Excerpt from The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast by Kristen Feola.
Feel like you're up against an impossible challenge?
Nehemiah had a successful career as cupbearer to the king, yet deep within him, he sensed the Lord calling him toward something different. Something radical. Something only God could do.
The task seemed monumental and impossible. The walls of Jerusalem were broken down, leaving the people defenseless against attack. Nehemiah knew that God wanted him to leave the comfort of palace life to lead his people in rebuilding the city walls.
Nehemiah responded in faith and obedience. He fasted and prayed. He boldly requested permission from the king and for his help in getting supplies. He wisely examined the condition of the walls before beginning reconstruction. He started the work.
From day one, Nehemiah and God's people endured intense persecution. Their enemies ridiculed and mocked them, hoping that they would give up. But the Israelites kept working day after day with all of their hearts, believing that the Lord would give them success. As a result, the massive city walls of Jerusalem were completed in record time. When the surrounding nations heard that the walls were completed in just fifty-two days, they were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that the work had been done with the help of God.
'I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down.' -Nehemiah
God calls each of us to a great work. Like Nehemiah and the Israelites, we undoubtedly will face fierce opposition. When the enemy hurls accusations our way and tries to defeat us, we can stand our ground on the truth of God's Word. I love Nehemiah's response to his enemies' relentless attempts to distract him: "I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down" (6:3). He refused to be shaken and remained focused on the purposes of God. We must remember that just as God was faithful in helping his people to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, he will also complete the good work he has begun in our lives.
"Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other." Nehemiah 4:17
["He who began a good work in you will carry it on to competion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6]
God, you have a plan for my life, and I am confident that you will bring it to completion as I surrender to you. I refuse to be distracted by the enemy and thrown off course by his wicked schemes. My eyes are on you, Sovereign Lord, to finish the good work you have started in me.
Question: As you prepare for a tough project, what's the easiest step for you?
(A) Examining the problem
(B) Prayer & fasting
(C) Asking others for the help you need
(D) Starting the work
And which step is most difficult for you? I'd love to hear your comments, just leave them on this post.
Learn more about Kristen Feola's Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast: 100+ Recipes plus 21 Daily Devotionals
Visit Kristen's blog at www.ultimatedanielfast.com
- Adam Forrest, Zondervan
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