Tuesday, October 29, 2013

When God Stirs Our Hearts

Fifty years after its destruction by the Babylonians in 586 B.C., the exiles began rebuilding Solomon's temple. After only 6 years -- in 530 B.C. -- their work stopped. Frustrated and intimidated by opposition all around them, the Jewish people abandoned the temple rebuilding process, and for over 10 years, construction on the Lord's house came to a standstill.

The hearts that God had stirred up to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple only 8 years earlier (Ezra 1:5had already quieted. The original excitement had turned dull; the passion and zeal for doing the Lord's work was extinguished. It would take the messages of two of God's prophets and the watchful eye of God Himself (Ezra 5:5) to encourage the Jewish people to recommit to their work.

Can you identify with the Jewish exiles? Have you experienced a stirring in your heart that you can only attribute to the Holy Spirit? Did you heed the Lord's calling? If so, have you since abandoned the work He has called you to? 

Maybe you were so overcome by frustrations and discouragements that you gave up like the Jewish exiles did. Maybe -- like the exiles -- you began to doubt that what you were doing was truly the Lord's will. Maybe you thought you had misheard Him. Maybe you even considered going back to Babylon. 

I admit that I have experienced numerous heart stirrings over the years. Some I have immediately set to work on, and others I've ignored completely. The Lord stirs us up to good works, but He doesn't force us to comply; we have to be willing. We have to be listening to hear what He wants us to do next. And sometimes we need encouragement from other Christians.

In May of 2010, God burdened my heart to start this blog. I really didn't know where He was leading me. My lack of experience in anything led me to simply record my "growth" as a wife, mom, and Christian woman, sprinkling in some encouragement to others along the way. Over the last three years, I've gone in lots of different directions with my writing, but, ultimately, I always come back to writing devotionals because that's what God has really stirred my heart to do.

I'll admit to feeling disheartened just as the Jewish people must have felt when King Artaxerxes ordered them to stop building the temple (Ezra 4:17-24), wondering if maybe God wanted me to stop writing. I've taken many blogging breaks over the years and even contemplated shutting my blog down a few times. Some days I feel like I'm just writing for me or that what I'm saying doesn't matter to anyone else. {It can be discouraging when no one comments.} But now I know not to take it personally. Because it isn't about me; it's about Him. 

If God calls us to do something, He will see it to completion -- with or without our help. The temple did get rebuilt (Ezra 6:14). The Lord saw it through. Thanks to prophets like Haggai and Zechariah the people resumed the work. And, once again, He stirred up the people's hearts (Haggai 1:14).

Whatever God has called you to, He will see you through, too. 

Is there an area in your life that the Lord is stirring up in you? What's keeping you from obeying His call? 

Or, have you abandoned "temple work" due to frustration, discouragement, or fear? 

Ask Him for whatever you need, and trust He will provide abundantly. 

If I can pray for you in any way, please comment or email me directly. I would love to help however I can.

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  1. Hi Keri, I Really enjoy your blog, and it really blessed me! So please don't stop! I've been So depressed, despite clinging to The Lord, and yesterday at church I received prayer against a spirit of depression. And I think that might be it- But I would love to pin and save your blogs; is there any way to do that? But, I love your blog; just know that! God speaks through you! Thank you- melody ambler

    1. Thank you, Melody. That is so encouraging to me. I pray your spirit of depression is gone for good. Continue clinging to the Lord. He is good! He will never leave you or forsake you.

      By the way, if you put your mouse on an image in a post, you will see the Pinterest logo flash. You can click on it and pin the post to your board. Hope that helps!

      God bless you.


  2. I love the thought about stirring us but not forcing us to good work. It reminded me of James. Basically the one who knows to do good and doesn't do it, to him it's sin! Thanks for helping me focus on what's important today!

    1. Good point, Helene! I like that we aren't robots or puppets controlled by a greater force but that God gives us free will. I pray that I will always obey His stirrings!

  3. This is my first time here but...I like what I read...and I'm greatly encouraged today to keep going in the directions God is stirring in my heart. May we not grow weary...and may we trust in our great God to provide. Blessings...

    1. AMEN, Amy! Sometimes it's hard to keep going, but if He lays it on our hearts, then He WILL see us through. We must trust in that promise.

      Thank you for your encouraging words. Praying God's blessings on you today, that you will not grow weary in doing His will.

  4. Just found your blog a few days ago and really am enjoying it. I am homeschooling kindergarten too, and have a three year old to entertain. SO fun! Plus I am expecting another girl this winter. But it feels like this is what I am supposed to be doing and I am loving reading others persepctives and insights. Keep it up!

  5. Beautifully put as always, Keri. I can think of one thing that I've been called to do that I wanted to quit at because it's just so hard. But God keeps reminded me that this is exactly what He wants me to do, and I just need to stay faithful and consistent. The fruit will come later.