Nehemiah: Day 3

Just do it

by

Today's Text: Nehemiah 2:9-20

Text: Nehemiah 2:9-20

Knowing God’s will for our lives can be tricky. I’ll admit, I’ve tried to circumvent the process a time or two. (If you happen to check my browser history, please ignore the Google search, “How do I know God’s will for my life?” And please also ignore anything having to do with rashes.)

But other times, God’s will is as clear as day. Or in Nehemiah’s case, as we read earlier this week, it can be as clear as an obvious statement from God. In those instances, knowing God’s will isn’t the tricky part. Once we’ve discovered the path, it’s the carrying it out that stretches us.

Walking in His ways won’t always be popular. Others will be “very much disturbed.”  (Nehemiah 2:10, NIV)

We may not have a team standing alongside of us, just a few helpers and the shirt on our back.

There will be obstacles and gates we can’t get through, and upon careful examination, we’ll realize the daunting task before us.

We’ll search our motives. Are we telling everyone, for our own glory, what God put on our hearts to do as an act of obedience (Nehemiah 2:12)? Or is our right hand unaware of what our left hand is doing, because we know we can’t lay claim to our obedience (Matthew 6:3)?

In our walk, there has to come a point where we block out the naysayers. A point when we stop surmising what we’re lacking to accomplish the task and when we stop examining how very hard it will be.

There comes a point, with a prayer and pure motives, where we just begin the good work.

In spite of the seemingly insurmountable, the mockery and ridicule, He will give us success.

Just begin the good work.

day3

  • ed sheeran first album

    Nice post. I understand some thing tougher on diverse blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to see content using their company writers and rehearse a little something from their website. I’d would prefer to use some while using content on my weblog regardless of whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll supply you with a link in your internet weblog. Appreciate your sharing.

    http://www.edsheeran.co.uk

  • Moriah Paige

    What are your motives in telling people? That is a goooood question. We think we need to share everything with everyone. That’s not true and not wise. shareeverything

  • Christine

    I’ve been seeking His word lately, especially since I’ve felt this tight tension near my heart– something similar to anxiety. The words, “walking in His way won’t always be popular,” spoke to me. Being submersed in a college setting, with friends that were not genuine, who had no strong moral compass, I felt alone and lost. I felt wronged for standing up for the right decisions and for justice. Even now, I do not know who to turn to or where to go, but Jesus. I know that earthly things may not matter in His kingdom, but I desire strong relationships with people– true friendships. I hope that He will watch over me, and in His way, bless me with comfort and inner peace.

    • Sarah

      I pray today that he is pouring those things in our heart and that you can see Him and work clearly.

  • The whole idea of “Just do it” has been so prevalent in my life just after college. God called me to stay in Arizona and after seeking after His will and jobs I found a way to do graphic design for a collegiate ministry called Christian Challenge. If you have ever been in a ministry missionary position you might be all too familiar with support raising. Right after graduation I went in for training and then was released unto the world to raise my whole salary via people I knew and didn’t know. This time was so trying as I was afraid of phone calls and what people were going to say. But in the end the idea was still the same, I just had to do it. As I put my faith in God and did what I was asked, it became easier. It didn’t matter if calls were not returned or if the conversation seemed awkward. It was all about seeing who God had called to give. And in the end He blessed me with friendships and connections I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’m so thankful for the process even though it is trying. God has always got you no matter what, but if you don’t do it, there won’t be any results.

    • Kathryn

      I am so glad you shared this! I am in the midst of raising my support and it is very daunting, but remembering that it is exactly what God has called me to do is so helpful. It’s more than phone calls and meetings. It’s building relationships and inviting people to be a part of the Great Commission. Thank you for helping me remember that :)

  • Nikki Falvey

    This study is very poignant. I am an ideas person, I get very excited about a good idea and often I believe these are God-given ideas to further His kingdom, but after a few days, once the daily grind gets back to me and kills my excitement…I don’t do anything. I always think, “Later when I have more free time/money I will pursue that again.” And for some of these that might be the case, as we learned yesterday it’s also inadvisable to move before God tells you to. But I know that God will provide a way of it is His calling and that he wants me active!

    • Ahlaischa

      This is me too! I feel like I have so many ideas and ways I want to reach people for Jesus, but then get stuck with the process. This devotion helped me realize that I need to step out in faith and just do it!!

  • Kasey Summers

    Relying – clinging – abiding in Jesus! Must rely on Christ and His power to work in us!! Ephesians 2:8-10

  • Transition is hard and it burns my heart, but I have to lean on our God to get me through. His will will be done!

  • GOD give me wisdom to know your path and courage to carry it out! May your will be done!

  • I know this study is months old but it’s so relevant for where I’m at today. Our production company experienced a huge change this year that left us without any real revenue for the past 3 months- and, as the business is run by just my husband & I, the stress of this change has been overwhelming. So many days I want to give up, but don’t even know what that would look like. But God! He reassures my heart by sending laborers across our path to make sure we have groceries and to tell us to keep this business going! To make sure our bills get paid, and to help us grow rather than crumble in this truly trying season. And so we wait but we work, knowing what God has put before us involves much work…yesterday encouraged me so deeply bc Nehemiah waited 4 months for his chance to plead his case to the King. & now today is all about doing the WORK- rolling up your sleeves & digging in by faith, not by sight of circumstance but the unseen, and I needed to hear that so much.

    Praying for every girl who commented before me to daily walk in Christ’s divine footsteps & fulfill the call on each of her lives. We can do it, with His help. Thank you SRT for this study!

  • Olivia Murphy

    This study has been so great because I am going into a transition period from college to the “real world.” This study has given me so much comfort of seeing God’s will for my life and caring through with that plan even though it’s not comfortable. Though God puts us through the uncomfortable, we can see how it is for our good and His glory!

    • Christina

      It’s true! That transition is so difficult because it’s the time in one’s life where there’s very little dialogue about it. So it really is a wilderness in itself. I felt so lonely during that time and was tempted that God had forsaken me because I felt such a disconnect with my family and friends, to the point where one day their were my support and the next they were my naysayers. I didn’t know what to do except turn to him in desperation. It truly the one way in and out! Lol.

