Dust Bits of The Heart Make Waiting So Hard

Nehemiah prayed from a heavy broken heart; uncertain, as to how God would intervene.  His final plea before God that day: “O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer (Nehemiah 1:11).   Continuing in prayer, he waited.  Nowhere are we told that Nehemiah knew God’s plan to send him until that fateful day, four months after the first prayer. Four months of praying, waiting and anticipating God’s response weighed heavy on Nehemiah. Waiting reveals the dust bits of our own heart.  Wondering, I ask; “Lord, am I the problem. My faith too shaky, my hands unclean, and my heart insincere, somehow?”

Perhaps for some, waiting causes them to doubt God’s ability or His desire to intervene in mankind’s dilemmas.  Some, even doubt His existence; yet, I daresay there are many, like me; who have come to know Him as the Supreme, Sovereign, Just and Righteous God of love, mercy and grace.  Then, when days, months or years pass; awaiting, anticipating God’s answer to a prayer: I don’t doubt His ability or His desire to bring me good; instead, I examine my own heart.  After all that He has shown me of His Grace, I realize that lurking in the crevices of my heart bits of dust collect that need to be cleansed once more.  Dust bits of pride, doubt, or selfishness; all leading to sin to crouch at the doorstep of my heart.  Somehow, perhaps that was Nehemiah; because, those who wait knowing God’s plan, aren’t so burdened.

DUST BITS OF THE HEART

In this fallen world, dust and cobwebs can be found in the cleanest of homes.  One moment of inattention to cleaning, they increase with a rapidity that seems unbelievable.  The same is true of our hearts.  When, we lay aside our Bibles, become too contented to pray, or allow other things to take God’s rightful time in our hearts; dust bits and cobwebs grow within our hearts.  Then when God places us in the waiting room, the light of His truth shines in revealing all the dust bits and cobwebs needing to be cleansed.  During that time of waiting for His answer, He bids us to lay every sin of thought and deed at the foot of the cross, in full surrender to His will.  He will cleanse our heart, sweeping away every dust bit of pride, anger, selfishness, and the cobwebs of our doubt.

So, Nehemiah waited; while God fully cleansed and prepared his heart for the task ahead.  We know that to be the case; because, when the fateful day that God revealed His plan, Nehemiah’s countenance was very sad.  Once one knows for certain God’s precise plan, there is no place for sadness.  The depth of his sorrow lets us know, Nehemiah did not yet know with certainty God’s plan.  So, we arrive at the day of its revealing.

ONE SAD SERVENT, A KING, AND GOD’S PLAN REVEALED

 

 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,

 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it (Nehemiah 2:1-5).

Note that Nehemiah was afraid when the king noticed his sorrow.  Another clue that Nehemiah was not certain of God’s plan yet.  However, as he began to tell the king the reason of his sorrow, did light bulbs begin to go off?  Wasn’t this what he had asked God for months ago, to find mercy before the king?  Ah, but all the cleansing of his heart that God accomplished during that four months causes Nehemiah to pray; before, he tells King Artaxeres: “send me to build the wall.”

GOD’S PLAN:  BUILD THAT WALL

Over the course of the four months, God had prepared the heart of Nehemiah to be the one to accomplish His plan.  Most likely, Nehemiah was shocked that God was sending him to build the wall.  However, whom better to send?  He had seen the beautiful structure of the walls surrounding the palace.  Furthermore, as cupbearer to the king; he had a position of prestige.  Beyond that, most importantly; God had prepared his heart while in the waiting room of God.  There, God had dusted away the dust bits and sweep away all the cobwebs, so Nehemiah was prepared to face the opposition and trials that lay ahead of him.

CONCLUSION:

Does God have you in His waiting room?  Are there prayers, you are awaiting an answer?  Lay open your heart before God, knowing He has a perfect plan for you; when, you seek Him.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.  And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, Jeremiah 29:11-14

 

So, when the world seems hard, or you feel captive to your circumstances or sin; seek Him and search for Him. His promise: ” I will be found, and I will turn away your captivity.  Then, as He prepares and cleanses your heart, keeps your eyes on Him.  Trust Him; because, He is faithful and will accomplish all that He has planned.

