Titus 1: Abraham is Disqualified!

“For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint Elders in every city as I directed you, namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.”–Titus 1:6

“Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife.”–Gen. 16:3

Disqualified! Godly men such as Abraham, Caleb, David, Ezra, Gideon, Hosea, Jacob, and others, if they were moved forward to New Testament times, would not qualify as Elders because they were polygamists.

Look at the irony in Abraham’s life:

Abraham was called “The Friend of God“–James 2:23

He was called “The Father of those who believe“–Romans 4:11

But, his past choices would have disqualified him in New Testament times from being called an “Elder among those who believe”.

In Abraham’s own time, his second marriage greatly hindered him; Yet Abraham persevered in faith, regardless of his own hindrances.

So don’t let failures and disqualifications behind you steal from faith choices before you. He may not have had the qualities of an Elder, but he was “the Friend of God” and the “Father of those who believe”. So don’t be sad, cause 2 out of 3 ain’t bad (A little Meatloaf Theology).

Posted in Bible, Church, discipleship, Faith, Theology | Tagged , , , , , ,

Jesus and Ghosts

Jesus always spoke the truth, and He never confirmed a false belief.

Jesus gave His disciples a clear definition of what a ghost is when He said, “A ghost does not have flesh and bones…“–Luke 24:39. Instead of taking the opportunity to explicitly deny the existence of a departed spirit from ever reappearing on Earth, and proclaim it as a false belief, Jesus chose to clarify and define the properties of a ghost. What is going on here? The answers are revealing, confirming, and very  comforting.

According to Scripture, Jesus had at least THREE ripe opportunities to rebuke His disciples for expressing possible belief in ghosts. Whenever Christ’s disciples entertained the idea of their existence, Scripture shows that Jesus never fully repudiated this belief.

Why didn’t Jesus correct them? Why didn’t Jesus firmly rebuke this superstitious view?

Let’s look at the first opportunity Jesus had to correct their superstitions:

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”–Matt.14:25-27

In this instance the Scripture records that the disciples clearly said “It’s a ghost”. They didn’t say, “Could it be a ghost?” or “I wonder if that’s a ghost?” Notice that they didn’t have any questions about the possibility of ghosts. They were emphatic.

Jesus responded by announcing that it was Him and not to be afraid. Jesus did not take this opportunity to instruct them by saying, “There is no such thing as phantoms or ghosts. Beware of such superstitious beliefs.” He could have nipped it in the bud, but He didn’t.

After the Resurrection, Jesus had an even greater opportunity to rebuke this supernatural belief:

While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”–Luke 24:36-39

Jesus knew they were fearful and He knew what they were thinking. Yet he once again did not flatly deny the existence of ghosts. Instead, He used the opportunity to speak the truth by defining what a ghost is, and how He Himself differed from that definition.

We have now seen two out of three ripe opportunities for Jesus to straighten out the minds of His disciples and teach them that there  are no such things as ghosts or spirits of the departed appearing on Earth. So why did the disciples believe that the spirits of the departed could reappear on Earth, and why didn’t Jesus correct them?

For one thing, they all knew that the Old Testament Scriptures told the story in 1 Samuel chapter 28 of how the ghost of Samuel reappeared on Earth. Many theologians try vainly to dismiss the ghost of Samuel as being a demon in disguise. Yet, it cannot be argued that the authority of divinely-inspired, written Scripture verifies three times that this ghost is indeed Samuel. In vs. 15 the Scripture itself states, “Samuel said to Saul“. Again in vs. 16 the Scripture is clear in stating, “Samuel said”. And finally in vs. 20, the authority of Scripture is definitive in saying that these words were assigned to no other than Samuel, “because of Samuel’s words”. It is written! It is written! It is written! Three times it is written in Scripture that this was Samuel. The witch of Endor didn’t raise Samuel (she was shocked it happened), God did it!

If Jesus had ever said, “No departed spirit has ever reappeared on earth. No ghost has ever existed”, He would have had to deny the Scriptures and therefore contradict the truth.