  • Sarallam

    I’m loving this bible study so far. It’s so helpful for me and poignant as I’m about to move to a different city and country to pursue God’s call on my life. It’s a step towards my ultimate hopes and dreams but a big faith-filled step nonetheless and having this reminder is teaching me a lot. Thanks so much for putting it together xo

  • Sometimes the biggest naysayer living inside of us and not outside of us

    • SheReadsTruth

      How true, Shanee! You\’re right. Thanks for sharing with us today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • So incredibly behind in this study, but am trying hard to take my time as I'm finding that God is using it to speak directly to circumstances in my life. One being the recent discovery of His will for my work. The profound thing that struck me here is that in the "naysayer". I'm the one holding me back. I know what I must do, I know it may take time and that not everyone will get it and so I talk myself out of pushing into it…..not today, maybe tomorrow! I needed this swift kick in the heart to remind me that God has my back and that where He wants me, He will support me and provide help! Love! ~ B

  • I'm behind in this study but am being so completely blessed by it all.

    I love what Sarah says, that discovering God's will for our lives can be tricky and other times outwardly clear.

    Regardless the situation we need to keep our focus on God and not on others. If Nehemiah had let the harsh opinions of Sanballat and Tobiah to affect his desire to rebuild the city, this story would go no where. But he focused on God and his knowledge that his Lord COULD & WOULD carry Him through as it was His will for his life.

    It's easy to hear the words of others and lose the fire that God has placed in our hearts. This is why I journal a lot. I can often find encouragement from going back and reading how excited He made me when He revealed His promises. That alone can help restore my trust in His words & His strength.

    May you all be blessed today sweet friends. Xo

  • This was such a crucial part of the study for me. Reroute my thinking as to how I handle the opposition along the way.

  • I just read this post today. It very much spoke to my heart. My daily struggle since entering adulthood has been letting the voices of naysayers drown out the voice of my King. I have given words spoken years ago a disturbingly large amount of credence in my life. It is truly terrifying to realize how much I've allowed these words to have dominion over me. I don't want my life to be dictated by fear of what others may think or say of me any longer. After reading the second chapter of Nehemiah, the Lord led me to the following verses – verses I memorized in high school, but have let the world drown out. May He implant these verses in all of our hearts as believers who want to serve Him, and not the opinions of the naysayers!

    1 Peter 3:13-16, ESV:
    "Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame."

    • Sheri

      Hi Rachel, I just started reading Limitless Life by Darwin Gray and I'm only on chapter two but it's been such a blessing. It talks about this exact thing, how to remove the labels of the past that have held us back so that we can receive the life Jesus intends for us to have.

      So glad He brought those words back into your life. What a restoration of faith when He does that!

      I am praying for you today – that you will continue to serve the Lord and not fall to the naysayers of this world!

      • rachel

        Sheri, thank you for your reply and for your prayers. I had never heard of that book before, but when I looked it up it brought me to tears. Good tears! Thank you. I have just bought a copy and am looking forward to reading it.

  • Great post. I think for me though, I get caught up in the little things. When I see a very obvious change in direction for my life and know that it's God, I'm (typically) less hesitant to resist. However, it's the little things that add up for me and show my lack of faith. When I'm in a grocery store and I feel a prompt from the Holy Spirit to share my faith, I dig in my heels and avoid it at all costs. I don't want to hear any opposition to my faith in a spur of the moment kind of thing. I am hesitant to just act.. to follow God's will for my life even in that small moment. I am so thankful for this study of Nehemiah. Although I am behind (started almost a week late) and trying to play catch up, I have been so encouraged!

  • Wow sisters! I NEEDED to hear this! I recently embarked on a new business venture. I have tried other business but have failed at each of them. But while I have failed, there were soooo many lessons learned! God put in my heart to try again! He spoke to me and told he will supply, and that I just need to do the work. I hear this over and over again, "Do the work!". It's hard for me to get motivated and at times I have a fear of success! But Nehemiah is reminding me to stay on the path God has carved out for me! His will is what I crave! God has already started to show me what he is capable of. My boyfriend and I were blessed with BRAND NEW cars! My boyfriend has NEVER owned a new car in his life. But God blessed him! Doors are opening up for us! Ones we never could have imagined. Just think how much more He will do if I just Begin The Good Work! Thank you Lord for your word and for all that you do! Sisters now is our time to begin the good work! Whatever season you are in, whatever you think is stopping you, just start the work. God has the plan. It is our job to follow it! AMEN!!!

    • Sheri

      Kortina, what a blessing you are receiving from the Lord! It sounds like you are right where He wants you. Blessings and prayers to you on your new business venture. I pray that whatever it is that you will be successful and profitable and that you will grow more personally in God's will for your life. So grateful to hear how He is working in your life. God is good!

  • Karissa Wesley

    Hi ladies! I just watched a movie that touches right at the heart of our reading in Nehemiah for Day 3. It was "Finding Normal" with Candace Cameron Bure. I just wanted to share as while I was watching I thought of our readings. Hope everyone has a great day!
    Love and Blessings!

  • This just launched me in a very real way. Wow.

  • Dori McCormick

    If someone thanked Norman Vincent Peale, he would simply say”Thank God .”

  • Dawn Casas

    I feel like I’ve been gearing up the past few years while homeschooling our young daughters, hearing from God what His purpose for me is, and wanting to begin doing it. I’ve taken time working at it, and found lots of “no, not this way” but now have been hearing Him clarify His call to me. Lots of excuses, deciding it’s not my “season”, etc. but I hear His gentle nudge through today’s post…just do it!

    • Stacy

      Don't discount the fact that in this "season" of your life – that your ministry IS your family!!! What a blessed opportunity God has given you with your children! I believe you are where He wants you to be – and that He'll reveal His newest, latest & greatest plans for you…in His perfect timing! Bless you sweet sister!

