I love attending Bible Study on Wednesday nights. I talk with quite a few people that are either working or have other obligations and are not able to attend Bible Study on Wednesday nights. For the next weeks I would like to do a study of Nehemiah with you.
Vincent Van Gogh once said, “The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”
What’s important to you? When you stop and think about it, what really matters to you? Is it your job, your reputation, your health, your family, your relationship with God, your possessions, a project, or a cause?
Different things are important to different people. In Old Testament times, rebuilding the devastated walls of his hometown of Jerusalem was extremely important to a man named Nehemiah. It was so important he asked his employer, the king of Persia, to allow him to return to Jerusalem to oversee this project, and the king granted it.
Nehemiah definitely had the spirit of a conqueror, as you’ll see as you read his story. He faced a storm of opposition, ridicule, and intimidation as he tried to finish the task so important to him, the project God called him to complete. Similarly, you will face various kinds of storms as you endeavor to do what is important to you.
Nehemiah’s story will teach you how to weather them well and emerge victorious.
The best was to be safe through a natural storm is to take cover. If you do not seek shelter, the wind will blow you this way and that, and the rain may keep you from being able to see clearly. Besides that, you might get struck by lightning. If you do not take cover, the storm is in control of you. But if you will position yourself indoors through the storm, you will be able to ride it out and be in good shape to do what you need to do when it passes.
Psalm 91:1 gives us instructions for the spiritual storms of life. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow the Almighty (Whose power no foe can withstand).” The first place you need to run when a storm hits in your life is to the secret place of the Most High, the presence of God. Read His Word; pray; worship Him; tell Him you trust Him as the winds of adversity blow. These are the spiritual disciplines no foe can withstand. When you practice these habits, you actually construct spiritual walls of protection around yourself. They will not keep the storms of life away, but they will provide protection and enable you to stand strong against them.
Many of life’s storms come directly from the enemy. He is a master at orchestrating circumstances that will devastate a life, a dream, a marriage, a family, a business, a school, or a geographic region. He does not want you to build walls of protection around your life. He wants all your walks torn down so he can keep attacking you successfully.
Next week we will learn to start building walls of protection around us so that we are protected from the enemy.
By faith I keep pressing on!