YOU MIGHT NEED TO ARRIVE ON YOUR KNEES!
If you were living in a faraway land and you heard that the neighborhood your family grew up in was in shambles, you'd most likely be cut to the heart. You may or may not be compelled to take action. Leaders arrive at the conclusion that action is needed. Nehemiah arrived a place of reaching out to God. He spent many days fasting and praying.
He was the Cupbearer to King Artaxerxes. Nehemiah's job was to taste the drinks given to the King to make sure they weren't poisoned. After about four months of fasting and praying, Nehemiah arrived before the King with a sad face. When the King asked him what was wrong, he told him the sad state of the city of his ancestors. The King listened and asked how he could help. Nehemiah once again arrived at a place of prayer before he answered. He was face to face with the most powerful man in the land, but he still stopped to honor a more powerful God.
The King gave him permission and provisions for travelling to Jerusalem and begin reviving the City. After he arrived in Jerusalem, he secretly inspected the damaged City walls at night. He waited until the right time to tell the people about what God had laid on his heart to do. Finally Nehemiah told City Leaders how God's hand had been on him. The message from Nehemiah about God's graciousness arrived in the hearts of the City Leaders and encouraged them to say, "Let's start rebuilding!"
There were enemies and doubters who mocked and threatened them. The enemies invited Nehemiah to meet at the house of God under false pretenses with the purpose of ruining his reputation. He refused to go and refused to arrive at a place that would ruin his reputation as a leader and possibly stop the rebuilding.
The result of Nehemiah's actions was the rebuilding and arriving at the restoration of Jerusalem's wall in only 52 days. This was accomplished through fasting, prayer and arriving at the place of action by the hand of God.
Life is a series of arrivals. Arriving at a place of fasting and praying can lead to a place of revival.
DAY FOUR WORD
So it was, when I heard these words,
that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days;
I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
And I said: “I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God,
You who keep Your covenant and mercy
with those who love You and observe Your commandments,
please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open,
that You may hear the prayer of Your servant
which I pray before You now, day and night,
for the children of Israel Your servants,
and confess the sins of the children of Israel
which we have sinned against You.
Both my father’s house and I have sinned.
Nehemiah 1:4-6 NKJV
When the day of Pentecost had arrived,
they were all together in one place.
Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven,
and it filled the whole house where they were staying.
And tongues, like flames of fire that were divided,
appeared to them and rested on each one of them.
Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different languages,
as the Spirit gave them ability for speech.
Acts 2:1-4 HCSB
DAY FOUR PRAYER
God thank You for waiting for our arrival. We're slow in coming to repentance and changing our ways. You stand at the door of our hearts and knock, forgive us for being slow to answer. Nehemiah prayed and said we're all guilty, he included himself. We do the same today God, we're all guilty. You allowed Jesus to arrive once in this world and we made Him suffer because of our sinfulness. God we want Jesus to arrive in our hearts today. Let Your Presence be in us as the contagiousness of your Holy Spirit. Arrive and revive us in You. Amen.
DAY FOUR DEEP THOUGHTS
- My Mom always used to say: "Haste makes waste!" When Nehemiah received word of Jerusalem's brokenness, he didn't hurry into action without fasting and praying. His first urgency was to arrive at the heart of God for direction. Wisdom says go to God first before you hurry into action.
- Arrival can also be a departure. Seeking the will of God before you commit to action may cause you to avoid an arrival that will hurt you. God can cause a departure from your original plans. You may arrive at a decision to terminate your mission.
- "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."