Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Hear the Prayers of Your Servant, O LORD

 

Well here we are. Another New Year and there are still Standers waiting for the sudden answer to their long-awaited prayers. Another year has passed without the return of your Beloved. The walls of the city God has called by His Name are still lying in ruins before all who pass by. We Standers are like a reproach and a pathetic disgrace to those who would look at our circumstances. We are like self-made victims of our circumstances. They have no concern for a person who won’t crawl out of their circumstances to “move on” with their life. We are little more than charity cases or “beggars,” if you will.

Have you been subject to the naysayers’ attitudes of unbelief, contempt and disdain for the call of God placed on your life – the call to pray for the salvation of your Beloved and the restoration of your Marriage? Nehemiah met with such people – people who would try to discourage him from the call of God on his life. When he discovered that the walls of his beloved Jerusalem were lying in ruins, he longed to return to his city and rebuild it.

Nehemiah’s Prayer of Repentance

3They said to me, ‘The remnant . . . . . who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach, and the wall . . . . . is broken down and its gates are burned with fire.”

4When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

5I said, “I beseech You, O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,

6let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, day and night, on behalf of . . . . . Your servants, confessing the sins of . . . . . which we have sinned against You; I and my father’s house have sinned.

7”We have acted very corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant . . . . .

8”Remember the word which You commanded Your servant . . . . . , saying, ‘If you are unfaithful I will scatter you among the peoples;

9but if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though those of you who have been scattered were in the most remote part of the heavens, I will gather them from there and will bring them to the place where I have chosen to cause My name to dwell.’

10”[We] are Your servants and Your people whom You redeemed by Your great power and by Your strong hand.

11”O Lord, I beseech You, may Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and the prayer of Your servants who delight to revere Your name, and make Your servant successful today and grant [me] compassion before this man . . . . . “

(Nehemiah 1:3-10 NASB)

The Stander is like the remnant who survived the captivity that was their blindness. By the Grace of God, He has allowed me to see the blindness that held me captive. Thanks be to God that He brought me to my knees in fear and shame. I wept for days and days. I did not want to live. But it was that fear and shame that brought about the godly sorrow within that produced my repentance. That repentance has brought about in me a desire to prove the Love and Forgiveness of God. It has brought about a righteous indignation for the work of the devil in the lives of my family and a fear of a Holy and righteous God and His Word. It has brought about the God-borne desire to see my family healed of this dreadful and evil disease called “divorce.” By His power and through His Holy Spirit, this wrong done to my family will be undone.

9. . . . . you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss . . . . .

10For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

11For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong!

(II Corinthians 7:9-11 NASB)

Nehemiah not only wept and confessed his own personal sins; he also confessed the sins of his family! He confessed for and interceded for himself, his family and his people. (Nehemiah 1:7-9 NASB) And God honored Nehemiah’s prayer.

Before CHRISTmas, at the urgent request of a long-time friend and former co-worker whom I will refer to as “J,”

To Whom Do You Answer?

 

we had lunch at the local sushi place. I had a very distinct feeling before I went in that this individual was also suffering in their Marriage. This individual claims a relationship with the Lord but is definitely backslidden and living in a horrible maze of lies and deceit. While we worked together a few years ago, we were going through the breakdown of our Covenant Marriages at the same time. J tried to coach me in the “now” or “in” thing with regard to “finding” myself and the perfect bed partner and mate. I chose to heed the call of God in Standing for my Marriage and the salvation of my Beloved while J chose to pursue the call of the wild. That worldly call on J’s life resulted in an adulterous REmarriage – a “marriage” that now less than two years later is in big trouble because J cannot control the “call of the wild”… I tried desperately to keep J from REmarrying because I knew that the reasoning behind J sowing wild oats to get it out of the system was not the foundation with which to build ANY marriage. J was building on a foundation other than the solid Rock of Jesus Christ and now that foundation is crumbling…

17Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a reproach.”

18I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me . . . . .

19But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard it, they mocked us and despised us and said, “What is this thing you are doing? . . . . . “

(Nehemiah 2:17-18 NASB)

As I witnessed about rebuilding the walls of my broken Marriage and home; and as I tried to expand on some of the more difficult parts of the “escape clause” and the correlation of the Covenant Marriage to the Church’s relationship to Christ, this person broke in suddenly to ask me if I felt like a “charity case!” J knows that I came to live with my “ex” as a result of a job loss that took place in March of 2009. However, it wasn’t until September of 2009 that I was invited by my Beloved to move in. To J this appears as “charity” from the “ex” so the children wouldn’t think their Father was a horrible man and a brute. For starters, our boys do not think that about their Dad – but even they recognize it as the hand of God moving to heal and reconcile this broken family. Because the comment came out of nowhere, I found myself a tad bit stunned at J’s question but I was able to overcome it in an instant because I believe the Holy Spirit was there with me to give me the words as I witnessed about the God of Forgiveness and Reconciliation to J. My friend J was like Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite and Geshem the Arab who heard about Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of his precious home. They were mocking him…

20So I answered them and said to them, “The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no share, or any claim or historical right to it.”