Also, it is during those waiting moments; you might want to go back and refresh your memory of the three foundations of truth needed to always live a life of Abiding, Steadfast Joy.  These I outlined for you in my book of the same title.  Truths I learned over a lifetime of waiting rooms.  1.  Know your place in the Universe (Hebrews 11:6) 2. Your purpose (John 17).  And your position (identity) in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1-3).

Concluding Tweets

DO YOU KNOW CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOR?

If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Savior: I urge you to go to my page titled How to Be Saved by clicking on this link. Because there is nothing more important than this, I urge you to seek Him today.

OR ARE YOU IN OF NEED PRAYER?

If you have a prayer request email me by clicking here or comment here

 

Two Newest Books Available
ABIDING, STEADFAST JOY      Abiding, Steadfast Joy

 

A labor of love, this book provides you with 3 foundations of truth from the scripture which once known will provide you with abiding, steadfast joy.  Undaunted by the storms of life; your joy will overflow.

WHEN INJUSTICE AND VIOLENCE REIGN:

Through a study of Nahum, Habukkuk, and Zephaniah; I brought their message into our modern times.  Answering the questions of “Why, God?”

Providing a foundation of faith and hope; even, as we see so much evil in the world and in our nation.  With so much sorrow and despair, this book I wrote to guide you into discovering God’s Perfect Plan of love; amid this chaotic world filled with life’s storms.

 

 

You may click on the picture for more information on either of these books.

OTHER RESOURCES AVAILABLE

If you want to know more about  other books I have written:  You can read more about each one at: Book Resources.

 

©Effie Darlene Barba, 2017

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned except for my own books.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

How to Have the Faith and Commitment to Finish Well

In the center of Nehemiah’s prayer lies the seven necessary elements needed by each Christian to hear God’s call, follow God’s call (regardless of the cost), and the fortitude to see the task through to completion.  Thus far, I have presented the first five keys: 1) compassion resulting from a heart that is broken for the oppressed and lost in the world; 2) a vision of God as the great I AM plus a vision of His plan for salvation; 3) conviction leading to repentance; 4) humility from realizing His magnitude of grace toward us; and 5: submission to His will.  Next, we will look at commitment and faith.

Nehemiah was called to leave the comfort in which he had been living to face danger, opposition, and hard work.  This would require a commitment which never looks back or doubts.  When others had returned to Jerusalem, he had stayed behind.  Now, God called upon him to build a wall.  The wall was a symbol of hope and God’s protection for the nation.  Were he to fail in this mission, the people lay open to siege, both physical and emotional.  The wall symbolized their separation from false ideologies and idolatry.  Even though, they once had a wall; they had chosen to allow in dangerous ideas, false religions, and evil by opening their gates. Now, as they turned their eyes back to God.  They needed a new fortified wall as a symbol of their separateness from the evils of the world around them.

Commitment

Continue reading “How to Have the Faith and Commitment to Finish Well”

Wanted: One Humbled, Repentant Heart Submitted to Serve God

The remnant of true worshippers of God, had returned to Jerusalem; just as God promised they would in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zephaniah. However, they met grave opposition.  Their streets invaded by people of many ideologies.  Although, they built their temple; it was openly an easy target.  The wall lays in shambles. King Artaxerxes had ordered them cease their building; because, rebellious oppositional forces sent a false, evil report to him.  Their only hope: to build a wall.  The wall: a symbol of hope, protection, national pride and that God was on their side; was desperately needed.  God chose Nehemiah, to build that wall.  God needed a repentant, humbled heart; submitted to serve Him, regardless of the cost.

We began in Friday’s post to examine Nehemiah’s prayer in chapter one, versus 5-11. Within that prayer lies key elements necessary for any Christian to go where ever God might send them to whatever task He might assign them, regardless of the danger ahead or the comfort left behind.  The first two of the seven elements found with Nehemiah’s prayer, I presented last Friday.  They are Compassion and Vision.  Until one’s heart breaks for the lost or the dear Children of God who face oppression; I daresay, no one desires to leave the comfortable place they reside in.   Ah, but when God opens that heart, fills it with His love and compassion for the lost; then, that one is restless until they answer God’s call.

