Posted by: bellissimanh | May 30, 2014

The Bold & The Beautiful

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“Remember me with favor, my God.”

These are the words that close out the book of Nehemiah. It’s interesting, because if anyone had room to boast, it would be Nehemiah. God accomplished MUCH through him as he led the task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and restoring her people. Yet with this one phrase, Nehemiah expressed humility and utter dependence on His God – as it should be.

 

 

I love what Ray Stedman has to say about Nehemiah’s attitude:

“What he is doing is recognizing his own frailty and his own tendency to self-deception. He is saying in effect, ‘Lord, I have done all this, but you may see it differently than I. You may see something in me that would cause you to blot this all out of your book. If you feel that way, show it to me.’ That is what he is asking.”

I love the boldness in that prayer! Isn’t it beautiful? It’s reminiscent of David’s prayer in Psalm 139, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).

I wonder… are we bold enough to request the same of God? To lay it bare like that? Are we so eager to open ourselves up to His honest evaluation?

Nehemiah’s heart is even more beautiful to me when I reflect on what he left behind so he could take on this project. As cup-bearer, he held a position of privilege in the court of Artaxerxes, king of Persia. Not too shabby! Yet this prophet’s heart was set on winning the favor of a different King – the “LORD, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments” (Neh. 1:5).

 

Father, You know me better than anyone… even better than I know myself. I lay all of me at Your feet today and ask You to look on me with mercy. Search my heart and show me any parts of it that I’ve not given completely to You. Help me to take every thought captive to Christ, so that they no longer have any pull on me. I know I have a tendency to run back to the very thoughts and behaviors You have set me free from… it’s madness, Lord. Help me to remember that the battle for holiness begins in my mind, and fill me with Your Spirit and Your word so that I can fight the enemy of my soul and win Your favor. I’m so thankful for Your grace… I could never gain Your approval or earn my salvation, but I do want to be obedient to You, because I love You. Make me more like Jesus.

 

Join us for #shesharestruth!

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Responses

  1. Beautiful prayer. Praying this with you!

  2. “Yet this prophet’s heart was set on winning the favor of a different King” Yes! Loved what you said here. Nehemiah was a man after God’s heart but I never thought about what Nehemiah was leaving behind in returning to Jerusalem, seeing this brings so much more meaning and depth to Nehemiah’s faithful obedience to God. Thank you for sharing! 🙂


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