When Nehemiah wanted to discern God's will and to place himself at God's feet, he did so through prayer and fasting. We don't hear a lot about fasting in the contemporary church, but it's not a discipline that should be forgotten. I have personally found that God speaks very clearly to me at those moments when I am most dependent on Him, and fasting can provide a situation where I have to rely on Him for my sustenance. God spoke to Nehemiah and gave him vision for the rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem. It's important to also notice a little phrase at the end of 1:9, "for the good hand of my God was upon me." When God directs us to do something He doesn't set us up to fail. Leaders must learn this lesson because God will not ever leave us hanging. For all that God asks us to do, He provides the means of accomplishing it.
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Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.