“So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.” Nehemiah 6:15-16
They were told all along that it could not be done. The job was too big and the problems and obstacles that they faced were too large. What was once thought impossible is now not only possible, but done in an astonishing fifty-two days! The wall was completed in record time and all of the enemies of Nehemiah and all of the surrounding nations are left with nothing else to do but gaze upon Jerusalem in stunned disbelief.
There is no fanfare, no great ceremony, no ribbon cutting. Only God could have accomplished this amazing task. During the fifty-two day period of rebuilding the wall surrounding Jerusalem, Nehemiah demonstrated incredible leadership. When his enemies were hurling insults, ridicule, threats, rumors, deceit and false reports, Nehemiah met this opposition with prayer, encouragement, bravery, and an amazing love and incredible heart for God, determined to do His will. He stood firm when most would have given up, and now God gets the glory and praise that He is so worthy of.
What a tremendous example Nehemiah is. The wall around Jerusalem is more than just a wall of defense and protection. It is a monument to God’s amazing and unfailing love and a reminder of His faithfulness to do amazing, even impossible things, in the lives of the people who love Him and obey Him.
Nehemiah encountered just about every form of opposition imaginable in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Satan has thrown so many obstacles from his bag of tricks to cause him to stumble and fall. He does this same thing in my own life today, only I find way too many times in my own experiences, unlike Nehemiah, it often ends up Satan succeeding and I fail.
But I also know that God does not desire for me to fail. His desire is to accomplish great things with my life and in the process, continually transform my heart and my mind into the likeness His Son, while drawing me closer to Him each and every day. Nehemiah allowed God to work in Him and through Him with the power of prayer and perseverance. Every time he faced an obstacle or one of his enemies attempted to make him fail, He prayed prayers of praise and thanksgiving and made specific requests to God that were centered on God getting glory for the work He was doing in his life. This is the type of prayer and perseverance that God desires from me in order for Him to use my life for His will.
O great God of all that was and is and is to come, what an incredible and awesome God you are! Whenever I read stories like this in your word, my heart just bursts with praise and adoration for you! You keep your beautiful covenant of love with your people all the time, without fail! You get all the glory that you are so worthy of receiving through the lives of people who love you and obey you. I humbly thank you for loving me and desiring to use me to accomplish your great and awesome deeds in my life and in eternity.
Lord, I confess to you my sins. Far too often, I have acted foolishly and wickedly in the face of obstacles and temptations that have been placed in my path. Far too frequently, I have failed the test of faithfulness and instead of taking those unique opportunities to pray to you and use them to honor and glorify you, I have failed and leaned on my own strength and the world’s wisdom, instead of turning to you.
O Lord, how foolish I have been to think that I could accomplish great things on my own when you have shown throughout history, that it is only through you that I am truly successful in anything. But Lord, I thank you that you are a God of infinite grace! Lord, I repent of these sins and I ask that you restore me to you and take this existence and do great and awesome things through me. I can’t do it by myself. My heart’s desire is that your success in me not be used for my own personal advantage, position or acclaim, but instead, I ask that you work out your purpose for my life so that you may get the credit and the glory and that others may marvel at what an awesome God you are!
I commit myself to you. I will listen for your calling on my heart and I will pray earnestly for your success in my life. Lord, be magnified and glorified in me! Use me! Let my joy be in understanding and knowing you! Redeem the time you have given me. Make it fruitful. The only thing that truly brings my heart abounding joy and gladness is you. The only thing that brings me peace is you. The only thing I could ever be satisfied with is you. The only one who makes my dreams pleasant is you. You are the absolute delight of my heart and I cannot live without you. If you are not the one orchestrating my life for your glory, then it is not worth living.
How awesome are your deeds. So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you. They sing praise to you. They sing praise to your name!
From the archives. Originally published June 7, 2009.