Did I mention that Jesus had three opportunities to instruct His disciples? A frightening event took place before the Resurrection. Continue reading

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Defrosting John 14:12

Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father–John 14:12


The carnal mind reads this passage and naturally thinks about jaw-dropping displays of great power and miracles. Viewing this verse in that manner has caused many believers to chase after signs and miracles instead of allowing them to follow us. For others, this verse has been a great obstacle.

This passage is often misunderstood by believers and unbelievers alike. Skeptics read this and call Jesus a liar because Christians aren’t walking on water across the English Channel. Many Theologians refer to this as a “difficult” verse, and struggle to explain it.

The problem is that we read this verse from our point of view, and we don’t stop to think about the viewpoint of the One who said it. To easily understand what Jesus was saying to us, we have to get out of our heads and look into the mind of Jesus to see what He was thinking.

Was Jesus primarily motivated by POWER, or was He primarily motivated by COMPASSION?

…If I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.–1 Cor. 13:2

In the mind of Jesus, what did GREATER look like?

On the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”–Mark 9:34-35

What kind of WORKS did Jesus think He was doing? Based on Christ’s motives, did He PRIMARILY see them as works of great POWER ? Or did He PRIMARILY see them as works of COMPASSION by a humble servant meeting a need?

When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.–Matthew 14:14

Jesus did miracles, but they were motivated by compassion and a need to teach and edify others. They were works of compassion. That is the key to understanding John 14:12. Jesus saw His own works as works of humble compassionate service. Power was just the method, but not the basis. Jesus is not impressed by power. He is impressed by love and “faith which works by love”. He was greatly impressed by the lady who lovingly poured her perfume on Him and called that a “beautiful work”(Mark 14:6).

What does Jesus have to say about those who spend their life pursuing a lust for power and believing that “Greater Works” are necessarily works of power?

On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’–Matt. 7:22-23

What does Jesus have to say about those who spend their life pursuing Him in humble compassion?

‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’–Matt. 25:34-40

Jesus said, “they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father”. How are we doing greater works?

Jesus held children, but many of you, by His grace, have gone further and adopted children.

Jesus did not get to see his cousin, John the Baptist, while he was in prison. But many of you have answered His call, and you gone further by visiting prisoners and sending support to others who do the same.

Jesus only had the clothes on his back and had no home to take anyone in. Many of you have gone further and given clothes, shoeboxes. You have opened your home and let folks sleep on your couch and eat your food.

I’ve been personally involved in praying and watching my friend see again after decades of blindness. My wife and I have witnessed another friend have her hearing fully restored in an instant. I believe in signs and wonders. They do happen and they FOLLOW them that believe. But we should never be deceived into lustfully pursuing them. We are called to pursue Christ and serve in love. There is nothing wrong in asking for God to work in power…Just don’t be deceived and go lusting after it. Be motivated by the things that motivated Christ.



Posted in Theology

How Could John The Baptist Be Filled With The Spirit From Birth?

How could John the Baptist be filled with the Spirit before he was born?

Baby John didn’t just have the Spirit come upon him or nudge him. The scripture makes it clear that John would be FILLED with the Spirit while he was in the womb.

“For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb”.–Luke 1:15

Several months later, we read the fulfillment of this prophecy:

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.–Luke 1:41

Elizabeth explains and clues us in on what caused the baby to leap and why the baby reacted this way.

But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.–Luke 1:43


Baby John didn’t possess linguistic skills or analytical reasoning. But here are 7 things we know about Baby John:

1) He had limbs and a body which could express (confess). It is through his bodily action that we see what his heart was feeling and confessing…the baby leaped in her womb.

2) He already had a heart of emotion which could sense things and embrace them emotionally. He was capable of both possessing and expressing joy. For how can you express joy unless you have a heart that can emotionally embrace the cause of it? You cannot give what you don’t have. Baby John’s emotional heart was filled with joy…the baby in my womb leaped for joy.

