At the prompting of a fellow sister in Christ I am reading Nehemiah. This story touches me on many levels and speaks to the magnificence of Christ. I am moved by Nehemiah’s sensitivity to the heart of God and his desire to act on what he knows to be true. He was not just a man of prayer but was also a man of action. The tears that poured out from his body stemmed from a desire for restoration to come to his people.
Nehemiah 1:3-4 “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire”…So it was when I heard these words that I sat down and wept and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven”.
After hearing the devastating news that his land was broken, he could not help himself. He cried out. He cried out to the God of heaven. And he prayed day and night and repented on behalf of his people so that God would MOVE. And guess what. God did. All God needed was one man who would stand in the gap, and He would move.
As a child I was very sensitive, unlike the members of my family. I remember one time my grandmother became upset with me for crying because someone (maybe her) had hurt my feelings. Her rebuke and criticism made me feel ashamed and that I was too sensitive. If only she had known that my sensitivity was in fact the sensitive heart of an intercessor, she could have cultivated that gift in me. If only she had the understanding that I was someone who stands in the gap for others and cries out to the God of heaven. Like Nehemiah. Like Jesus. I don’t blame her for not knowing. She was walking in the light that she had at the time, as we all are.
When I first became a believer, God in His mercy made sure to speak truth to me about my identity and dispel the lies that I had received from my grandmother’s rebuke, as well as from the world’s perception. “Nicole, you are an intercessor”. Well, I had no idea what that meant. But in time, I would learn. And I’m still learning.
Throughout history, since the fall of man, God was using intercessors. Prophets who would speak God’s word unashamedly and weep, if needed, on behalf of God’s people.
Ezekiel 22:30 “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.”
And when He couldn’t find a man, He did it Himself…
But maybe you do not weep for others. Maybe you are gifted in other ways to help manifest the body of Christ and His kingdom. If so, I encourage you to discover and use your gifts and talents, as they are vital for this generation’s deliverance. It is vital for you to know who you are and why you are here. Otherwise, there will be no rebuilding of the wall.
Whatever your gifting is, stand in who you are and know that God has made you that way, for His purpose and for His glory.