October 2020 Email Archive – Are You Living in Lag Time?
How does a man in a high-profile job go from perceiving the very sadness of God’s heart, to a prayer that brings…
- paid leave from his important post
- a purchase order for a large chunk of a forest
- and a spy jaunt with a donkey in the middle of the night?
That’s what I want to know.
Nehemiah is a person who is passionate about what God is passionate about.
That’s what I want.
Nehemiah finds boldness and wisdom and spiritual perception—all just when he needs them—to complete the job he was born to do.
That’s what I need.
He seems a little over-the-top a couple of times.
You’ve been forewarned.
Nehemiah is one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read.
Maybe you’ve read it.
It begins: “These are the memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.” Read the rest free here.
These are the memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.
Nehemiah 1:1 (NLT)
Looking at the Lag Time
The book of Nehemiah speaks deeply to me. It speaks of calling. Of being close to God’s heart. Of obedience. Of caring deeply for those in distress. Of many other things.
And when I read it again recently, it spoke to me about timing.
I looked at the length of time it took for Nehemiah and the others to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem: 52 days.
And then I looked at how long it took for Nehemiah’s initial prayer to be answered before any of that visible work ever began: 4 months, at the least (see Nehemiah 1:1, 2:1).
More than twice as long waiting as it actually took to do a job once it was begun.
I began to think about the prayers I have prayed, and then the lag time while I could see nothing happening.
And of how a thing has sometimes manifested so suddenly—after long waiting.
The insight that is revealed to Daniel (see Daniel 9:21-23 & 10:12-14) about the apparent delay in the answer to his prayer makes me wonder, How much is always going on in the spiritual realm after a command is given by God in answer to prayer, and before we can see the results of God’s freshly spoken word?
In fact, framing reality through this perspective gives me grit for endurance.
It makes giving up on seeing answers to my prayers seem like a very unwise thing to do.
It makes assumptions that God doesn’t want to act on what I’ve prayed seem premature and inaccurate.
It makes faith in God while I wait for him to act or speak seem extremely reasonable.
Recommended Reading and Resources
In both the Old and New Testaments, the Bible makes many mentions of God speaking to people through dreams and visions. And as Peter explained (see Acts 2:14-19), we are now living in the days when dreams and visions are a regular way that God communicates.
For a Scripture-based examination of the topic, plus biblical aids for practical application, I recommend the book The Divinity Code to Understanding Your Dreams and Visions by Adam F. Thompson and Adrian Beale (Destiny Image Publishers, 2011).
I realized some very important things while reading this book, that I know have brought me closer to God’s heart. One is this: If God has gone to the effort to give me a dream or vision, then the message he is communicating is important to him—and therefore I should consider it important to me. If I had a family member who communicated through sign language, yet I didn’t learn to interpret it, but just let the person sign repeatedly and I never bothered to figure out what they were communicating, I would be missing a large part of our communication and missing out on an aspect of our relationship. In the same way, if I ignore or don’t bother to seek interpretation from the Holy Spirit for a dream or vision, I am missing out on important communication from God which he intends to be part of our relationship.
(A word of caution: not every dream interpretation resource is based on the Bible and inspired by the Holy Spirit. We need to use discernment and ask God for help.)
Feeding on Scripture
You can see them all here at the website:
- So There was Great Joy (Acts 8:5-8)
- The Truth is Always a Different Story Than the One the Enemy is Telling (Revelation 12:10; John 8:44; Nehemiah 4:1-2)
- Continue the Work with Even Greater Determination (Nehemiah 6:9)
- Give Us Today Our Daily Bread (Matthew 6:11)
I’m Writing… Inspirational Fiction
Have I mentioned that my next book plans to be an inspirational fiction series when it grows up? I love series!
I hope that fans of Miss Read, Jan Karon, Agnes Sanford—and of inspirational Christian fiction, gentle reads, and small-town fiction—will especially love it.
As individuals, we have the incredible opportunity to seek God, to hear and understand what he is communicating to us, and then to act accordingly. Wow.
I’d love to hear…
- What is God communicating to you?
- What time is it where you are in relationship with God? Is it time for you to act? Are you waiting in a lag time right now like that long winter after Nehemiah first shared God’s sadness over the broken walls of Jerusalem—and asked God to give him the king’s favor so he could do something about it?
Just hit reply to send me an email.
To your freedom, health, and wholeness,
P.S. If you’ve applied to be part of my fiction book launch team, thank you! (If you haven’t yet applied, but want to, you can still apply here.) [NOTE: Link has been deactivated for archive purposes.]
Faith with Wings by AmyLu Riley
Faith with Grit for the Not-Yet Healed by AmyLu Riley
Stay: Why I’m Still Here, A Spiritual Memoir by AmyLu Riley
Jesus as Healer by AmyLu Riley