When Nehemiah learned that the walls of Jerusalem had not been rebuilt, he broke down and wept. (Nehemiah 1.3-4) Even though he had never been there, his heart was broken for his people and their city. But it didn’t stop there. For the next four months he prayed and fasted and sought God about what he could do.
When was the last time you prayed and fasted over an issue, problem or person in your life for four months? The answer for me is easy – NEVER. I’ve rarely given a focused, concerted prayer time (much less fasting) toward any difficulty in my life more than a few days.
In our hurry-up, do-it-quick, solve-the-problem-immediately world we have little time for waiting, much less prayer and fasting.
As I’ve studied the life of Nehemiah, my heart keeps coming back to this moment in Nehemiah’s life, where he devoted this time to God.
What happens in a person’s heart that spends four months of focused, purposeful time with God? What would happen in my life if I were to devote a good chunk of time to God?
When a friend asked me if I would be interested in devoting forty days to purposeful prayer, I jumped at the chance. Here was my opportunity to do like Nehemiah. What would God show me? What would he teach me? What would He have me do?
As the start of the forty days drew closer, I felt the nudge of God to consider stripping away an area in my life that has hindered me from pursuing Him.
“No not that, God. I’ll do anything else but not that!”
What I knew He was asking me to do made me want to curl up in a fetal position – there was no feasible way that I could see myself doing what He asked.
For most people, what God was calling me to, might seem trivial but for me it has long been a stronghold in my life. A place, I have not wanted to relinquish. I have excused, justified and given every reason in the book why this area in my life should stay mine and not God’s.
BUT I long for God to do great things in and through me. AND IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN as long as I cling to this area of my life. I must choose to TRUST and walk the pathway of OBEDIENCE.
Lord, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws;
Our heart’s desire is to glorify your name. Isaiah 26.8
It is the sixth day of letting go, of purposeful, focused time with my Father and my heart is so full. I’m searching for God in the quiet moments, in the busy-ness of my day, in the morning when I wake up and in the evening when I close my eyes in sleep.
All night long I search for you;
in the morning I earnestly seek for God. Isaiah 26.9
Could God be calling you, my friend, to relinquish an area of your life that is holding you back from being all that He wants you to be? Will you join with me?
I’m WAITING . . . eyes wide open, for what He will do! Are you?