Change is inevitable, and it can be a difficult thing in life. Over my 25-plus years of leadership, I’ve learned six critical moves to solving life problems and I want to share them with you. They come directly from Scripture.
When we go through change, the quality of the questions we ask – about life, family, ministry and finances – make all the difference. So, let’s get started with the six critical moves we should make to solve life problems.
- You have to ask the right questions.
In the Book of Nehemiah, the people have lived in captivity for 70 years, as a result of their disobedience to God. Nehemiah served in a high position in the palace of the Babylonian king. And Nehemiah asked some of his fellow Jews a question – the right question – that started a series of powerful events in his life. Nehemiah “questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem” (Nehemiah 1:2 NIV).
- You have to own the problem.
The reply Nehemiah received to his question disturbed him. They reported to him that his homeland was in disarray; Jerusalem’s walls had fallen. The gates had been burned with fire, and the people were in trouble.Nehemiah owned the problem. He said, “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4 NIV). He refused to walk away from it or deny it; he owned it.When we go through change, it’s a loss. A loss always creates feelings of grief and a need to mourn. We can become stuck sometimes in periods of loss. As we try to move ahead, we struggle because we drag the loss along with us.
Over a period of three or four months, Nehemiah took time to mourn, to weep, to pray and to plan. He owned that problem. He wrestled with it.
- Create a picture of a better future.
After four months of praying and planning, Nehemiah went to the king he served and created a clear picture of the future of what he wanted to do for his people. He said, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it,” (Nehemiah 2:5 NIV).When you create a better image, it will change your focus and your priorities.
- Own the plan.
Leaders cannot delegate the plan. As mothers, fathers or business leaders, we have to own the plan.After the king gave Nehemiah permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls, he developed his own plan. He got up at night and went to see the problem himself. He inspected the condition of the city, so he could own the plan (Nehemiah 2:11-16).It’s vitally important to assess the reality you’re facing. Nehemiah needed to see the reality of what he heard. He heard the walls were down, and the gates had been burned, but he needed to see it for himself.
- Share the vision intentionally.
This was true for Nehemiah. At this point, if we were to stop the lesson right here, it sounds like a rosy ending to a very difficult process as he’s now rebuilding the walls, and he completed it in 52 days.
- Expect opposition but keep going anyway.
In Nehemiah 2:19, it begins with the word, but, which means something is coming that interrupts the flow. Right after the people began the process of rebuilding the walls, opposition showed up. “But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. ‘What is this you are doing?’ they asked. ‘Are you rebelling against the king?’” People will rise up to oppose whatever it is that God has laid on your heart to do.
- You have to ask the right questions.
As we continue through COVID-19, we have some challenges in our lives. May you think about these six, critical moves that begin with a question and will end with opposition, so you can be intentional and apply them to your life.