As you seek to be successful in life, always remember that God’s idea of success is different from the world’s.  While the world bases success on fame and fortune, God bases success on how well you know and follow Him.  One person from history who serves as an example of how to be successful in following God is Nehemiah.

Nehemiah felt called by God to rebuild the damaged walls that surrounded Jerusalem.  At the time, Nehemiah was living and working for the King of Persia, but he left the familiar and followed God to Jerusalem to do the work.  Like Nehemiah, sometimes we face uncertainty when we follow God.  However, Nehemiah teaches us that when we follow God, we can be certain of at least four results that will follow us.  Over the next few days I’d like to share about those results, and I’ll start today with the first one.

When Nehemiah determined to follow God, he knew there were some steps that needed to occur in order to make his journey successful.  Specifically, he needed permission to leave his current position, and he also needed permission to travel through the regions he would pass on his way to Jerusalem.  In addition, he needed timber to use as material for his rebuilding project.  The key player is granting those permissions was King Artaxerxes, Nehemiah’s boss and the ruler of the land.

Nehemiah explained that when he went to the king to make these special requests, “the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me” (Neh. 2:8, NKJV).  Nehemiah was blessed with God’s favor, and you can be blessed with the same!  Experiencing the favor of God is the first result that will follow you when you follow God.

Sometimes, you will need “special permission” to accomplish what God has put in your heart.  In those times, expect the favor of God.  I think it is important to note that Nehemiah remained subject to the authority over him in the steps he took to follow God.  He informed the king of his plans and told him “if it pleases the king,” he would like his approval of the plans (Neh. 2:5).  But we know from Proverbs that “the king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water, He turns it wherever He wishes” (21:1).  When you need favor from those in authority, trust that God will turn their heart in a way that supports God’s call on your life.  Follow God and find God’s favor!