I have been richly blessed while doing this study. God had been showing me where I had allowed too many external distractions to take my time away from Him. I had not been spending time in prayer and in His Word the way I had in the past. As I felt His conviction on my heart I prayed that God would restore that desire to be with Him and make me have the hunger for Him that I used to have. A few weeks later, I felt Him telling me to pray for my family, fast, and read Nehemiah. I did not know how long the journey would take, but I asked for three friends to pray for me during this process. How thankful I am for their prayers and their inquiries of how the fasting and praying was going. I originally created this blog so they could see where I was in Nehemiah, and instead I have found myself blessed through this process as I spent more time in prayer and listening before I began journaling.
I chose to fast my lunch, and on the second or third day of the fast I found myself feeling very hungry. God spoke to me at that time and told me that the fast was a direct answer to my prayer to increase my hunger for Him. He pointed out to me how my hunger made me physically desire and need food, and He wanted me to feel spiritual hunger pangs when I was not in the Word and spending time with Him. I cannot even express in words how much I love Him and how overwhelming His love is that He would care enough to teach me to love Him more.
As I wrap up Nehemiah, there are several lessons that have returned on a regular basis for me:
- Nehemiah was prepared for his calling because of the time he spent in prayer with God.
- Nehemiah followed God’s call with careful planning, organizing, and motivating.
- Nehemiah’s leadership was blameless because He was familiar with God’s Law (which is the equivalent to spending time in the Bible).
- Nehemiah finished the wall, but he was aware that Jerusalem still needed guarding as we need to be setting ourselves up for battle as it is laid out in Ephesians 6 : 10 – 18.
- God calls us to live a life of obedience through grace.
Isn’t it just like God to meet several needs with one “project?” I wanted to hunger for Him and he had me fast, pray, and read about the life of Nehemiah who was grounded in prayer. He gave me a project of praying for my family’s rebuilding and He had me read about the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall. I am always amazed at how He can teach me a big lesson while wrapping it with several other lessons along the way!
Thank you for following this journey with me, and I will be focusing on a Christmas theme for the rest of this season.