Nehemiah: Daily Repentance/Worship/Recommitment

Friday, May 30, 2014


If I’m going to tell you a story, I guess I should start at the beginning 
Just a quick update, my name is Annie and I’m a yoga instructor. It’s not where I saw my life going, but God did. He called me to be a light in a dark community. If you want to read that story, start here. Go ahead, I’ll wait …
So, by now, you’re probably wondering what that’s got to do with Nehemiah. I’m not quite there yet, just hang with me a minute. So, after a while of teaching yoga and learning how to do that well, I wanted to know more. I wanted to go deeper. I prayed about how to grown in knowledge and still guarding my heart. One of the things God was teaching me at the time was that I couldn’t teach what I didn’t know. If I was going to be a light in a dark community I needed to be in His word deeper. I needed to know yoga deeper. If I was going to be taken seriously on either subject , I needed to know more. After a while of praying and listening, I found Holy Yoga.
Over the next few months God made it clear that was to be my next step. But it was not quite time. It’s really hard when God shows you a bit of your future, but will not let you have it. There was work that needed to be done first.
One day I was praying and confused and frustrated. God took me to Nehemiah. Through our afternoon there, God told me that there was a great work to be done. He was preparing and providing for each step of the way, I needed to listen and trust. He showed me there would be a time of waiting and planning, He would give me a plan. There would be opposition from the outside and from the inside, because a mighty work of God does not come without some pushback. But that opposition was not for me to worry about. He would take care of all my obstacles. And the last thing He told me that day was, all of this time of waiting has a purpose. When the time comes to move, just like Nehemiah and the King, it will be quick.
For the sake of time here, we’ll just say that last 11 months have been a refining period in my life. God has been working in me and burning off things that I cannot carry into the next chapter of my life. Some have been very painful and some I didn’t even know I still carried. He’s grown relationships and cut some others off. It has been a good and sweet and very hard time with the Lord. If I tried to tell you everything that’s happened over the last year, we’d be here forever. So can you just trust me that He’s spoken in some pretty significant ways? Just to give you a taste, I’ll tell you this one with most of the details.
So a few weeks ago I was again at a place where, in reference to Holy Yoga, I was broken down and frustrated and confused. I know beyond a shadow of doubt this is where I am supposed to be, but I just don’t see a way there. (Did I mention this is about a $3,000 commitment?) What I’m about to say, I do not encourage as a way of speaking to God. But this day, I got angry. Praying I said, “God I just don’t understand what you’re doing. (knowing full well what I was saying was wrong) God if I am too distracted by Holy Yoga to see what you really want from me, please take this desire away. But God if this is what you want from me then do it! God I want there to be a clear sign. I want someone to come up to be and hand me a check. I want them to say, ‘God wants me to give this money to you for Holy Yoga’ and God, I don’t want it to be someone who knows me. I want it to be a complete stranger. If that happens, then I will know that this is you. If not, then I’ll forget about it and walk away.”
Pretty bold way to speak to God. I think He was laughing at me. Literally four days later, I got a message from a woman I don’t really know. She’s been a friend on Instagram, but other than that, she’s a stranger. She said, and I kid you not, I would like to pay your down payment to register for Holy Yoga. I wanted to do it a while ago, but I didn’t feel like God wanted me to yet.
I was floored. Again, even in my unwillingness to just trust, God was faithful. Because that’s who He is. Over the next week, Jamie and I prayed about it and talked about it. On Monday, Jamie went on a trip, one that I would not have contact with him for a week. On Monday, SHEREADSTRUTH started the book of Nehemiah. I was thrilled and could not wait. I could feel the Lord working and I couldn’t get into this book fast enough. On Monday, I got a call from Holy Yoga about my down payment. It was time to put the plan into action. I was worried but God made it clear through that first day in Nehemiah, the time of waiting was over, put the plan into action. I will take care of the rest.
In the last 17 days in the book of Nehemiah, God has taught me so much.
  1. Extraordinary things happen when you move with God. Not running ahead but walking beside.
  2. Keep God in His rightful place. Don’t exalt the power of man and diminish the power of God.
  3. God’s plan always has more eternal value than we can understand.
  4. What good is a strong wall, if the people inside the wall are corrupt?
  5. Faithfully living for God includes DAILY Repentance/Worship/Recommitment. DAILY
So why does the book of Nehemiah, a great and mighty work of God, end the way it does? The people have yet again, taken their eyes off the Lord. They have intertwined their lives and beliefs with those around them. They have forsaken the word of God. Why is that encouraging to me?

