I want to revisit something that I wrote about yesterday regarding Nehemiah. I talked about how he was no chief of staff or a Senator, yet he was a leader. Chapter 1, verse 11 tells us that Nehemiah was a cupbearer in the house of the King. Now, while the title of that position does not denote any particular importance or prominence, you have to look a little deeper to find what this truly means.
In OT times, a King’s cupbearer had great influence. The man in this position would not only taste the King’s wine to check for poison but also to make sure that the taste and flavor would be pleasing to the King. he was very literally putting his life on the line for his King. Because of this. cupbearers were among the King’s most trusted advisors. For this reason, the King notices that there is something wrong with Nehemiah in chapter 2, verse 2, and so he asks,
“Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This can only be sadness of heart.”
What has become apparent in the world is that titles mean everything. We identify with what people call us. Principal. Pastor. Bishop. Apostle. MBA. Ph.D. Manager. Supervisor. Boss. Jerk. Stooge. We have so many titles. But where God is concerned, a title does not define anyone.
Our character defines the title.
What we pour into the title through the living of our lives and how we treat others is what defines for others what that title might mean. That is also where we can find our influence. See, to an outside eye, a cupbearer is nothing special. Yeah, he brings the drink to the King, but if you look a bit deeper, you will see that this forges a special relationship with the King that works in Nehemiah’s favor when God is ready for it to work.
Nehemiah found his area of influence in one of the most important positions that nobody pays close attention to these days. Cupbearer. Serving the King. Service.
Could it be that we have it all wrong? If leadership is forged in the rubble of life, is influence also formed in the secret places? Those areas where nobody can see how we toil? When nobody recognizes our gifts, yet we work hard anyway? When we choose to stay late and come early to help our supervisor look better? Is that where our influence begins to be born? When we offer to help run reports that we don’t like, because we know that it will make someone else’s job that much easier? Is that where influence grows?
I say yes. Because of Nehemiah’s position, he had the King’s ear.
Work your area. If you are a doorkeeper, keep those doors like your life depends on it. If you are a teacher, teach like your entire class of kids are the next cabinet of the United States. If you are a worship team member who never gets to lead a song, worship in the background for an audience of one. If you are a songwriter, write those songs in the dark that might never be brought to life. See,
Influence is one of those intriguing things that can grow in dark places., and by dark, I mean the in areas that nobody sees it happening, so that when it comes to light, everyone is left astounded.
And by dark, I mean the in areas that nobody sees it happening, so that when it comes to light, everyone is left astounded. And while we can sometimes fake our service, true and lasting influence comes when our hearts are engaged in the kind of service that really motivates us to be our best because God requires it of us, not because we will get anything out of it. And while there is no influencing God, He delights especially in seeing his children working for others as though they are working for Him.
So, where is your area?
Work it! Give it your all. Bring that cup. Run that report. Sweep that floor. Paint that wall. Engage your heart, and influence is sure to build.
Leaders use this influence to make the lives of others immeasurably better.
It is not born in the boardroom but in the cubicle. In the internship.
It is born out of a willing, humble heart.
Despise not the days of humble beginnings, because they build leaders.
Where is your area?
Find it and rebuild the wall.