  • I’m facing a decision at the moment that could plausibly change the rest of my life. One option will result in me being forced to face my biggest fears, and in the complete upheveal of my life as I know it. The other may result in a much more gradual change but ultimately the same destination, but perhaps will take a lot longer. The difference is,the first option will mean I have to face up to things. But there is a possibility that the second option could result in the continuing of the life as I know it,not moving forwards from a very stuck and difficult place.
    Today the need for me to make this decision has become more prominent,and I just don’t know which path God wants me to take..
    This study has made me see that I need to take the path that leads me to start the good work.. I just wish I knew which path that was!
    But thank you for opening my eyes to so many parts of the Bible I’ve never explored,and for your ever encouraging words each day. Such a blessing to have access to this wonderful teaching despite being across the pond!

    • Sheri

      Hi Cathy, I pray that God will show you which path you should take. As we've learned in this study, we are to walk alongside God, not ahead of or behind – so keep on seeking Him. Nehemiah waited months before he saw his opportunity to move. If God is prompting you to make a decision He will also show you the way He has chosen for you. I have no doubt. Saying a prayer for you now, sweet friend.

  • LaurenC_

    Sometimes the loudest and harshest naysayers are ourselves. Doubting our ability, doubting our motives, doubting our desires, even doubting God's call. Removing our very human need to first "be sure" and "ready" is very hard, at least for me it is. Yesterday's message was about our willingness to wait. Sometimes I prolong the waiting not because I haven't felt that nudge from God but because I'm doubting my ability and scared to try. I'm clinging to this truth today: "In spite of the seemingly insurmountable, the mockery and ridicule, He will give us success. Just begin the good work."

  • mazmagi54 (Peggy)

    SO THANKFUL that this NEHEMIAH commUNITY at SRT and the study are still going strong!

    I love all the sharing going on and beautiful honest interaction … WOW! … even though I'm unable to join in as much as I'd like.

    I LOVE how powerful DAY 1 started out and I'm encouraged to see the "good work" still going forth and happening here and with each of you!

    I came across this PETITION that goes along with DAY 1's cry and many rallying together for Nigeria and the 200 girls abducted and their families with prayers and so much care. I was/am touched deeply and praying too but I found something MORE we can all do …

    SIGN this PETITION (by following this link) on change(dot)org … I found out about it through The Exodus Road" Facebook page
    http://www.change.org/petitions/over-200-girls-ar
    (maybe the link is too long)

    Here's what EXODUS shared on their FB (if it will work) http://chn.ge/1scOazQ

    They still need 50,000 signatures but they have reached alot and 949,000 supporters signed. It's #BringBackOurGirls

    This is a topic near and dear to me … and I thank each one of you that shared and pray since Day 1 of Nehemiah (our example in prayer and going beyond) … Please continue … to God BE the GLORY!

    Peace and love (many blessings)
    Peggy

  • Amber Hillis

    I really like the simplicity of the idea. Sometimes I know that when I get discouraged and frustrated about certain aspects I forget that God is in all things and his will plays a huge part in my life. Good works comes in many ways and is so uplifting. Powerful. I am new to the She reads truth plans and so far am loving it.

  • Hi, just want to ask: if any one in UK have already got the study pack? I am still waiting for it. Is there any way to track it? Thanks a lot!

  • Wow. "Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem" (vs 12). I love that Nehemiah hides this in His heart, clamps His mouth shut and waits for Christ to show Him when to tell the others… Lord, help me to live like this. Waiting on you to show me how, when and where to do the work. All of this feels so intimate that it really pushes me to seek God's intimacy more today. Sisters, the Lord has been telling me to "strengthen my hands to build His temple" for awhile now (Zech 8:9). I don't know what it means exactly, since I'm not even in a church currently and school just got out, but I know that God has something in store. Pray I'd be given insight and wisdom onto what it is in His good timing, and that I'd say “Let us rise up and build,” "strengthening my hands" when the time arises! Praise Him. I thank Him for all of you. Have a great day. :)

    • Stacy

      What a mature faith you have for such a young woman! You remind me of my daughter-in-law. Since high school she's known God has big plans for her. In fact she suspected it was to be a missionary somewhere far from home. After college – she went to S. Korea w/an int'l missionary team to teach English to the children of S. Korea. She was there for a year and never quite felt "fulfilled" – and felt it was a decision she'd made too hastily. Shortly after returning to our hometown, she "reconnected" with my middle son. Long story short: in high school they didn't date – but, he came home one day in the 11th grade & said he'd met the girl he was going to marry someday. They married 3 1/2 yrs. ago & had remained pure until marriage. He was 28, she was 27. And she has finally "found" her calling as the most Godly wife & mother to her 3 beautiful babies: 29 mos., 16 mos. & 3 mos. Her family IS HER MINISTRY – something she'd have never expected – but wouldn't have it any other way!! I'm pretty sure when we submit "our" plans to God – he must chuckle and say, "You just wait and see how much richer MY plans are for you!".

      • AnnaLee

        Thank the Lord! This is such an encouragement, Stacy. Thank you. I have no idea what the Lord has for me… but I have for some time had a passion for advocacy and counseling trauma/abuse victims. No matter what the Lord does for me, I know it'll be beautiful. Thank you for posting this!! :) Please keep praying for me here!!

    • Sheri

      AnnaLee, you are such a blessing to this community of readers. Each time I log in to play catch up on my study you are here faithfully encouraging others. You definitely have a heart for God and offer just the right words to heal hurting hearts and unsure minds. I pray that you are able to find a church to become involved in because I know others in your local community will benefit greatly because of your desire for Him. I cannot wait to follow along and hear about how God is working through you to reach others. You are cherished very dearly. Thank you!