3) Baby John was in the presence of Christ, which means Christ was presented to John. Babies are capable of sensing many things in the womb like music, smoke, the taste of carrots, and light. He may not have understood much, but that didn’t keep Baby John from emotionally embracing what he sensed in the presence of unborn Christ.

4) Baby John did not understand the death, burial, and Resurrection of the Messiah. The Thief on the Cross did not pray a sinner’s prayer; the Thief showed no knowledge that Christ was dying for his sins; the Thief  did not demonstrate that he knew Christ would rise on the 3rd day. Yet in spite of all this ignorance and all the overwhelming mockery around him, the Thief sensed something special about Christ and chose to go against the crowd and embrace what he did know and sense by saying, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom”.

5) Baby John demonstrated faith in the presence of Christ. John rejoiced in Christ’s unborn presence. Baby John had just enough in his infantile state to emotionally embrace what he sensed in the presence of Christ, and God saw that as childlike faith! Emotional embracement is a symptom of faith. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart. John had a reason for rejoicing.

6) I believe Baby John repented. How can anyone yield to the Spirit without turning away from the flesh? I believe that John sensed Christ’s presence as being something greater than himself. It was not something he knew intellectually; it was something he sensed while in the womb. In his own infinitesimal way, he repented and turned from himself, and embraced the idea that outside was someone greater. It is evidenced by his joy! John sensed he was in the presence of someone greater, someone that felt very good. It is later expressed by the words “I am not worthy to untie your shoes“. Therefore, I believe John emotionally turned from himself and embraced the presence of Christ as greater. That’s called repentance.

7) Baby John remained in Christ’s presence continually for three months.

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.–Luke 1:56

You can correctly interpret that as saying, “Spirit-filled Baby John, who leaped for joy when initially encountering Christ, remained in the presence of Christ for three more months”. I can only imagine how that affected John the Baptist as he remained in the presence of someone greater who gave him such joy. Many years later, I believe that these feelings became words as John would so readily say, “One who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie”.

8) John The Baptist was “born-again”, but in a different order. He was first “filled with the Spirit” as evidenced by Joy while in the womb, and then he was born later. How is this possible? Like I’ve been saying, babies sense things and John was in the presence of Christ and He embraced it by reacting positively. You should read how Helen Keller knew God and His love before she knew words.


In summary, there is a verse which perfectly fits John’s experience in the womb

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,–1 Peter 1:8

God will take tiny mustard-seed faith wherever He finds it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s from a dying thief or an unborn baby. God looks highly upon child-like faith. Maybe that’s why Jesus said John was the greatest of those born among women. Why? Because he was born with faith! He was filled in the womb. He may have been the greatest case of child-like faith we’ve ever seen.

Be like John and embrace Jesus Christ with your heart. Don’t wait until you know and understand everything, just embrace Him with what you have. In the scripture, there was a man who still had doubts about Jesus. He said, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief”. If God can miraculously give me answers to questions like the one in this post, then I can know He can do something for you. Jesus said, “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

Prayer Requests/Comments? Send to: defrostingcomments@gmail.com

Posted in Bible, charismatic, Church, discipleship, Divinity of Christ, Faith, Holy Spirit, Theology | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Nehemiah: Baruch The Zealous Builder

Have you ever gone into a high school and read the plaques on the wall that gave the names of the graduating class of the year 19-so-and-so? Unless you know the people, it can get tedious and mundane to read through the whole list. If something about that list doesn’t grab your attention, you can lose interest real fast.

Reading chapter 3 of the book of Nehemiah can feel like that at first glance. The whole chapter is a who’s who list of named individuals and groups of people that went to work on the Wall of Jerusalem. If you’re not careful, you can miss some small but important details.

