Monday, May 26, 2014

Nehemiah 5-7

Nehemiah proves to be a really good guy and a strong leader.  So what makes him so good?

Nehemiah continues following the tugs on his heartstrings and working for God in Nehemiah 5-7. He seems to know how to pull his fellow people together for God's purpose.  The jewish people are able to finish rebuilding Jerusalem's wall in a record 52 days!  The fact that they are able to finish such a massive project in so little time points to God's presence in the project, and people talk about it.  God is glorified.  Nehemiah also pulls people together to help the poor who are suffering tremendously during the famine.  He inspires people to action for God with his words.  Nehemiah eventually becomes governor, and he is intentional about serving selflessly, refusing to take any land or food that is normally allotted to men in his position.  He's what we would call a class act.

As time goes on in Nehemiah's story, I can't help but think about the "projects" I have going on in my life right now.  How about you?  What "projects" do you have in the works right now?

I found myself making a list of all I have going on.  This is a busy time of year.  It's easy for me to get overwhelmed.  

Nehemiah reminds me of two really important points about living in faith.
1. I need to take my list of projects before God on a regular basis.  I need to make sure that those things that are taking my mental and physical time and energy are a part of His call in my life.  If they aren't, then I don't need to focus on them.  Enough said.  Sometimes the items that need to be at the top of my list aren't "projects" at all, they are people and relationships.   Be it a project or a relationship that needs nurturing, wherever God needs me, Nehemiah offers another important point. 
2. When I am working for God, circumstances and people will try to distract me from my real purpose.  When those times come that I feel overwhelmed and like my work will never get done, I have a simple strength building prayer I can use.  It worked for Nehemiah, and it will work for me.  
But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”

That prayer will work for all of us who believe in the power of the resurrected Christ that is alive and well and at work in our lives.

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank You for the constant Helper I have through my Savior in the Holy Spirit.  Forgive me for getting overwhelmed with my current projects and busy days.  I often feel insufficient and discouraged when I know You will equip me with everything I need.  

I bring my project list to You God.  

Open my heart to the ways I need to edit my list of things to do with You in mind.  What relationships do You need me to put at the top?  What projects do You need me to focus on for You?  Speak to me and help me keep my priorities on You.

Strengthen my hands, Lord, and strengthen the hands of those who are in need of this same prayer.  

I pray that You will use me to pull people together and build them up for Your purpose.  Show me how to inspire others to action and serve You selflessly.

You are my rock and my refuge.

In Jesus' name I pray,


*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.

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