Seeking Jesus First - June 27, 2023

Seeking Jesus First - June 27, 2023
Photo by Tim Wildsmith / Unsplash

Part One - Prayer is an audience with the King. The King rules by decree. When Jesus makes a decree on your behalf, He empowers you to go forward in His authority, power and provision. What can we learn from Nehemiah about how to proceed with a decree from a king?

Nehemiah was the cupbearer for the king while Israel was in captivity. When the king was thirsty, Nehemiah gave him drink. This meant that Nehemiah waited on the kings needs and desires. They spent a lot of time together but Nehemiah would probably not be speaking very much unless the king initiated the conversation.

And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, that I took the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had never been sad in his presence before. Therefore the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart.” So I became dreadfully afraid, and said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire?” Then the king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” Then the king said to me (the queen also sitting beside him), “How long will your journey be? And when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. Furthermore I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of the region beyond the River, that they must permit me to pass through till I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he must give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel which pertains to the temple, for the city wall, and for the house that I will occupy.” And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me. Then I went to the governors in the region beyond the River, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of it, they were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.” (Nehemiah 2:1–10, NKJV)

The king knew Nehemiah well enough to notice when he was sad, and he cared about him enough to look favorably upon his request. Then the king issued a decree in writing for Nehemiah to take with him that authorized, empowered and provided for the completion of Nehemiah’s request. The decree was enough for Nehemiah to move forward.

However, the decree did not put an end to opposition and persecution. As we read Nehemiah’s account of what happened, we see that those who were acting under decree of the king had to resist their enemy. Their enemy was ruled by the same king. Their enemy was actually the king’s appointed governor of the region. While they were completing the decree of the king by rebuilding the wall, they had to work with a trowel in one hand and a sword in another.

The decree from the king guarantees authority, power and provision; but did it does not guarantee the end of opposition. One must still operate in faith with corresponding action.

The king and his enforcers were not present while they were rebuilding the wall. In fact, those who should have been the enforcers of the decree were the ones who opposed it.

Point Number One: When we spend time with the King, we serve at His pleasure. Ministering to The LORD is not a lot of whining about our problems. It is more listening to see what He wants to do.

Point Number Two: God knows us and what we need before we ask Him. Prayer is an audience with the King but we are His beloved and He cares for us. So it is also unity and intimacy. This is a true daily family relationship.

Point Number Three: When Holy Spirit reveals a decree from The LORD, we have authority, power and provision to move forward.

Point Number Four: When we move forward with the decree, Holy Spirit leads us and helps fill in the detail gaps that were not spoken by the word of The LORD. Remember, spiritually, we are always seated with Him in the heavenly places. So, a listening ear is key to reigning with Him.

Point Number Five: We will face opposition to The Word of The LORD when we move forward, so we must move forward in faith, prayer and corresponding action. (Prayer equals relationship).

Point Number Six: When the enemy, or an ally, shows up to oppose us, we need to rely on the decree and keep working.

Point Number Seven: We are assured victory if we do not quit.