Thursday, June 17, 2010


Ever feel opposition pressing in from all sides? You may not find yourself out in the desert wearing fatigues, but believe me, if you are pursuing God, your enemy is real; he's poised and ready, waiting for a chance to take you down (see more). I love the words of Nehemiah from today's reading, when he was pressed by enemies on all sides. He spoke not only to his own fears, but to all who were, like him, seeking to do what they should:

. . . “Do not be afraid of them.
Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome,
and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters,
your wives, and your homes.” - from Nehemiah 4:14

You may have noticed, as we began the book of Nehemiah in yesterday's reading, one prominent habit of this extraordinary leader. He PRAYED. When he heard about the terrible state of disrepair in his hometown of Jerusalem, he PRAYED. When the king (his boss) noticed his sadness and asked what was wrong, he PRAYED before he dared give an explanation.

When the king authorized him to go back to Jerusalem and see what was to be done, and his peers opposed him, said rude things, and did everything they could to make his job more difficult, he PRAYED. He prayed at every turn, and then he kept right on going with the work God had for him to do!

Nehemiah knew something very important: that it was God who would fight the big battles on his behalf. He may have learned this from the example of David, or from Hezekiah, or from countless others (like Esther and Job, whose life stories are coming up later this month). I hope we can learn to pray at every turn, to trust God, and stick to the work he has laid out for us to do! What an awesome example to follow!

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