Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
They said to me, "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire."
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
As we see in our header verse, Jerusalem and its surrounding wall was in shambles. When Nehemiah got report of this devastating news, he made the first and most important step he could possibly make: he went to his knees, and he "mourned and fasted and prayed". Please take a few minutes to read his beautiful prayer in Nehemiah 1:5-11. In this prayer we see that he PRAISES God, he PETITIONS God, he REPENTS for the people, and he reminds God of His PROMISE. What a great example of a prayer warrior...who then gets up off his knees for action. God had given Nehemiah his marching orders. The walls of Jerusalem were going to be rebuilt, and he was the man to lead the entire project.
Is there something in your life that needs rebuilding? Or are you starting something entirely new? First and foremost, get on your knees. Sometimes, when I'm facing a big decision or a certain dilemma, I do a "three-day-pray- stint" with the Lord. I'm not wasting time; rather, I'm gaining wisdom. Then, when I hear from the Lord, which is most often when I'm in the His word, I must choose to OBEY. (Remember the "NOW day" in our previous lesson, Day 30? Let's not wait to obey when we have heard His voice).
Sometimes obedient action requires change. Nehemiah was cupbearer to the king; but in one conversation, he became the rebuilder of a city wall.
Interestingly, my word for 2020 is "change". I did not pick this word. In fact, I wanted to "change" it--but I knew that God would just "change" right it back! Well, in Kit's devotion today, it's no coincidence that the word "change" is mentioned three different times. With this being my GOD-given word, I started praying (first step) about what exactly the Lord had in mind for me to change. To be quite honest, I'm a creature of habit, so I was a little fearful. I did not know where I would land, but by His sweet grace, here are a few very SMALL things that the Lord has led me to do so far this year:
Light a candle when I do my quiet time.
Sing out loud in the car when I'm by myself.
Go out with other couples regularly with my husband. (I'm an introvert, so this is a little more challenging for me than some of you:)).
Ladies, these are little things, small steps of change, but I can tell you, they have made a BIG difference in my January and February months, in which I tend to wrestle with a seasonal depressed spirit. God knew before I did that I needed to take action and change a few things for my OWN GOOD. He is helping me build new habits that draw me closer TO HIM. He is for me, and He is for you!
Today, what small change can you make that moves you in His right direction? First pray about it, and then, when you hear from the Lord, be ready to take action. Realize the tiniest decision can be just the beginning of a new trajectory of your life.
Let's pick up our first brick and lay it on the firm foundation. We have a wall to build.
For further reading: Nehemiah 1:5-11; 1 Corinthians 3:11; Matthew 7:24-27
We bow humbly before You. You know all things. You know each and every step of the building process in each of our lives. Forgive us when we try to do it on our own! Please Lord, help us to hear You, trust You, and obey You. Help us to realize that small changes lead to big blessings. Make our hearts willing. Amen.