Nehemiah, a layman, lived approximately 500 B.C. His story is told in the Old Testament which I have spent considerable time in studying as of late in writing two books. A Voice of One, Nehemiah’s Prayer and Overcoming Life’s 911’s, Job’s Journey. In reviewing these books especially I find many things about these stories I have been previously unaware of. Originally believing the God of the Old Testament to be harsh and judgmental, I have learned the error of my understanding and a God who loved his people offering grace, teaching faith, and an unyielding love.
In our frailty and left to our own devices we often will stray from the Word choosing a path which is not ordained by our heavenly creator. Leaving God’s word, the Bible, we have a standard and benchmark in which to live our life by. In frequently going back to God’s word we are able to more aptly see his hand in our lives and the miracles which occur along its way. Some years ago I began to journal keeping a written account of events in my life, fears and troubles I faced, and prayer requests. By doing so I was more able to look back and begin to see God’s hand more clearly than ever before. My journal covers all aspects of my life including my wife and children and my walk with God detailing all aspects of the highs as well as the lows. In taking time to detail my concerns, toils, and tribulations I am able to begin to look back on these events with more clarity than ever before allowing me to see answered prayers more clearly. We are exhorted by Jesus to ask anything knowing if it is in accordance with God’s will that he will answer us. My prayers are sometimes not answered the way I would have preferred but with the added advantage of looking back I am able to gain perspective help me to be able to illuminate God’s hand. Being able to see the past, present, and future God knows what is best for me and my life. Just as diamond is polished to perfection so are we refined to be more like him.
By living our life in accordance with his precepts we come closer and face to face with who he truly made us be. Our God is one of order and not happenstance. In journeying through this life we are able to fulfill our God ordained appointments keeping those meetings he has for us along the way. Maybe there are those about us who are in need of our hearts, experiences, and helping hand to comfort those about us. Just as Nehemiah was able to look after those about him so are we called to help those about us who are in need and hurting. In our service to others we learn more about God’s love and grace growing deeper in our faith.
Leaning not on our own understanding but seeking after God’s wisdom we are more aptly to be able to accomplish great things in God’s name.
By bringing God into our workplace our love of others is able to permeate through us sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. I have learned by being more bold in my faith it easier to be who God has always made me to be. Seeking after him daily I find father who loves me unconditionally. It was not until my daughter was born I was able to begin to get a grasp of how great his love is for his people. Though God will never violate the free will he has given us, he stands at the door of our heart gently knocking calling out our name.
Just as a runner trains to run the race set out before him so should we train our soul and spirit. By putting on the very armor of God we will find super natural strength lifting us in our direst time of need. I have learned to lean on God during those trials seeking after him with all my might. In 2003 we went on a family mission trip to Jamaica to reach out to those less fortunate. It was in the midst of this time my family came to claim Psalm 27 as our life verse to guide us along life’s way. My beautiful bride that year for Christmas framed in calligraphy Psalm 27 where it is proudly displayed in our home. Reading these words reminds me of a creator who is aware of my fears, strengthens my spirit, while making me more steadfast in his ways. Read these verses slowly over and over letting each divinely ordained word permeate your very being teaching you of his majesty, love, and commitment to his people; you and I.
The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD. Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence. I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Seek after God with all your heart. Seek his ways allowing him to guide your very steps along your journey. You heavenly father desires the very best for you and your life. Right now, today, God is drawing you ever closer to Him and his kingdom. Wherever you are, whatever is going on in your life, God cares. Call out to him and the Lion of Judah, the Great I Am will hear you. By beckoning to the great helper, the Holy Spirit, we are able to tap into the strength of the Lord, one which surpasses all understanding.
John Dillard is available for speaking engagements to your church, rotary, civic organization, book club, and signings. Please do not hesitate to contact him regarding these and other needs/prayer requests at 770-814-9304.
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