Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Be Sure to Spiritually AIM

This week I have been intrigued with a simple little phrase out of the book of Nehemiah: “Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king” (2:4).

The context of this passage is Nehemiah sharing with the king his concern over the broken wall in Jerusalem. After sharing his concern, the king asked Nehemiah, “What is it that you want” (2:4a)? Before just responding from his flesh, Nehemiah prays to insure that he answers from the Spirit. I love this. To me, this is a great model of what it means to “walk by the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16).

Too often I do things in the flesh. If I was Nehemiah I would have been so excited that the king asked me that question I would have quickly said, “Let me go and rebuild the wall in Jerusalem.” I would have taken off on my own and not even thought to ask for help, as Nehemiah did … after he prayed. By praying before speaking, Nehemiah was given wisdom from Above to ask the king for all kinds of help – which by the way, he received. The king gave him safe passage, resources to use in building, and even officers and cavalry (see 2:6-9)!

This reminds me of Jesus’ ministry motto: “I do nothing of my own initiative, but only what I see the Father doing” (Jn. 5:19). Jesus made sure what He did was led by the Father. This is why we see Jesus breaking away so often to pray. He made sure He was in tune with His Father in what He did.

I need to become more like Jesus in this aspect of life and ministry. I am typically a “ready, fire, aim” kind of person. My growing edge is to take time to “aim.” The best way to spiritually “aim” is to A – acknowledge God, B- be sure to pray and ask God what He wants, and C – carry out what you sense God leading you to say or do.

Oh that we might all grow in being led by the Spirit … hear God’s voice … sense His direction … and boldly step out in faith!