Today is Day 37 in our journey through the Bible in 90 days.
If I told you to read a book about a guy building some walls, you probably wouldn’t be too excited. Although that’s exactly what Nehemiah is about, it’s way better and more action-packed than it sounds.
In fact, I’d say that Nehemiah is one of my favorite Old Testament books. I got to teach one of my favorite passages out of it last night at Awaken – Nehemiah 8. It’s all about the power of hearing, interpreting, and applying Scripture (which of course holds a dear place in my life and calling).
Nehemiah loved to pray. He LOVED it. He did it constantly. much of his praying takes place in Chapter 1 as he hears the heartbreaking news of the broken down Jerusalem walls and he begs God for mercy and provision. God answered, of course. I pray that God would break my heart for Clarksville as Nehemiah’s heart was broken for Jerusalem. He wept, fasted, and prayed…and God moved powerfully. I believe change will happen in our city when our hearts break for those who are broken all around us.
SUPER & NATURAL
Nehemiah does a great job at taking care of the natural (his part of the deal) and trusting God for the supernatural. That’s a hard mix to find at times, because it’s so tempting to try to do it all, even though it’s completely out of our hands in the first place. “…the God of heaven Himself will prosper us.” – Nehemiah 2:20
Another thing I love about Nehemiah and his crew is that they weren’t scared to work. Most people (including many Christians) lack the diligence that it takes to get the job done. I’ve met many Christians who want to sit around and wait for God to take care of it. They often end up missing out on the results altogether as well as missing out on the blessing of being a part of what God is doing. We could learn a lot from Nehemiah and his crew – “…the people had a mind to work.” – Nehemiah 4:6
When you mix prayer, reliance on God, and hard work, you’re bound to see a move of God…and Nehemiah did! Nehemiah 6:15 says that it only took 52 days to build the whole wall! And in Nehemiah 8, revival took place as God’s people gathered together to worship and study the word. They listened for hours as Ezra read from the Old Testament. As they were confronted with the reality of their sin, they wept in repentance. But they didn’t just stand there crying – they acted. They saw what needed to change and they made the changes.
So what needs to be rebuilt in your life?
If you can look back in your life and see a time when you were closer to God than you are now, you know something needs to change. What is it? Don’t beat yourself up over whatever happened, just pinpoint it, then do something about it!
Enjoy Esther today – it wraps up the historical books and leads us into poetry.