As I woke up this morning, groggy, puffy eyed, and sleepy, I grabbed my piping hot cup of liquid consciousness (coffee), and settled into the well worn spot on our couch.
Turning my Daily Walk Bible to today's reading, I was hit with a breath of relief. Today was day 7, the day to rest and review from my reading.
I needed the break today. Today, I just wanted to sit, be still, and talk to Jesus.
However, after a few minutes of prayer, I felt led to open my Bible again. I needed a fresh Word. My heart was troubled over the news and the world and the utter chaos happening in the heart of our nation.
Pages gently open fell to the book of Nehemiah.
My eyes came to this passage, like they were in Neon lights on the page...
They said to me, "Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.
When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of Heaven. Nehemiah 1:3-4
Nehemiah follows this with a heart wrenching prayer to God.
Nehemiah feels helpless, broken, and utterly in despair for the people of Jerusalem. The Jewish people have come back from Babylonian exile to a city in ruins.
Can you relate to Nehemiah?
My heart is broken over terror, and intimidation, and unrest, and anger, and ugliness, and injustice, and hearts turned toward evil.
However, I have a choice. Just like Nehemiah had a choice.
He could sit and stew and talk to all his friends about how crappy Jerusalem was and how life was just terrible for the Jewish people, and fear and worry, and wring his hands...
Or, he could pray. He could fast. He could seek the Lord.
And, that is exactly what He did.
We are faced with the same choices.
Will we post videos and comments and opinions and thoughts and point fingers at those who do not think like us?
OR, will we still ourselves and pray. And fast. And seek the Lord.
God used one little fella by the name of Nehemiah to help rebuild a great big wall around Jerusalem. To bring honor back to the Holy City.
ONE man prayed, fasted, and sought the Lord.
ONE man listened and acted.
ONE man sought the help of others and built a massive wall around Jerusalem in a record breaking, 52 days.
Friends, we have a mission. It has never been more clear.
We must pray. We must fast. We must seek God.
Our phones, and tablets, and tv's, and newsfeeds, and selfies, and social media... need to be replaced by prayer and stillness and seeking.
We may not be called to build a wall, but we are called to love those around us. To serve those in our own homes, in our own neighborhoods. To pray, encourage, love on, notice, listen, and be PRESENT with.
We are called to do the thing right in front of us. To love the people RIGHT next to us.
The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31
How will we ever shine the Light of Christ if we continue to stay in the dark corners of fear, worry, laziness, disobedience, separation, and self-protection?
Nehemiah could have stayed in the comfort of The King's Palace. He could have kept his cozy little daily routine as being the cupbearer to the King, and minded his own business.
Instead, Nehemiah mourned and grieved and PRAYED for the people of Jerusalem. He was moved to tears and more so, he was moved to PRAY.
Only after much praying, fasting, and seeking, did God prompt him to act.
The enemy so often for us is distraction and apathy.
We are just too busy.
Or we just really do not care.
If you are in a place of business and apathy, drop to your knees and ask God to STIR your heart! Ask Him to open your eyes and to SEE what HE SEES.
Pray, and don't stop praying.
Do the thing right in front of you.
It's the faithful little things that bring about the most KINGDOM change.
Faithful in prayer.
Faithful in fasting.
Faithful in seeking God in His Word.
Friend, there is NOTHING more important.
When we come to the end of our lives...these distractions of media, and phones, and tablets and tv's...they will fade away with zero eternal significance.
However, when we leave behind a faithful heart of prayer, and fasting, and seeking God...
He leave behind a harvest of fruit that keeps on producing eternally.
Let's heed the call to pray. Let's heed the call to fast. Let's heed the call to put down our phones and pick up our Bibles.
I am committing to 52 days of prayer, fasting, and seeking God.
Please consider joining me. I much prefer accountability.
Let's heed the call together.
putting away distractions,