      • naivesweater

        Thank you so much. You've encouraged me a lot right now. Praise God. :)

  • This post and yesterday's post have brought a huge sense of relief and comfort to me. About a month ago, I experienced a horrible, blindsiding break-up from the man I thought I would be getting engaged to soon. It has shaken my foundation and made me rely so heavily on the Lord. Yesterday's post made me so calm realizing that, it is not my timing or my will that matters. God is in control. Especially now that I am in such a different life place than I was before and as I am re-adjusting so many plans and visions for the next 5 years, I have to know that God is in control. His timing is perfect. If I can rest in that, I have peace. Please pray for me to remember that His plan is in play and that I just have to love Him and listen. And that waiting time is not wasted time.

    • Stacy

      I've been a "Christ-follower" for the past 22 years…and believe me, the "praying, waiting & listening" part never ends. But in that space – God is moulding us & perfecting us for His Glory! And that is where EXPERIENCING "peace that surpasses all understanding" manifests itself. In the waiting – there is trust and reassurance.

    • Sheri

      Hi Sarah, thank you for sharing. I also recently experienced heart break from a man I thought I would spend my life with. Who knows, maybe I still will and maybe you still will. Only God knows His timing, His plans and His reasonings. Some of which I believe becomes clear to us in time, some of which we might not know until we get to the other side of this life.

      Through it all I'm learning that it's ultimately my trust in God that needs to prevail. God needs to be bigger than my circumstances. I need to live by faith and not by sight. That even though my emotions were literally tearing me apart – and trust me, there were days I didn't want to get out of bed – that God can restore what has been broken.

      I'm praying for you sweet lady, that God can remind you that He is in control. Waiting time is the perfect time to grow deeper into His love. I pray you'll use this time to learn more about Him than you ever imagined was possible. Waiting time is not wasted time as long as we are doing the good work to try to seek Him. You are loved friend.

  • My husband and I recently made a move half way across the country — away from my family. It was a very fast decision — we made the decision and moved in about 1 month. My husband felt God's hand on his heart and I followed. We have been in our new area for 2 1/2 months now and I am still wondering why God brought us here so quickly. We found a church and are making new friends (my husband grew up here so he is rebuilding old friendships and making new ones), but I still don't see a reason for such a quick move. However, after yesterday's lesson, I was reminded that God's timing is not our own. God laid something on Nehemiah's heart, but he wasn't able to do anything about it till 4 months later. I was challenged with patience and trust. God did bring us out here and He will show us why in His own time.

    My family was supportive of the move, but not about how fast it was. They disagreed with my husband about how quick it was and told him that it is not in God's plan for us to leave so quickly. Now, my family is very Godly, but no one is perfect. And I don't want to say that they were the Sanballat's and Tobiah's, but, in a sense, they were. And it was extremely hard to go against them, but we just did it. God is blessing us here but I can't wait to see how he is going to use us.

    Oh and my family is coming around :-)

    • Stacy

      I admire you trusting & respecting your husband's leading. And as far as your family…God's plan for your family will be evident to them…in His timing! Bless you sweet sister!

  • ofDustandWonder

    "others will be very much disturbed" is something I have personally experienced a lot. Not necessarily when God has prompted me to do something, but in the face of the life circumstances He has given me. Because of a medically tumultuous experience as a young teen (that took until I was 21 to sort out) I barely attended college and by no means finished with a degree. This agonized me for a time until I realized that if God was providing for and sustaining me in a way different from the norm, then shouldn't I be thankful? I've grown in confidence as the woman God has designed me to be, to the point that my lack of higher education no longer stings at all. I used to feel so much shame over that point, when others would ask where I went to school, or what I studied– this is no longer the case. :) These days my response to that question is a direct but positive, "I didn't." and honestly, many people really are "very much disturbed". I've even had people respond resentfully and antagonistically, as if I took a short cut or something! Regardless of those reactions and my lack of understanding why, God has called me to be different in that way and I plan to embrace it.

    • Stacy

      What a beautiful realization you've been blessed with! And the fact that others have "shamed" you – THEY are the ones you need to be praying for! We're on this earth for ONE reason: To Glorify Him!

  • "just start the good work" I need to pray on and remember this… I often believe God tells me to do something, and then let the how overwhelm me and talk me out of moving forward. It doesn't matter what the next step you take is… as long as it moves you in the direction God is leading you.
    Beckey http://www.etsy.com/shop/queenbsbusywork

  • Sending prayers to you Lee, I also just left work.. to stay at home for now, I felt God telling me to trust in him, (He will take care of us) Whatever the path your on, I pray you "Just begin the good work!"

  • Thank You. I needed this. Sometimes we are our own biggest "naysayers". and it's not always in a big job, just day to day activities sometimes seem overwhelming. I Love the words "Just begin the good work" taking time to be with the Lord, taking care of our families, helping others, that is good work! when I find myself feeling overwhelmed these words will come to me and I will be comforted, right along with if its going to be, it has to be me! Thank You.

  • My son Jonathan was diagnosed with a form of muscular dystrophy almost 14 years ago. At the the beginning of this journey God promised me that if I could hold on to my faith he would be faithful and provide all he needed. He has been more than faithful to that promise. We have been able to easily find Drs and therapists locally that have taken excellent care of his needs. We have also had the financial resources to be able to provide those things insurance doesn't cover. My husband, family and friends have been amazingly resourceful and creative to help Jon do what he wants to do. Others travel all over the country for their sons' care, at great expense and with much added stress. They think we are nuts to trust others than these certain few Drs. God knew for our family staying local was the best thing. At 23 my son is doing very well, all things considered. Through all of this he has developed an amazing faith and trust in God — What else can a mom ask for?

    • Sheri

      Susan, what an amazing testimony of God's faithfulness!

      All of our journey's look so different, yet the ultimate desire from God is that we trust in Him.

      It's so encouraging to hear your story and how you've overcome your Sanballats and Tobiahs and pressed into God despite the influence from others to put in their opinion. God knows it's not an easy life you've been given, but He promises to give more blessings than suffering.

      Furthermore, you've raised an amazing son who has faith and trust in God despite the circumstances he is in. That's truly a blessing, friend.

      Thank you so much for sharing! Have a blessed day!

