The Source

Joel Plantinga

READ : Nehemiah 1:4-11

When I heard these words I sat down and wept . . . fasting and praying before the God of heaven. (v. 4)

The formula for weight loss is pretty simple: eat less and move more! However, I first had to come to terms with some “behind the scenes” emotions that contributed to my habit of eating more and moving less. Dealing with those has been critical to my success at shedding unwanted pounds.

Nehemiah showed great wisdom in responding to his “reality check” of the problems in Jerusalem by first turning his attention to God, the source of wisdom, power, and strength. He also showed deep faith by pouring out his heart to God. He demonstrated a clear understanding that the conditions of Jerusalem were the direct result of the peoples’ disobedience and unfaithfulness. Going to the Source with fasting and listening prayers gave him insight.

My natural tendency is to be more focused on what I can do to solve a problem. When we go to God first, we find fresh insight and renewed strength. When we take the time to share our heart with him, we receive peace and assurance. Taking immediate action can make us feel useful but often leads to dead ends. Allowing God to be in charge assures us of accomplishing what he wants done in his good time.


Lord, forgive us for turning to you last, and help us to go to you first. Amen.