This past week I heard this quote spoken from a friend.
” They want to know God, but they don’t know how.”
She was speaking out of her experience as a missionary. I wrote the quote in my bible and have been pondering it ever since. Under the quote I wrote: “SHOW THEM HOW!! Stand FIRM!! ” This is from Nehemiah. Nehemiah was broken for the PEOPLE of GOD in such a powerful way that he vowed to spend his life teaching people how to re-build their city / lives for GOD. They were living under the oppressive spirit of despair, just as many are today. This oppression was so heavy that they NEEDED someone ( Nehemiah) to come and show them how to “gird their loins” ( 1 Kings 18:46/ Jeremiah 1:17 ) and ” rise and shine” ( Isaiah 60:1) and ” lift their heads and see where their help comes from.” ( Psalm 121:2) The Spirit of God was on Nehemiah and he knew he couldn’t do anything BUT help the people and he did. He is an outstanding example to me of how I am to spend my own life. He didn’t do it from a pulpit-he did it in prayer, in weeping, fasting and declaring what God had put on his heart to the king. Then he worked behind the scenes, in the rubble, through the building and on the wall. When they completed they declared the word of God over it and rejoiced! He showed them how to do it, step by step. He didn’t bully them, sway them, or beat them. He loved them through it all. He refused to give in to opposition and when it came, as it always does-he recognized it for what it was because he KNEW HIS GOD and what HE SAID and he STOOD FIRM in those PROMISES.
Last year, as I was riding my lawn tractor, mowing the yard, I heard the words: ” Duck, but don’t run.” In the past year, I now know why I heard those words. They were advice and encouragement to me from the Holy Spirit. I have often ” felt” like a duck sitting in open water with a predator on my tail. That is a trick of the evil one- to use our feelings and emotions to bind us up and keep us from moving forward-to keep us in despair-to be like the proverbial “sitting duck.” When we know who God is-then we know that satan is a thief and a liar and that he thinks he can come to steal whatever he can get from us. We have to resolve to be like Nehemiah and say, ” NO!!!! I’m not coming down! I am doing a great work up here! Leave me alone!”
We duck, but we don’t run.
There are two types of ducks- dabbling ducks who feed on the surface and diving ducks who forage for food deep underwater. The key to staying alive as a duck is to keep moving and to dive deep. For us this means to pray when we don’t feel like it, to dig in and devour God’s word with a shovel and let it invade our hearts and wreck our mind for Him. When we allow God IN we are rebuilding our own hearts to reflect His glory-to bring His Kingdom to earth and when we are in this rebuilding phase sometimes there is opposition and we have to “duck and not run and stand firm and fight.”
Because there are many people who want to know God but they don’t how. We all have them in our lives, don’t we? We must fight for them! What did Nehemiah say to the people as encouragement? He said, ” “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!” Nehemiah 4:14 They locked arms and helped each other fight!
And what happened when they did?
Neh. 4:15 ” When our enemies heard that we knew of their plans and that God had frustrated them, we all returned to our work on the wall. ”
Read Nehemiah and be encouraged to stand firm and fight. If we don’t do it- then who will? No one else will fight ( intercede) for our families like we can. Many of you are in transition and at times it has felt like you were alone. But you aren’t. It also feels like God is about to shake things up and you are just waiting for whatever He is doing to happen. There is great patience and wisdom in the waiting. It’s part of the process. Nehemiah waited 4 months from the time he fasted and prayed until the time he began to journey to the city.
Nothing happens overnight. God supplied his every need and he used Nehemiah to transform an entire city inside and out. Physically and spiritually. Their ashes turned to beauty and their sadness to joy!
During this time of waiting, praying and seeking we must learn to do what others before us have done … ( Neh. 5:12) shake out the folds of your robes, ( shake, shake, shake)
wipe the dust off your feet ( swish swish swish)
( Matt. 10:14), gird your loins and run with the strength of Elijah. ( cinch, cinch, cinch)
( 1 Kings 18:46)
(Isaiah 60:1) “Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see.
For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you.”
ARISE! ARISE! ARISE!