godly people you trust cannot see it you need to step back, reevaluate, and seek the face of the Lord.  Seek Godly wise counsel!

Principle #6:  God Ideas are Always Met with Opposition – The walls begin to be rebuilt but there were those who were against it from the beginning.  Those people are still with us today!  Nehemiah had to go to work with a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other.  While he was building he also had to be prepared for battle.  If you don’t want any opposition then don’t do anything!  Oh, and then they will complain that you aren’t doing anything!

Principle #7:  God Ideas are very Unique to You! – ( I added principle #7!) There are many good things you can be involved in but God has a calling on your life and a purpose for you.  God has uniquely created you and gifted you to fulfill His purposes and bring glory to His name.  Good ideas are plentiful but God’s perfect will for your life is distinctive and requires asking His direction!

Good ideas are plentiful.  Everyone has a lot of what they think are “good” ideas but making sure it is a “God” idea takes seeking His face, being in His presence, and knowing it is what God has for you at this time and place.  When it is a God idea you are passionate about it and it consumes your thoughts and motivates you every single day.  Make sure your “good” ideas are “God” ideas!