DAY 2 – NEHEMIAH 2:1-8

02“What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven.

I think I have always loved Nehemiah because he is so practical. I love problem solving and “practical” solutions can sometimes just seem so obvious to me. It’s a helpful gift but after a few decades you learn the downside of over confidence. Just ‘cause you can doesn’t mean you should is a healthy balancing mantra. It turns out what I want most is God-confidence not my own.

Surely in the 4 months Nehemiah had been praying and lamenting over Jerusalem, plans had been formulating in his mind. He must have felt God organizing these ideas into some tangible action. If he was anything at all like me, he was chomping at the bit. Except for that one little first thing…you don’t just get to quit your job when you work for the king. Now that I think about it, this is sort of like “I have these great ideas I’d like to put into action but what do you do about the husband, the person you give care, the money, the calendar… etc.?”

I guess the obstacles aren’t all that different. Nehemiah was a responsible guy. He was probably torn between this calling and his day job. Much to his credit he was not a “wheeler-dealer”. In fact, if I feel the need to “wheel and deal” my way into something…well, JUST STOP. God, IMHO, does not W&D. Wasn’t that a lesson from just YESTERDAY? (Lord, if you aren’t going don’t let me go either). I’m good with that. I want “God” certainty if at all available.

So, the big challenge for Nehemiah and certainly for me, is not wondering if we know what we are requesting. We have had that answer – for months in N’s case. We know how to approach the problem; we just need the right kind of confidence to walk through the open door. After 4 months of preparation, a speed dial prayer to the God of heaven was for Nehemiah the equivalent of: “Ok, I think this is you Lord, here I go…”

“If it pleases the king…”

——-

Interesting aside about Nehemiah and Queen Esther
http://juniaproject.com/queen-cupbearer-connections-esther-nehemiah/

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3 thoughts on “DAY 2 – NEHEMIAH 2:1-8

  1. To what am I called? Who even knows. Outside of the ins and outs of daily life, I do not feel a strong calling in any direction at this time. Maybe I haven’t listened hard enough, but perhaps it’s just not the season of my calling. However, Nehemiah has given me something to remember when the time comes. When an idea is floating in my head, whether just an inkling or fully developed, I need to stop and pray before I dive into it. This is a bit easier when the calling is just a hint or foreshadowing. Prayer seems more natural. However, we often have grand schemes that seem to be of God. They seem to be so perfect that they must have come from God…except maybe not. One quick and easy way to justify a selfish scheme is to deem it God’s calling or a plan He has blessed. Pray without ceasing when these ideas present themselves and as the plans come together. Then make sure you pray one last time before you jump in to make sure it is God’s will and not selfish ambition.

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  2. I love the fact that Nehemiah doesn’t just see a problem and fret over it but comes up with a plan, prays about it to be sure it’s God’s plan and then waits for confirmation (ie, the kings blessing) before running of and jumping in. Sometimes I too get caught up with a great plan and forget the next two steps before jumping in with both feet and when I do it never goes smoothly or ends well. Nehemiah is a good reminder of the right way to do things.

    The other thing this brings to mind is there is a town in devastation and the people are rallied to repair and rebuild. Yesterday I watched a video of some of the devastation on Lake Chelan in Washington from the wild fires. I remembered how beautiful it was when we were there. I’m pretty darn sure God is not calling me to physically go there to help rebuild but I can pray for those who are called to be open and receptive to that calling. As well as praying for the people who’ve lost their homes and belongings. As well as for people in the other areas effected. We saw fires first hand when we were there and it is pretty terrifying. Join me in prayer.

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