by Sandy Kirby Quandt
Around the 5th Century B.C. the cup bearer of the Persian King Artaxerxes, Nehemiah, felt God leading him from Susa back to his forefather’s land of Jerusalem to rebuild the wall of the city that had been destroyed when the Jews were taken away into captivity by the Babylonians years earlier.
In the Book of Nehemiah, we see a man who prayed to God for guidance before he began a task, prayed as he worked on the task, and prayed giving God the praise and glory for answers to his prayers. He prayed as events in his life unfolded.
We should learn from his example and do the same.
When Nehemiah asked Artaxerxes to allow him to leave his position in the palace and go to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall around the city, he prayed “to the God of heaven” before he made his request. (2:4) When the king granted Nehemiah’s request he gave God the credit for the favorable answer saying, “And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my requests.” (2:8)
As the people of Jerusalem worked together to rebuild the wall and secure the city, their efforts were met with opposition. Threats were made. Intimidating messages were sent to discourage them. Murderous plots were planned to lure Nehemiah away. Yet, in the midst of all this, Nehemiah stuck to the work God set before him…rebuild the wall. He told his detractors, “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” (6:3)
In 52 days the work to rebuild a 1 1/2 mile wall around the city of Jerusalem was completed. “The enemies were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.” (6:15-16)
You think God had something to do with the completion of that wall? You think Nehemiah’s prayers had something to do with the work being completed? You think?
We have tasks God has set before us, too, don’t we? Maybe we aren’t building a 1 1/2 mile long wall around a city,but nevertheless, if we are building for God, we will face opposition. Satan is not happy when we ignore the negative voices around us that try to discourage, threaten, and intimidate us. He especially is not happy when we seek out God in prayer.
Like Nehemiah, we have the best weapon ever…we have the privilege to go to our God, the Creator of the Universe, in prayer for his help and strength to complete the good works we were created in Christ to complete, through the power of the Holy Spirit living in us.
When we are frightened and feel like giving up, we need to remember Nehemiah and how he refused to listen to his enemies. Instead, he talked with God before he began a task, while he was working on the task, and once the task was completed.
Are there things you believe God’s calling you to do, but detractors are trying to pull you away from completing the tasks? What are you going to do?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.
For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands.” Nehemiah 6:9
I wish you well.
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