Ok, so i am going to stop talking about how each blog entry is taking longer and longer to post! However, life has been very eventful and i think we found out Nyle had mono since i wrote last (Linen had mono in May/June and now Nyle is about 4 or so weeks into his recovery:)) This has made life a little more stressful than usual. We also just decided to put our older boys in public school. We have praying about this decision for a while, but it all seemed to happen so quickly. We finally made our decision the day before their open house. So, we have all been in a bit of shock trying to adjust to our new schedule! They have been real troopers this first week of school but i still have some issues to work through:) The Lord has been so gracious and confirming during this process so i wanted to share some of the things that have happened to encourage you.
We decided on Wednesday, August 4 to put the boys in school. However, on Monday night i was praying with a few other moms about our children and one of my friends read Isaiah 54 over me which says, “ All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children's peace”. This verse is now so powerful to me!! Then, on Tuesday morning, the Lord spoke to one of my sweet friends and told her to tell me that He is watching over my kids wherever they go, HIs angels are surrounding them. On Wednesday, another friend emailed me a vision the Lord gave her earlier in the week but she knew she wasn’t supposed to share it with me yet. However, when she heard the transition we were going through, it all seemed so clear, and she knew it was time to share. I just love how the Holy Spirit is so sweet and wants to walk us through each decision and affirm us and encourage us! Thank you Jesus! Thank you also for using the body of Christ to work together to bring encouragement and support. I am so thankful for my friends who pray for me and share the things the Lord is telling them with me. I pray you will pray for your friends and boldly and lovingly share Truths that the Holy Spirit shares with you.
Read Nehemiah 2 (biblegateway.com)
In Chapter 2 Nehemiah goes before the king and the king notices he is sad and says, “Why is your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart”
I believe the king recognizes something that we often overlook. When our heart and soul are sad, it physically affects us. I think often times our bodies are sick and we don’t think to look into our hearts and ask the Lord to reveal emotions/lies/sins that are actually affecting our well being. Even if our minds are unaware of this connection, it still happens.
Take a minute to read these verses Psalm 31:10, Proverbs 14:30, Proverbs 15:30, Proverbs 16:24, Proverbs 17:22 (go to biblegateway.com)
Pay attention to how our physical bodies are affected by our heart condition, our words, and even our expressions/looks.
Of course God’s timing is always perfect. As i am reading back over this post that i had written several weeks ago but not posted yet, i am laughing. These past few days have been very difficult for me. I have been so sad and tense and said several times that i have never felt such a connection between my emotions and my physical suffering. I have been sick at my stomach, unable sleep, and had headaches and neck pain. Now, this sounds ridiculous, and its not something i am proud of, but i am just being honest. Deciding to send our boys to school last week was so difficult for me. It has been a whirlwind of emotions preparing for this new season.
Ok, so king Artaxerxes knows something is up! He then asks Nehemiah in verse 4, “What would you request?” The next line says “So i prayed to the God of heaven”. I love that the Bible records this thought. I am assuming it wasn’t an action that the King or anyone else could see, but obviously it is important for us to note. Nehemiah knew he must pause and take a moment to pray to God and quickly receive direction and wisdom before he presented his request to the King.
We have to be so in tune with the Holy Spirit and ready to quickly discern and hear His voice. We have to spend time with Him to recognize his character and the way He talks to us. I recently heard this illustration about how people who are trained to recognize counterfeit dollar bills only study the real thing, not the counterfeits. I think this makes such a great point for us to study the ways of the Lord and His Words so we know His voice and recognize when He speaks to us.
What moments do we need to just pause and have a quick, private conversation with our Heavenly Father? At work standing before a client? In the office sitting in front of a patient? Standing before our spouse or child? Lord remind us to pause and communicate with you continually. Remind us to rely on your wisdom and fresh revelation instead of leaving you at church or in the Bible.
Let’s look at the process Nehemiah goes through before the king in Nehemiah 2: 5-8. I want to look at the way he presents his requests and see if we can learn how to better present our requests before the Father.
In verse 5 Nehemiah says, “send me to Judah....that i may rebuild it”.
Here Nehemiah asks to be sent and he tells why he wants to be sent.
In verse 6 the king asks , “How long will your journey be and when will you return?”. Nehemiah then gives the king a definite time. I do find it interesting that in this verse he doesn’t tell us exactly what time he told the king. It just says that Nehemiah gave a definite time.
Exodus 9:5 “The Lord set a definite time, saying “Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land.”
Psalm 102:13 “You will arise and have compassion on Zion: For it is time to be gracious to her for the appointed time has come”
Nehemiah had a plan. He figured out how long his journey would take. So looking at Exodus 9 and Psalm 102, we see that the Lord sets definite times for things to take place. Do we ask the Father what His timing is for us as we set out on new journeys? If we ask, do we believe that Holy Spirit will share His timing with us?
In verse 7 Nehemiah asked for letters to be sent to all the governers so they would allow him to pass through. He was really asking for the king to use his authority and power to keep him safe and protect him on this journey.
Our good Daddy wants to protect us and take care of us as we step out in faith to journey with Him. Fear is a paralyzing scheme of the enemy that keeps us from moving towards our destiny. Read Psalm 91! “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty....He will cover you with his pinions and under His wings you may seek refuge....For He will give HIs angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.”
Is fear holding you back from something you believe the Lord has told you to do?
In verse 8 Nehemiah asks for supplies that would help him build the wall and other things on his journey. He wasn’t afraid to ask for what he needed. I love that he didn’t say, “if its your will or your desire to give me these things....” He knew that this was a journey he was supposed to be on and was confident in asking for the things he needed to make this journey successful. Then at the end of verse 8 Nehemiah says, “And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me.”
How do you ask for things that you know the Lord has already put in your heart to do?
He knows he was granted these things because of the Lord. He knows that God is in a good mood and wants to give us more than we can ask for or imagine.
How do we ask the Lord to direct us? Once we have heard His voice and direction do we stop there? Do we continue to ask with confidence for everything we need on the journey?
A fun story to leave you with:
Aaron and i have so many fun stories showing the Father’s abundant blessing, but one that i want to share is about the home we live in. A few years ago when we knew we had to move out of the house we were staying in, we began to ask the Lord where He wanted us. Then we started dreaming about what our next house would be like and ministry things we could use it for. We made a list of things that we wanted in a dream home, not even our next home, but a home we could only dream about in the future. Well, you know how God works and after the Lord worked out miracle after miracle we currently live in a home that has almost everything we had written out on our “dream” list. We are able to host so many people in our home for events, studies, worship nights, worship school, etc. He receives so much glory and honor and praise each time we get to tell about His provisions in our life. We are in awe of His goodness and love towards us.
Ephesians 3:20 “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”