  • wiscogurl

    I took away many nuggets from this reading today. As Nehemiah discovered, not everyone will be pleased with the plans God has for your life. Some will be jealous or simply try to be a barrier. Sisters, we must continue to press forward with the will of God in our back pocket. Keep secret those things that are not meant for everyone but instead take that information and set out to glorify The Father. Nehemiah didn't assemble a large support team to go with him in the night. Nehemiah instead only took a few that believed in his leadership and in the power of God.

  • When I was in my teens I used to write in a journal. But only writing in a journal for the sake of it seemed a little pointless to me so I decided to have God as my audience, so it ended up having a letter to God kind of format. I am still baffled by my motivations, I was never brought up in a religious or even spiritual environment. Anyhow, I shared all my teen worries and aspirations in that journal with God and it felt good to unload and I felt refreshed and truly happy after having written each letter like after a talk with a very good friend who is a great listener…Few years passed, I have since started another journal and with time the devotion to God disappeared as more grown up worries started to fill my head. I was becoming more self-centered and I could feel the relief of writing no longer. Something was different. I stopped writing at all…After few more years I have been unpacking boxes and stumbled upon my old journals. I started reading them and the more I read the more my heart swelled. They seemed like very small worries to me now but that was not the point. Everything I hoped to be or do one day when I was all grown up that I wrote in the journal and shared with God, prayed for that to happen, it all came true. I was taken aback by how honest my yearning for God was then, how easily words flowed directly from my heart. How I could converse with Him so easily? How did I lose that ability? It is amazing how God has made everything possible for that teenager who was pure at heart and with best intentions in his wishes. I can only hope to be able to return to that state of mind and heart and the more I study the word of God the more I feel that relief I used to feel many years ago. I now find it in prayer and conversation with God. Thank you to this community for letting me discover my inner teen again and for my being able to share these experiences with everyone.

    • heathlynn

      I can definitely relate that Mukasha. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
      I (personally) have journaled since I was 6 and over they years it has totally changed. I was saved in 2011 and over time, I realized that my journals became more of a platform for my prayers- a written way for me to communicate with God. As you said, "a letter to God kind of format."
      It just kind of happened, however along my walk with the Lord I have found it to be extremely fruitful. Its a way for me to write down what God has been doing or what I believe He is saying to me. It's a way for me to hash out my worries and concerns. I often end calling upon Him for help.

      I, too, have look back at past journals and been amazed by the prayers that He has answered. I had a friend from church who did the same; She would intentionally go through old journals and highlight prayers that the Lord had answered and sometimes write down how our Father revealed Himself in that situation.

      All that to say, I am a huge fan of journals. They remind me to create space and time to communicate with Jesus. The one who I should be communicating with most. I am super grateful for this community and these devotionals!

    • ofDustandWonder

      This is so beautiful Mukasha, I'm so glad you stumbled on those journals and that God used them to stir your heart towards Him again. :) He always pursues us, even when we find ourselves far from Him.

    • Sheri

      Hi Mukasha! I recently also stumbled across an old journal and was surprised at how I found myself in the same situation. I had stopped journaling after only a few weeks, so here I am trying again. It's been 9 months now and I can definitely see where my will was there but I just lacked the determination I guess. It's such a blessing to read old journals because sometimes we forget how God answered prayers. I also believe sometimes we don't even realize it until we can look back. So amazing that He has answered all of your prayers! What a blessing to be able to reflect on that glory!

  • As a college student, there is so much pressure to know God's will for my career and my future. However, the last few days have lifted that pressure. The Lord wants only good things for his daughter and before the foundation of the world, he prepared good works for me to do. He sees me, he knows me. I need only to continue to seek Him and we will walk in-step down the path he has carved out for me.

    • Rebecca

      Hi Lauren,

      I loved this. I am in the same place. I just graduated college last week and am constantly being reminded of God's role as provider as I search for a job and what this next season of life holds for me. It is so easy to get caught up, feeling like I need to have the next 3, 6, 12 months figured out, but over and over again God keeps reminding me to wait patiently on His timing. He had never let me go and He never will, so why do I doubt that. Best of luck in the future

  • I am graduating college tomorrow after a long, hard fight to accomplish this goal. Numerous times I thought it wasn't in his will for me to finish school. Man, how wrong I was. Without HIM directing my steps, holding my hand, providing loving and supporting people around me…I wouldn't be here today. It just goes to show when you do the work, stay strong in your convictions, and trust HIM…he will deliver the desires of your heart. To GOD be the glory.

    • Valanne

      Congratulations Rachel!

      • Sheri

        Rachel, congratulations! That is such a feat and how glorious that you can say you did it by the grace of God. You are so right! Just like Nehemiah, it might not happen quickly, but it WILL happen if we keep doing the work.

  • stephensgirl

    Living a life (like Nehemiah did) of unabashed faith and obedience would be quite a life to live! Indeed, it brings with it: hard work and opposition, among many other things — but the hand of God is poised and ready to move on behalf of a life lived in that way! Yes! This is the kind of life to live!

  • hazelmaddie

    I struggle with obedience. I’ll admit, I do get caught up in what the world thinks. But I’m frequently apologizing and trying again. It’s good to hear other ladies say how obedience is hard, but to keep going. It’s good to know I’m not the only one!

  • Janee White

    The God of heaven will give us success.

  • I always enjoy the book of Nehemiah, today the Lord showed me where I am. I am grateful! I’ve recently left my job to follow the path the Lord has laid out for me and find myself doing everything but that. I’m literally all over the place. Please pray for me that I am disciplined and stay the course.

    • Sheri

      Hi Lee. I am saying a prayer for you now that you will be able to focus on the Lord and remembering why you are in this place. I struggle with keeping focus on anything, especially lately (which is why I'm on day 3 of a study that started weeks ago).

      You reminded me that I had a dream last night I quit my job with no other job lined up and I had a week left before my job ended and I wasn't even trying to find another job! Strange that I came across your post that reminded me. I have no idea where that dream came from but wow, can I understand how hard it must be for you.

      If the Lord brought you to it, He will bring you through it. Don't lose sight of Him. Even a little bit each day will help keep your passion alive.

