“And it happened when all of the enemies had heard of it, and all the nations around us saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes, for they perceived that this work was done by our God.” Nehemiah 6:16
The story of Nehemiah starts with a simple man who is seized by a God-sized burden, a burden to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. So what was Nehemiah’s first step in setting out to accomplish this gigantic task? You would think his first plan of action would have been to sit down and write a leave of absence request from his current position in the king’s court. Or, at least that he would have secured an architect to make some preliminary drawings for the wall’s reconstruction and a couple of contacts who would be helpful in bringing in some construction materials for the project.
But instead of doing any of the things I mentioned above, Nehemiah knew the task ahead of him was God-sized and therefore the only way to begin moving toward accomplishing his goal was to search for where God was already at work in the reconstruction of the wall and then make a move to adjust his life to join God in that place – not start a completely new plan of his own. That is why Nehemiah chose first to fast, pray, and seek out God. To figure out first why God had given him this burden and what God desired out of him for this project.
Recently I have had a God-sized burden placed on my heart. I have had many convincing arguments with God over the past few months as to why I do not see His calling as sensible, yet every time I place these argument in front of Him, He brings me to a new revelation that has cut me to the heart and shown me He already has a plan in place – one which requires me to step out in faith and heed His call. In reading this scripture today I am all the more convinced that the only way I can find the peace I am looking for and the wisdom to proceed in this manner is by seeking God regarding this situation through fasting and prayer until I have a discovered a clear path in which to follow Him into the battle He has set before me.
The example of Nehemiah to fast, pray, and seek the Lord is one we too often forget in a world that asks for physical results and tangible proof. But when we work towards and end that is only within our sight we fail to act out our faith in our God who is the Unseen. And above that, we also fail to allow God the opportunity to work through us in great and mighty ways which in turn allows a watching world to see His mighty hand of provision and providence of which He alone could be praised and feared for the work that has been done.