The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

02/02/2009

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Getting Away From The Crowd


"So I prayed to the God of heaven." (Neh. 4:2).

It was about 446 B.C. Buddhism was just catching on, Socrates was doing his "philosophy thing" in Greece, and Jerusalem was in ruins. In all this, Nehemiah had a vision that would restore Jerusalem to its former beauty. That we know of, no one but him understood the ramifications of God's plan. The vision became reality in just 70 days once Nehemiah and his men set up camp just outside Jerusalem.

In this experience we gain a lesson gleaned by many leaders including Nehemiah, that attunes them to God's desire for His people. It was the secret of quietness and solitude that enabled Nehemiah to visualize the rebuilding project and carry it out according to God's plan. Many times when preachers have a lesson to deliver on "rebuilding," (this is not one of them) this passage is used. Also we have the famous "flare prayer." You know, the quickie that is our verse today. "So I prayed to the God of heaven."

I am sure quick prayer to God from time to time is OK with Him. In the case of Nehemiah however, what we usually don't mention are the months of supplication that preceded his encounter with the emperor in Nehemiah 1:4 to 2:1. If you have some time. you might enjoy reading it. Nehemiah went off by himself (Jesus did it often). I think he did it to achieve a kind of "spiritual transformation" while being alone in His presence.

And here is the crux of today's devotional. Solitude is God's invitation to separate ourselves from the activity of the crowd. It is our chance to walk alone in the light of God's presence. We ought to take advantage of the opportunity from time to time...More tomorrow..

Have a great beginning to your week...Make a difference....Love mark Phil. 4:11

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