      Praying!

  • Amen! Amen! Amen!

  • TaniRose

    That entry Sarah was beautiful, true and a VERY BIG…. HUGE…. pill to swallow. I am pretty sure I am about .5-.7538 steps behind Nehemiah.
    Thank you for the encouragement, the reminder, that with our God nothing is impossible. That grace and the favor of a king are ours!
    I am at the battle point of getting to the end of me so I will sit down and shut up long enough for Him to tell/show me what to do. BE BLESSED

  • This message, combined with one my pastor taught recently in church has me munching on the concept that one can love Christianity without loving God. A person can fall in love with the prestige of leading in the church, always having a Biblical answer in Bible study, and looking righteous serving those in need. It scares me for myself and my community that this form of idolatry is so easy to slip into. Nehemiah's discretion encourages me to follow God for the sake of His love and by the strength of His power, not for human approval or egocentric purposes. Also, serving God with "pure motives" allowed Nehemiah to have the confidence of the Lord when he refuted the discouraging Tobiah and Sanballat.

    • Corrina

      Yes, it is indeed a scary thought. What an interesting way to put it – being in love with Christianity but not in love with God. Good reminder for all of us to examine our hearts and motives!

    • drasch

      Really good point about how this can turn into idolatry. Thank you for sharing.

  • Steph_Lilac

    Nehemiah's response to Sanballat, Tobiah, andGeshem is epic! He says “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.” In another translation it says "…you have no heritage, or right, or memorial in Jerusalem." How foolish did they look once Nehemiah pointed out that they had no connection to what they were trying to stop. Naysayers will come but thanks be to God who directs us in the words to speak to silence the enemy. As Sarah says "Just begin the good work." This devotion is sweeping right on my doorstep.

    • Gema Muniz

      Amen!

    • AnnaLee

      Amen Steph! I love how confidently and boldly He proclaimed that the Lord would make them to prosper. Holding onto His promises and calling for us is so important when we head something up such as this!

    • Corrina

      I love it!! It reminds me of what David said to Goliath: “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.” (1 Sam 17:45-47). SUCH confidence in the Lord. So inspiring!

  • Maria Sanders

    When I read down to the line about the naysayers in our lives who question our calling it reminded me of this song off JohnnySwim's new album. It's a song called "Diamonds." And fits so perfectly here. http://youtu.be/LD1pUquNdDI

    This was encouraging today to be reminded that we don't need by groups of people cheering us on to compete our good work. Because if God is for us, and he is, we have all we need to accomplish the calling.

    • Sheri

      Hi Maria! Thanks for sharing this song. It does fit so perfectly with this story! I've never heard of JohnnySwim but I enjoy this, so thank you also for introducing me to a great new band.

      You're right about not needing groups of people cheering us on to complete our good work. It reminds me of when I run 5k's and everyone's family and friends are there cheering, yet there's no one there for me…that God is there for me. Instead of being discouraged, I should be encouraged because I have the greatest fan of my life there.

  • Lots of truth for today. My goal will be to deflect any praise for following God’s path for the work I am to do. Stay humble, check my motives, stay quiet and eyes fixed on each step ahead of me. N is such an amazing example of how to model our obedience to God. I will just begin the good work today :)

  • There's this quote "buying a shovel is not digging a hole." -Steve Bluestone

    My prayers are great, but taking action is probably going to be the next step, and I should be ready for God to put me to work! A lot of small steps can lead to big accomplishments. Yes Sarah! I just need to make that 1st step.

    • Estela

      Valanne your quote is something I have been thinking for a while. I have a lot of good intentions/ideas but following through on one I will be accomplishing something. I'm actually in the processes of "digging a hole" and I feel like I'm helping someone in a small way and they will never know it was from me just that someone out there cares.

      • Valanne

        Oh Estela, here's to strengthening those "digging" muscles. May this someone know that even the small deeds are from the Lord.

    • Sheri

      Valanne, thank you for sharing that quote! I'm going to jot that down in my notes, because that is such a great one to remember.

      How often do we put things on our "to do" list and never set out to "do" them?

      I know for myself I am full of excuses, I'm tired, I don't have the resources, I lose my motivation/determination, Other things pop up that take precedence. But even *SMALL STEPS CAN LEAD TO BIG ACCOMPLISHMENTS*. A little every day is more than nothing at all.

      Thank you for this!

  • Angela…big hug first of all. I think it is a process and I’m certainly not there yet either but I want to love him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength more than ever before. Being in the word, listening to his voice, stepping out in obedience, seeing his hand at work makes me want more and more. Praying for you!

  • Was anyone else relieved by the reminder that the opposition was from the “outside”? It has been our experience lately that the opposition has been from other believers. Why do we do that to each other? Criticism and fault finding and stirring up trouble. Talk about discouraging.

    • Gema Muniz

      Unfortunately very often we deal with our own brothers and sisters opposing to what we feel God has sent us to do. Lets focus on God and allow him to guide to what we should be doing and not get caught on what others say.

    • AnnaLee

      :( I completely sympathize, Susan… the Lord has not called us to division, but to unity. I cried Tuesday after class because we were discussing different churches, and many of us (including me) had a lot more criticism than love to talk about. We have an adversary, and He attempts at making all of us hateful towards one another to kill our testimony to unbelievers. I will be praying for reconciliation in your life and that He'd lead you, in love, to seek peace and pursue it for His name alone. Love you, dear friend.

  • Just do it … When God has placed something on my heart, I often think what will others think. How will they respond? Which is wrong because I forget and want to please others, not God. It's so important to remember that I am here to please only Him, not others. Nehemiah wasn't a crowd pleaser; he simply followed God's leading and went about it in a quiet, simple, yet determined way. Oh to be more like him. And to not be a Sanballat or Tobiah. What a great lesson!

    • AnnaLee

      Same here, Linda. Lord, I pray our fear of men would be crushed by your Love and Purpose in our lives. Praise you, papa. Strengthen our hands to do what you've called us to do.