(Nehemiah 2:20 NASB)

Though we have always been able to speak straightforward with each other, I believe my friend J was under conviction with regard to my living testimony and witness. My blind and captive nasaying friend J has no share, claim to or historical right to my Marriage or what God Himself has called me to do. I did tell J that God has spoken His Word to me and has made promises to me and He will bring it to pass. I either believe Him or I don’t. There is no gray area.

Folks, as a child of the King, you and I are not relegated to chance – but more importantly, neither is the King of kings. We are not left hanging – subject to the coincidences of a godless world. We are, by birth, children of the Most High God – and because it was He Who allowed me to be laid off from a job in a direct answer to my prayers to be closer to my Husband, then Hallelujah! J was “worried” that I might look bad to people who knew me and knew that my Beloved and I were legally divorced. In J’s eyes, I had the appearance of giving up my beautiful pride and bowing to being a needy woman. What the devil was trying to do – again – was discourage me. And God forgive my friend, but J was definitely being “used” to take my focus and shift it to past and present circumstances and what “people were saying” about this poor needy woman.

Work Is Ridiculed

1Now it came about that when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and very angry and mocked the Jews.

2He spoke in the presence of his brothers and the wealthy men of Samaria and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble even the burned ones?”

4Hear, O our God, how we are despised! Return their reproach on their own heads and give them up for plunder in a land of captivity.

 5Do not forgive their iniquity and let not their sin be blotted out before You, for they have demoralized the builders.

6So we built the wall and the whole wall was joined together . . . .

(Nehemiah 4:1,2, 4-6 NASB)

There will be times when the work of Standing – the work God has called you to – will be ridiculed by friends, family and even folks we don’t know but who hear of us. They will judge you and me by our circumstances in accordance with a worldly view of righteousness — because after all, there is the “exception clause.” Because they don’t understand, they will think we are weak and needy — we use Standing as a crutch for our unwillingness to “move on.” Those are the naysayers. These are the people, who when the conversation turns to the circumstance and call of Standing in the Gap for our Covenant Marriages and children, that we will need to forgive and to love. There is no doubt that the way in which a naysayer can say something that can cause emotional turmoil within us that we may just step outside our Christ-likeness and say (or do) something we shouldn’t. . . . We need to turn them over to God and in as much as is possible by and through the Power of the Holy Spirit Who lives in us, live in Peace with them.

Carefully think about something: even these naysayers are part of our circumstances. They are part of what God allows and uses to grow us into the sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, that He has called us to be. If we can’t treat these naysayers with the forgiving love that we are to treat our Covenant Mate with, then how do we know if we can treat our Mate the way we’re supposed to. I understand that all the others are different kinds of relationships, but when someone gets under your skin with something said or done, there have been times in each of our lives that it didn’t matter who it was, we most likely didn’t have a very Christlike response. . . . And who of us doesn’t have a tendency to treat our friends better than our Spouses anyway.

Discouragement Overcome

9But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night.

10Thus in Judah it was said, ”The strength of the burden bearers is failing, Yet there is much rubbish; And we ourselves are unable to rebuild the wall.”

11Our enemies said, “They will not know or see until we come among them, kill them and put a stop to the work.”

(Nehemiah 4:9-11 NASB)

The Two Become One

13But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were [so] far away, through (by, in) the blood of Christ have been brought near.

14For He is [Himself] our peace (our bond of unity and harmony). He has made us both . . . . . one [body], and has broken down (destroyed, abolished) the hostile dividing wall between us,

15By abolishing in His [own crucified] flesh the enmity [caused by] the Law with its decrees and ordinances [which He annulled]; that He from the two might create in Himself one new man [one new quality of humanity out of the two], so making peace.

16And [He designed] to reconcile to God both . . . . . , united in a single body by means of His cross, thereby killing the mutual enmity and bringing the feud to an end.

(Ephesians 2: 13-16 AMP)

And Nehemiah spoke to his people:

14When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke . . . . . : “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.”

(Nehemiah 4:9-11, 14 NASB)

And that’s what I intend to do – circumstances, naysayers and all. . .

–Amen.

© 2009 – 2011 TheEphesianMarriage. All rights reserved by Celia Ann and TheEphesianMarriage unless otherwise stated. All other symbols are the trademark of their respective owners.

Advertisements