Beyond compassion, they must also have a clear vision of who God is as the great I AM and a vision of His plan of Love to spread the gospel message.  Now, let’s look at the next three elements found in that prayer.

Conviction, Leading to Repentance

Continue reading “Wanted: One Humbled, Repentant Heart Submitted to Serve God”

Veterans are Heroes, A Tribute to all Veterans

My Grandfather was a WWI Veteran.  At the age of 103 he was given France’s highest national award, the Legion of Honor; by M. Jean-Paul Monchau, consul general for the republic of France on behalf of President Chirac.  This was bestowed by France in honor of all the American Soldiers who fought alongside the French soldiers during World War I.  My grandfather fought in the battles of Chateau-Thierry, Soissons, the Argonne Forrest and Belleau Wood.  He was also with the soldiers who smashed the Hindenburg Line.

 

 

My Grandfather taught me a lot about honor and respect, love for this country, and about God.   He was a very special man.

ALL OUR VETERANS DESERVE RESPECT AND HONOR

I have been privileged to meet many Veterans.  They are each very special in their own way.  We do not know all of what they faced; but, we can see the depth of courage they present and sometimes a shadow of sorrow hidden beneath their eyes.  they willingly sacrificed more than we will ever know to face evil head-on; that we might remain free.  Because of that, I wrote this poem in tribute of our heroes–all Veterans-past, present, and those  who are to choose to serve.

A  Veterans Day Tribute to Our Military Heroes

(To All Who Have Served and are Serving)

A Hero sat beside the grave

His friend was buried there

He wondered if he’d be as brave

When bullets filled the air

A Hero stood beside the bed

A Comrade lying there

“She’ll never walk”, that’s what they said

It all seemed so unfair

A Hero walked-some foreign street

The people turned and stared

Some would run to hide-retreat

                  While others simply glared

Did others know the choice they’d

To Protect, to serve, to save

Whate’er the cost, their post they stayed

For love, their all they gave

A Hero walked into the room

The doctor standing there

The saddened face, the sense of gloom

An illness, very rare

A Hero stood with stoic grace

Though sadness filled his eyes

The gentle smile upon his face

His broken heart’s disguise

These veteran Heroes stood the test

With all that they did do

We must now give to them our best

Our service, our “Thank you”

We cannot see the battle scars

The evil they did face

The pain within their own memoirs

We cannot ere erase

They chose to go for you and me

Because of love you see

They paid the price that we might be

A land when men are free

So, let us sing our anthems loud

Salute the flag with pride

Their sacrifice made us endowed

With hope we’re unified

These veteran Heroes stood the test

With all that they did do

We must now give to them our best

Our service, our “Thank you”

 

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

Take a moment today to thank a veteran.

©Effie Darlene Barba, 2017

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned except for my own books.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

 

What is Needed to Serve God with All Your Heart?

God commanded Nehemiah to rebuild the wall, as prophesied by Isaiah in Isaiah 9:10; even before Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the wall. However, God broke Nehemiah’s heart first by opening his heart to the devastation surrounding His people.  Before that, Nehemiah lived a somewhat plush life as King Artaxerxes cup-bearer. Now, his call took him out of that comfort to face many enemies.  Before, he understood the call; with a broken heart of compassion, he prayed for many days. What is needed to serve God with all your heart?  We gain insight into just that by examining Nehemiah’s prayer.  Within his prayer, we find seven key elements necessary to hear God’s call, heed God’s call, and the fortitude to see it through to completion; regardless, of the opposition one faces.

Some Christians remain very content with their positions in life, never seeking to discover God’s bigger plan of service for them.  What changes a man’s heart to make him willing to leave everything familiar behind, face whatever trials confront him, and go into full service for God?  Every Christian is at some point called to serve God.  Often it is inconvenient, calling us to leave that which is comfortable to embark on a very treacherous journey confronted by mountains too daunting to consider. However, nothing is too difficult for God.  The seven elements, found in Nehemiah’s prayer are what you and I need as well.  They are: compassion, vision, conviction (leading to repentance), humility, submission, commitment, and faith. Today I will focus on the first two; then, over the course of the next week; we will delve deeper into each of these elements.

Compassion

Continue reading “What is Needed to Serve God with All Your Heart?”