    • Sheri

      Linda, you are so right! I think it's human nature to want to please those around us. Even when we do something for the glory of God it's hard to remember that if it's for His glory that the opinions of others don't matter. This comes from our desire to be well liked and accomplished and it happens because it's so hard to keep our eyes on Jesus.

      I love what you said about Nehemiah doing this in a "quiet, simple, yet determined way." YES. To be more like Nehemiah & to be more like the Ultimate Creator. We can truly tell Nehemiah was a man after God's heart in his actions. What a great example of how our Savior wants us to live.

      Thank you for this!

  • Pray for me sisters. That I would fall in love with God. I don’t know what it’s like to love Him with my all: mind heart soul strength. I don’t think I really love him. I just go through the motions. That’s a hurtful to admit to. Tell me what is it like to love Him above all? Pray for me.

    • karin

      Hey Angela, you are not alone. Recently a long time church friend admitted the same, We were discussing this as it is sometimes so difficult today to hear and l Iove God amidst all the 'noise'. So I will tell you what I told her, you want to know God's love, ask Him, He is longing to show you. You know what? God did in the most awesome way. He took her half way around the world to do it, it was so much fun to see the change in her. So ask and trust.

    • Steph_Lilac

      Angela, admitting your true feelings is the first step to authentically loving God. You can start bottom and work your way up. I grew up in church all my life and did not have an authentic love for God. I, like you, just went through the motions. The more I read the Word and saw His characteristics and attributes, I fell head over heels in love. As Karin said, He longs to show you how to love Him and He desires your intimacy.

    • cheekhm

      Angela,
      I'm praying for you this morning. The journey through this world with our Savior is a total roller coaster, because we are human beings who so easily forget the Love of God that has already been offered to us. And I don't think that any woman here would be able to tell you what it is like to love Him above ALL else, because we ALL struggle with this to varying degrees in our lives. You are not alone in that feeling my dear sister!

      I encourage you to first bask in the amazing fact that God loved you FIRST. Responding to His love is easier than trying to love Him first. Something I picked up from Brennan Manning (an Christian author) is to sit in God's presence and meditate on the fact that I AM HIS.
      I'll open my palms and close my eyes, and repeat, (breath in) "Abba" (breath out) "I belong to you." It can seem like another motion, but remember this is not something that you are doing, but rather something that is already done that you are receiving.

      Abba, my dearest heavenly Father. I lift Angela up to you this morning. How often I've struggled with this myself, thinking that there is something else that I must do to express my love for you. But that is not what you truly want from your children. You simply want us to recognize the love you poured out for us and that we are your children. Open Angela's heart up to this fact Lord and out of that, may her motions become true actions of those beliefs Lord. Build upon what she is already doing.
      Thank you for her honesty on this forum and how we can be connected to one another simply because we call you Father. But Lord, I also ask that she has a physical friend to admit these things to. Someone who will listen to her and sympathize with her on the struggles of living as a human fallible child of yours. And someone who will remind her of the Love you already have for her that it requires nothing that she can bring.
      Amen.

    • Gema Muniz

      Angela this morning I'm praying for you. Praying for God to fill you up with his love, to allow you to let go of everything else and to only focus on him. Only through prayer and through focusing on him can we find his love and fall in love with him. He loved us first, so we firts need to experience his love in order to love him back. My sister just ask for it and he will give it to you. God bless!

    • AnnaLee

      Angela, you are so not alone here. I ask myself this a lot, especially when I fall into temptation. Like, "Really? Do I really love you? With my all? How come I've failed you so much then? I don't deserve you or your love." It's bitter and discouraging, and most of the time, it's the enemy trying to use my humanity to condemn me. So first, don't let this condemn you or hold you in guilt and shame… that's not what the Lord wants for you. Sweet sister, let me encourage you: The Lord knows that you feel dry in your love for Him. He knows you, and He knows your lack of love for Him. He also knows How much you want to love Him.

      Religions are easy, rules are fine; it's the relationships that are difficult, because they cause you to have to be vulnerable, honest, and bare with those you are in a relationship; that's the only way it'll grow and flourish. To gain intimacy with Christ, you need to let Him in. Your honesty here, like Steph said, is the first step to an honest love for Him because you are being real with Him. I encourage you here to find a safe, quiet place where you can be yourself with Him, and cry out to/vent/talk to Him about everything going on. He hears you, sis, and if you seek Him in honesty, He'll come alongside you in honesty. "The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth" Psalm 145:18. Your honesty here is the bud of that love, sis. Don't be condemned. Run into His arms. I will continue to pray for you today and in the days to come as you walk with Him. I love you very much, Angela. Thank you for sharing yourself here.

      • Corrina

        Thank you for this answer, AnnaLee. I totally identify and relate to Angela's question and that verse you quoted touched me deeply. This forum is amazing.

        • AnnaLee

          Ah, Praise Jesus! I'm so glad it blessed you. Praying for you now, Corrina, that you also would sit with the Lord and seek Him honestly– and that'd you'd find Him embracing you in His love, truth and grace. You are loved, my dear friend.

      • lisamay5

        Your answer brought tears to my eyes and Angela's honesty is refreshing- I have felt the same feelings. The more I learn about Him (God) the more I can't help but want to know Him deeper. I want to fall in love and stay in love forever! I am glad this is a long distance run and not a short sprint- this Christian life and walk. Keep on being real & honest and trusting in God! Thanks for sharing everyone- I learn so much and am encouraged in my spirit!

    • Sheri

      Hi Angela. I can relate to how you feel exactly. I felt this way when I first started my walk with Christ. I don't know how long you've been walking alongside Him, but I know it takes opening yourself up to receive His love. I've tried to follow him in the past and it never surmounted to anything. But recently I started really seeking Him out. I removed myself from social media for a few months to focus solely on Him. I cut back on my outings with friends and would just read anything and everything I could to find Him. I was also in a tough spot and really needing His healing power.