One of the names on that list stood out to me…

Next to him, Baruch son of Zabbai ZEALOUSLY repaired another section, from the angle to the entrance of the house of Eliashib the high priest.–Nehemiah 3:20

This guy Baruch stands out because he is the only one in the whole book with the distinction of “zealously” repairing the Wall at Jerusalem. The fact that he stands out in such a peculiar and unmistakable fashion causes me to want to investigate this conspicuous person.

He repaired “zealously”. Does this mean he worked faster and harder? Does it mean he worked better? Does it mean that he “whistled while he worked”? Did he work long hours? What does zealous mean in this setting?

The Hebrew word for zealously in this instance is charah, and it means that “he burned”. Did he forget to wear sunscreen? Nah. This word is used 90 times in the Old Testament, and much to my amazement it is ALWAYS used in relation to ANGER!

I couldn’t believe it! Here are a couple examples of this type of “zeal”.

Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.–God speaking to Moses in Exodus 32:10

But on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry!–Genesis 4:5. This zeal led to the first murder.

So what about the zeal of Baruch? Did he bust his thumb and holler out in anger a lot? Was he cussing out his fellow workers? Did he get mad and throw his tools around like they were golf clubs into the lake? I just don’t think so.

Nehemiah writes about Baruch in such a way as to give him notoriety and honor. In contrast, Nehemiah was not at all hesitant in pointing out negative behavior. Look at what he said about the nobles of Tekoa:

The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors–Neh. 3:5.

Those proud, lazy rascals! Maybe their laziness got Baruch all “fired up”. Nehemiah’s account shows he observed that Baruch’s work ethic was in stark contrast to the nobles of Tekoa. Nehemiah was pointing that out and putting it down on the record. I see nothing negative in what Nehemiah wrote about Baruch.

I’m gonna say that Nehemiah called Baruch “zealous” because he saw how he worked with much energized focus and great vigor. I believe Baruch attacked the work with the fire and energy of someone who looked angry. In other words he pounded, sawed, and laid stones with the fury of a madman. He poured himself into the work, and gave it everything he had.

The John Trapp Bible Commentary theorizes about Baruch’s zeal saying, “A ready heart makes riddance of God’s work. He burst out in a heat (so the Heb.), being angry both at himself and others that had done no more (Neh.3:5); and, in a holy fume, finished quickly, kindling himself from other men’s coldness, and quickening himself from their slothfulness”

Okay, so Nehemiah sees a guy working on this wall and says he’s zealous. So why are we making a big deal out of this? It’s just one verse! What’s the point? Just in case I’m not getting the point across, let’s look at this from one more angle.

We have to step back and take a look at the big picture to understand the magnitude of this assessment. In his day, Nehemiah worked for the most powerful ruler in the world. Nehemiah worked among the best of the best. Nehemiah was at the top of his game as well. There were no slouches in the court of the Emperor. Whether it was entertainers, artists, builders, decorators, architects, horseman, or goldsmiths, Nehemiah witnessed the work of the cream of the crop. Nehemiah knew what the very best looked like. He knew quality, he knew effort, and he knew great craftsmen. As a result, Nehemiah was not a man to go around throwing out frivolous compliments concerning the workmanship or the work ethic of a person. He is not easily impressed. This wasn’t just any wall, this wall was the largest construction project ever accomplished by any biblical author. Nehemiah was no ordinary man. He was a blunt man of excellence who got straight to the point. The fact that Nehemiah gave this exiled man a compliment is truly amazing. But that is only part of the story.

Now, everyone that actually worked on the wall worked very hard:

So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.

This was a dedicated corps of people. Yet, among this hard-working group of people, Baruch was the ONLY individual to ever receive a compliment from the great Nehemiah for his work on the wall. Now Nehemiah eventually complimented two other men for their character, but Nehemiah never compliments another man for his labor. Baruch stands alone in the eyes of a man who has been among the very best. That is an outstanding achievement.

The question now becomes this: What can we learn from Baruch and apply to our lives? What factors motivated Baruch to have more zeal than others? I do not believe that God is in the habit of giving us a challenge without providing a path of discovery. Let’s investigate! Continue reading

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Nehemiah Blows The Lid Off Faith!

