Episode 82 - Takeaways from Nehemiah: Insights from Sojo Academy members
In this episode, Jen and AJ are pulling the curtains back on Sojo Academy and doing something a little different! In the Academy, we have four calls every single month - and we meet every week on Zoom. One of our calls is called a “Coffee chat”, and it's basically where we and other members share our takeaways on the Bible study that we're going through that month!
We wanted to share the Coffee Chat from the Nehemiah study with you because there were so many important points that were brought out by our Sojo members. And we were able to see how they directly apply to each of us today.
There were some controversial and difficult topics that were brought up towards the end, some openness and honesty that we know you will relate to and it all points so beautifully to God!
If you're not in the Academy, take this opportunity to hear from these women, and then go read Nehemiah for yourself and see what God has to tell you through that beautiful book.
Here are the tidbits from what our members shared during our chat:
Be ready to fight. Never stop.
“There's just so many things in chapter four, when the opposition came, they had to work with one hand and be outfitted with their weapon in the other hand, in case of an attack. As I work for God, I must be ready to fight. I see that as a community of women we need to be like watch women for our group, to see danger coming either in their lives or in our lives.
But you still have to continue the work. You don't stop. A lot of times I get discouraged because I'm not moving as fast as I think I should be. I'm not being sanctified or I'm not growing. When the people got discouraged, they were looking at the little bit that they had done in comparison to what the finished product. And as long as I keep my head down and focus on what I'm doing right now because I can't do anything about tomorrow, I can prepare for tomorrow.”
God gives us each a role to play in the body of Christ. We each have our own particular part of the wall to build.
Don’t give up
“I wanted to share something I was studying today, the tail end of lesson five about persevering through challenges. Nehemiah's trying to encourage everyone not to be afraid and to remember the Lord and fight for your family. He's basically encouraging them not to give up. When your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. God will never leave us or forsake us, especially in times of trouble.
We also need to remember that going through trials strengthens our endurance, and it also helps us to walk alongside others going through similar trials. I really enjoyed today's lesson because it's so applicable, no matter what kind of trial you're going through.”
“Those hard things and the oppositions that we face, they're intended to make us stronger and to actually advance the kingdom of God. God uses them in the lives of others as well as our own lives, but there's always this ripple effect. We just have to trust him in that.”
Spending time in prayer
“I want to share something from lesson two regarding how specific Nehemiah's prayer was and how I can apply it to my circumstances and how I need to get really more specific about what I need.
Too often my prayers become “Oh God, I have no idea what to do. Please help.” There's nothing wrong with that in general, but sometimes I feel like I'm just throwing my toys out like I don't know what to do and I don't like it.
This chapter really helped me to see that I need to get more specific. Really take time to reflect while learning deep things about scripture, but also to apply it.”
“One of the most important keys in this account is that Nehemiah knew what to ask specifically because he had spent a lot of time in prayer beforehand.”
Being very specific is important for multiple reasons. It's not just to ask God for an outcome and be specific, but it's also for us, to identify where our hearts are and if our hearts align in that specific request as Nehemiah did.
When our hearts align with God in prayer, we know that we have what we ask of him. We have confidence that He's gonna answer and work on that request.
Prayer isn't just about making the request or seeing if God's gonna answer. It's about confidence, assurance, boldness, and power.
God is calling us to pray
“I just wanted to share about prayer from the intercessor part of it. We as intercessors, we pray and we pray, and sometimes it's for years and years and we feel like there's no reason to pray anymore and nothing's changing. Nothing's happening, but the Bible says, “God remembered Abraham”, like he always remembers our prayers. God has really been impressing on me the importance of prayers. And he does hear and none of this is wasted.”
Having the eyes to see that God is speaking to you, and he remembers your prayers and he is doing that for you right now.
Be looking out for those little moments when God is speaking to us and what He's trying to say.
Open our hearts to allow Scripture to answer your hard questions
“What I have found is that, as I read the Word and spend more time in the Word, those questions do get answered. And sometimes it takes a while. I think when we have those unanswered questions, that is God saying, okay, I have an answer for you. And I want you to prepare your heart to hear whatever it is, and he invites us into his Word on a deeper level to hear over a period of time, because our wisdom is so limited and sometimes the answer to the question, we don't have the capacity at present to understand it or to bear it.
In order to get there or get the answers that we want, we have to grow that capacity in our hearts and all of us need to do that.”
We serve a God that is filled with grace and He gives us grace. And because of that grace, we now can struggle with these things and praise God when we actually look at these topics and are able to battle with them in our own hearts and minds.
He will teach us. Keep plugging, keep plotting, keep battling, keep struggling, and keep tackling those hard topics!
If you want to be part of this beautiful community you can learn more about us at sojoacademy.com.
Study the Book of Nehemiah in more depth with a 4-week Bible Study Bundle with a full Bible Study, a printable Bible journaling kit, Scripture reading and writing plan, and BONUS videos FIND IT HERE.
Free Journal Cards
Need a little extra encouragement to help you stay strong in the face of life's challenges? Our Nehemiah Scripture Cards offer a daily dose of inspiration and wisdom - reminding you that with God's help, you can overcome anything!
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