Because if the book had ended one chapter before, I could walk away with a list of things to do, and thought it would be easy to return to God and keep all His laws. By seeing this, I am again reminded that, it’s a DAILY Repentance/Worship/Recommitment. Don’t get comfortable in thinking that I worked for the blessing in my life. It’s nothing that I’ve done, but all the goodness and good gifts of a loving God. It’s all Him! Never forget, don’t get lazy, keep working to know Him better.
I’m so thankful that God has used the book of Nehemiah intertwined with my yoga journey. It’s a reminder to me over and over that God can do great things I don’t understand through me for the kingdom if I trust Him and walk with him step by step. For me to be used, I must continue to learn, because I can’t teach what I don’t know. That goes for yoga and His word. And He’s teaching me to keep my eyes on Him always, DAILY, so that I don’t get lost in the culture around me that could easily draw me away from God. Keep my eyes on Him. Give Him all the praise and glory. Keep Him in His rightful place. DAILY repentance/worship/recommitment.
What big thing is God doing in your life?


  1. Thank you for making such a personal connection to this Book. What a great reminder that we "don't got it" without God. Daily repentance, worship, and recommitment are so important...DAILY!!!

    1. I know Friend, right? It's a step by step check. I can trust God no matter what. His ways are always better. I wish I could recount for everyone every step He's taken me through this past year. It is mind blowing that He loves me so much, that He's willing to wait patiently until I get it. He's such a personal God if we'll let Him into deep places.

    2. Amen.I asked The Lord this week to show me where I need cleansing. It is a daily part of our sacrificial offering, that I can praise HIM with a pure heart. It would be so easy for Nehemiah to have given up ,to rest on his laurels of being the only righteous person in the land. But he stays on task,When we stand before The Lord, our only defence will be HIS mercy and grace covering our human condition called sin.

    3. Thanks Diane! I loved seeing Nehemiah coming back ... it's so right. He could have just walked away and said, "oh well Lord, I tried. I can't do anything with these people! I give up!!" But He didn't. He kept on encouraging the people to turn their hearts back to the Lord. That's what we're supposed to do for each other.

  2. So many good truths here, thank you for sharing! Aren't you glad Nehemiah didn't end on chapter 12!? I love your thoughts on daily reckoning with God. I LOVE the book "The Life You've Always Wanted" (Ortner). (Don't judge it by it's title/cover, it's legit!) Talks about practicing spiritual disciplines in FREEDOM!

    1. Thanks Laura!
      The first time I read Nehemiah I was frustrated. I think going back through the whole book in such a deep and personal way, this time I am more thankful for this ending. I don't want a "movie" ending. I'm so thankful that God kept the bible real. We don't always have happy endings in an imperfect world and body. Romans 7 Go read it from the Message translation. I love this so much! I try and try and I even try to will myself to do good. I delight in God's law but I can't keep it because something inside me tries to sabotage me. The only answer to this is Jesus ... (that's kinda a paraphrase of it) I love it! We can look at the Israelites and shake our heads and look down on them until we look at our own lives and our own patterns. That's why it has to be daily, not weekly, but daily. That's why we are called to live in community to encourage, strengthen and keep each other accountable. It's funny you mentioned "The Life You've Always Wanted" by John Ortberg! We read it a few years ago in our Community Group. We all laughed at the cover and our leader said the same thing, "Don't judge, it's solid stuff" It was wonderful!

    2. So that I don't get lost in the culture that's around me....there it is. Getting lost in this world, which is not our many people, places, things that distract us. Daily...even hourly for me...remembering


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