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. –James 1:6-7

Nehemiah was a man of faith. However, his story blows the lid off what many believe about faith. In light of the verse above, how does a depressed, sad, droopy-faced, negative-confessing, fearful man receive such bountiful favor from the Lord???

When Nehemiah got the news about the ruinous condition of Jerusalem, he was initially devastated. But it didn’t stop there. Nehemiah went on to say that For some days I mourned.


How long did he mourn ? His great sorrow began in the month of Kislev and continued through the month of Nisan. After four intense months of effectual fervent prayer, how was this man of unrelenting faith behaving? What did this history-changer look like right before his prayers were answered? He was looking and behaving just like he did four months earlier. He was a very heartsick, droopy-faced man…

The king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.”I was very much afraid.” Another version says, “Why are you sad, when you aren’t sick? This is nothing but depression. I was overwhelmed with fear.” Nehemiah confesses his lengthy sorrow and says, Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”

In his 1880 Homiletical Commentary On The Book Of Nehemiah, W.H. Booth said that during the four month period from Kislev to Nisan, Nehemiah’s “sorrow increased rather than diminished”.

Some of you may be alarmed and thinking, “But Brother Dan, Nehemiah is not matching up with THE WAY WE HAVE BEEN TAUGHT of how a “man of faith” should behave and look!

  1. Brother Dan, Nehemiah’s emotions are not lining up with faith. If he really had faith that God would come through for him, then why is he still so depressed? Wouldn’t this be a sign of a double-minded man? Aren’t fear and prevailing sadness signs of doubt?
  2. Brother Dan, Nehemiah’s behavior was not lining up with faith. He wasn’t practicing the “faith walk” with his head held high, a song on his lips, and a smile of victorious faith. We’ve been taught that real faith will show up on your face! As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he! Brother Dan, he must have had what faith teachers call “stinking thinking” because Nehemiah was looking down in the dumps!. Didn’t he know that all things work together for the good?
  3. Brother Dan, Nehemiah’s speech was not lining up with faith. He wasn’t “speaking faith” by calling those things which are not as though they were. Nehemiah didn’t confess victory but confessed his own despair. He also seemed focused on how bad Jerusalem was, instead of declaring what it could be. For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Brother Dan, death and life are in the power of the tongue. Nehemiah is feeling bad because he obviously hasn’t been confessing victorious faith and his face shows it.
  4. Brother Dan, Nehemiah’s reflection was not lining up with faith. If he had real faith, he would have reflected perfect peace for those whose mind is stayed on the Lord, because they trust in you instead of looking so pitiful.
  5. Brother Dan, Nehemiah’s confession of fear does not line up with faith. If he had such great faith, then why is he so afraid? We’re taught that you can’t possibly have faith and have fear!
  6. Brother Dan, Nehemiah’s hopeless despondence does not line up with faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Nehemiah’s heart was filled with sadness, not hope!

He was looking downcast, afraid, having a heart filled with sadness, confessing sorrow, and still thinking about the ruins. Nehemiah just doesn’t fit the mold of many current faith teachings. Yet, God answered his prayers and granted his requests with much favor. Why? Because during those four long months, Nehemiah operated in sound, biblical faith and never lost it. By faith, Nehemiah built the largest structure by a biblical author.By faith, Nehemiah helped lead a national revival. He was a man of faith.

Nehemiah has blown the lid off of many of our hardcore beliefs about what faith is supposed to look like. So let’s allow Nehemiah to show us how he defined and operated in biblical faith. Continue reading

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Nehemiah Suffers With Delayed Prayer

After hearing about the condition of Jerusalem, how bad did Nehemiah feel?

When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.

I personally believe that scriptures like this are just not meant to be read and glossed over! They were written in such a way to challenge you to think, unpack,  and find a way to emotionally relate to the whole picture. Nehemiah’s packing a LOT into one sentence.