      Just like with any other relationship, until you know the person you would not say you loved them. It's when you share one on one time and open up with each other that you really can fall in love with others. God is the same way. Spend time with Him. Open up his word, seek His promises. Find out why He loves you so that you can be awe-struck. I promise your heart will grow with love for our Saviour as you expand your relationship.

      God says we love Him because He first loved us. I believe part of that means you can't fully love Him until you know His love for you. Seek to find out just how much He loves you, cares for you, wants to be with you and bless you – and then naturally you will fall into love with Him.

      Sending prayers your way. You are loved sweet friend!

  • joanne sher

    Just begin the good work. God is behind you, even if nobody else is. Don’t worry about the naysayers. Don’t rally the troops – just do it. :)

  • Amen. Great words this morning. There are many who want to do the work of God but are afraid of being mocked and ridicule, but its all apart of the game. Christ told us we would suffer and be persecuted for righteousness sake. No matter who is around you or not, do the good work, it is your duty.

    As it relates to gaining glory by doing the Lord's work, that can be so easy. When someone sees the good work and complement it, one may take it for themselves but I say point them directly to God for He alone deserves all the glory. I have been practising by saying glory be to God when someone complements my good work. Gaining glory by doing the Lord's work is something we dont want to be guilty of on the Lord's day. Pray about it and God will answer.

    If you are doing the good work continue, if not do the good work today. Carry out the plan the Lord has for your life, no matter the circumstances. He will complete it once He started it.

    Have a blessed day ladies. You are loved and appreciated.

  • Nehemiah has been so patient in all of this. It's been 4 mos of waiting before even making his request to the king and then more time in plans and travel. I would have arrived and been like, "Hee-yy! Looky here! Look what I've come to do…lets rebuild the walls!" and expected great fanfare and celebration at my arrival and announcement. Be no, he's in Jerusalem for 3 days before he even scouts the city (and then at night), and remains quiet the entire time . . . . this guy is not seeking an ounce of glory for himself. When he finally announces what God's told him to do, he doesn't list his qualifications but points to God and His hand of favor. And then even in the face of opposition, he boldly puts down those who mock and claims success through God before work has hardly begun. "'Let us arise and build.' So they put their hands to the good work." (v. 18)

    What an amazing example of a humble, obedient, faithful servant with whom God was well-pleased. That I would seek the same.

  • Candacejo

    Our lives are filled with Sanballat's and Tobiah's! Someone will always be there to tell us it can't be done or to question our motives. But when God is in it no one can stop it!

    Strengthened today to just do the work, regardless of my circumstance!

    • Janee White

      I love that – all of that. Sanballat's – Tobiah's. Strengthened today – regardless of circumstance.

    • AnnaLee

      Amen Candace! Those people can be so hard to ignore, especially when they attack the integrity of what you know God has called you to do. Lord, help us to keep our eyes stayed on you and our ears on what you've told us, standing firm in the faith as you continue to work!! Praise you, Lord!!

  • ” Are we telling everyone, for our own glory, what God put on our hearts to do as an act of obedience (Nehemiah 2:12)? ”

    This part really convicted me. It’s easy to have the wrong motives sometimes. We go about doing something and then for our glory instead of His glory, we try to take credit.

    On a side note, I have been working on this area of my life. When someone does actually notice something and gives me praise without my telling them anything, I have started pointing that praise back to God.

    I also love that end part: Just begin the good work!

    Heavenly Father, renew a right spirit within me so I can begin the good work you have called me to do!

    • AnnaLee

      Amen Carrie! Praying that right along with you. It can be easy to talk all about it, but it's God's hand alone that does the work in and through us– I too struggle with this a lot! Father, I pray you'd keep these things tucked away in our hearts until it's time to tell others of your plans. Do your work in and through us, and help us to give you all the glory, Lord!

  • I am a freelance chef by profession…..and I love it…. a few years ago I was challenged by something the pastor said about volunteering.in the church….at the time I had no spare time, to speak of….and the Times required to help in the kitchen were not possible because I already worked them ( Monday and Friday)….I prayed for guidance and God's will and plan to be revealed, if at all…..in this area…..sometime later the job I was contracted to do on a Monday was folding a door had opened, …..you'll laugh at this…..in my small minded, unbelieving way, I didn't see this was God at work….but .I kept on praying, because I felt so convicted ..until the chef I helped cater for weddings told me he thought we should take Fridays off because it was all too intense from Wednesday through to Saturday…..can you believe it! There were the Monday and Friday needed to help in the kitchen to feed the homeless and vulnerable in our community…..I marvel with each face, each plate, each smile, because I know this is so so totally God and where He needs me to be…..
    There were obstacles…finances were the first….and I guess foremost, as I had a son still at school …God had that covered …..a couple of months later, the church made it a paid job….HALLELUJAH…..

    There comes a point, with a prayer and pure motives, where we just begin the good work. ….and as the good book says…. He will complete it…because He began it in us……
    In spite of the seemingly insurmountable, the mockery and ridicule, He will give us success.
    Just begin the good work…..AMEN. AMEN. AMEN.

    God be with you my sister's, whatever your day looks like….Be Blessed….with love, Tina.xxx

    Sarah, thank you for this post….that has triggered this reminder of God and how He works good into and for our lives…..xx

    • Steph_Lilac

      Isn't He awesome!?! He really does give us the desires of our heart. It's always interesting to see how He will accomplish it.

      • tina

        So so very awesome……I love our God!!! This truly has been an amazing journey that the Lord has and is still taking me on…..Blessings dear heart…x

    • Sharon_T

      Thank you so much for your practical example of following God, even when it seemed impossible. Whew, All things are possible!

      • tina

        Sharon, The best bit of this story is that I seemed happy in what I was doing before…..now, now I am blessed….everyday…..Ray Charles' song What a wonderful world came to mind as I wrote these words….'the colours of the rainbow so pretty in the sky, are also on the faces if people going by….' I truly love where I am at…and all Glory to God, who worked it all out for my good!!!'.AMEN…God bless you Sharon…x

    • Jane

      Amen, amen and amen!!!

Further Reading...