The scriptures say that he sat down and wept. What is that telling you and me? He didn’t simply dust off a chair, straighten out his robes, sit erect in a chair, and hold a hanky to dab his tears. No! Brother Nehemiah didn’t have the will to stand anymore. I believe he just sank down and wept hard. The language suggests that he rarely got up during those days. Can you see it in your mind? Can you relate to it?

I remember the morning my niece walked into the room after hearing that her 16-yr. old brother had been killed by a car. She faced me and collapsed forward into my arms and slinked down to the ground. She just sat there and wept. It was heartbreaking. That’s what I see Nehemiah doing. This sinking of his soul went on for days.

He was in deep mourning. He didn’t even eat. He fasted and prayed. When we read his prayer, we see his heart was broken, contrite and overwhelmed with an awareness of his own guilt and sin. He was also struck with the guilt of  his family. His heart was suffering with a heavy weight. He cried out to God.

Out of this grief came an outstanding prayer that moved heaven and changed history. This prayer was answered in every way except for ONE very obvious exception. What was it?

Give your servant SUCCESS TODAY by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king.–Neheniah 1:11b

Nehemiah prayed for success to be fulfilled TODAY! Again, the key phrase is SUCCESS TODAY. When Nehemiah asked God to do it today, he wasn’t asking for a process to begin. He was asking for  INSTANT SUCCESS and instant favor to PROSPER NOW. The Hebrew Bible specifies hay-yō-wm meaning “this day”. Again, Nehemiah was looking for a miracle RIGHT THEN.

Maybe Nehemiah was hoping the king would come running right in, and begin exclaiming how he had experienced a vivid dream telling him to send Nehemiah back to Jerusalem with all the supplies he needed to build a wall! But it didn’t happen that way. The clock struck, the sun came and went, and the king never showed up. Nehemiah did not experience success today, the next day, the next week, or the next month. That part of his prayer didn’t happen. Not only did he not experience “success today”, the scriptures show that after he prayed, the burden of sorrow was not lifted from him. Wow. He had to wait and wonder if his prayer was heard at all.

What does the very next verse say? In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes. Paraphrased that says, “four months later”. In other words, the two verses put together tell us that Nehemiah prayed that success would happen today, but it didn’t occur until four months later.


Why did God delay Nehemiah’s prayer? Peter Osagie in his book The Way To Glory Land says that Nehemiah “asked God to grant his request immediately. It is not clear why God did not answer him immediately. Four months later, God answered his prayer.” According to the Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary, “The reasons for so long a delay cannot be ascertained”. Frankly, I believe that there is a reason and it is staring us in the face as we read Nehemiah. Nehemiah provides the clues and we just have to connect the dots. What I will say is that something needed to be completed first. We will do that in a later post on Nehemiah’s Faith. Like Nehemiah’s prayer, you’ll just have to wait.

Nehemiah suffered the effects of delayed prayer. You don’t think he did??? AFTER FOUR MONTHS OF WAITING, Nehemiah confesses to us that he was still sad. After having prayed, it was taxing to still be burdened with something you can do nothing about. The burden never lifted and it wore on Nehemiah. His sadness is showing to the point that the king says, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart. What do the scriptures say about this emotional condition? Proverbs 13:12 tells us that Hope deferred makes the heart sick. Another translation says, Delayed hope makes the heart sick”. This great saint of faith suffered from delayed hope. Some well-meaning preachers will tell us that we haven’t prayed enough because we are still carrying the burden. They’ll say  that you’ve got to give it to the Lord and let it go. Maybe that’s true in some cases, but try telling that to Nehemiah.

Is it possible that we have some unbalanced teaching concerning faith? Some teach that people of faith should just get up, start smiling, and start acting like they’ve got the victory. Some preachers will tell you that “real faith” will show up on your face and will change your feelings. You’ve been taught by certain preachers that this is what faith looks like. Did Nehemiah lack faith? NO. Continue reading

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