Monday, February 9, 2009

A Strong Conviction

Have you ever felt a strong conviction to accomplish a certain goal? Last year I had such a conviction for my son’s high school graduation party. I envisioned playing a DVD slide show. I had chosen the songs and the pictures from all his growing years. I knew exactly how I wanted it to turn out. Yet, problem after problem kept popping up. As soon as I resolved one issue, another one came. Well meaning family members told me it would be okay. We didn’t have to have the presentation. I tried to set it aside, but it kept gnawing at me. The conviction to finish what I started was stronger than the opposition.

Nehemiah, who lived in exile, received a report from Jerusalem that the exiles who survived were in trouble. The wall was broken down and the gates destroyed by fire. This news grieved Nehemiah. He prayed earnestly to the Lord with weeping, mourning and fasting. His prayer is recorded in Nehemiah 1.

The last sentence of the prayer reads:

“O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man." ~~Nehemiah 1:11 ESV

After repenting for the sins of his forefathers and his sins, Nehemiah reminded the Lord of His covenant with His people. Then Nehemiah boldly asked the Lord to hear his prayer, give him success and grant him mercy. Nehemiah felt the call from God to do something about the broken wall. Nehemiah knew that success only comes from God. So he asked for it.

Afterwards, in the next chapter, the king grants Nehemiah’s request to return to Jerusalem to repair the wall, gives him the necessary letters and financing. Nehemiah busied himself with the work the Lord sent him to do.

But before the work was completed, the enemy tried to distract Nehemiah. (Find this in Nehemiah 6.) However, his conviction was so strong; Nehemiah maintained his focus and would not leave the work unfinished. He submitted himself to the Lord, resisted the devil and he completed the task of rebuilding the wall.

Success comes from the Lord through a strong conviction to accomplish the task. Some tasks are short term, like the slide show presentation for my son’s graduation. I persevered as the Lord granted me favor with technical support for the software I used. The presentation was completed only hours before the graduation party. I achieved success in the presentation by the grace of God.

Other projects take more time to complete. I know of two areas at this in my life where I must submit myself to the Lord and the strong conviction He placed on my heart in order to complete these long-term projects. The first of the two projects is to chose a healthy lifestyle and live it out day by day. The second project is writing a book and/or Bible study. I cannot escape it for it is not complete. The enemy has distracted me. I’ve delayed and procrastinated. But the strong conviction to complete it by the grace of God is stronger. I’m moving forward toward the success I believe the Lord has for me.

Please share if you have a strong conviction from the Lord that you must finish? Let’s pray with fervor and conviction that what the Lord calls us to accomplish, no matter what distractions the enemy brings, by His grace we will achieve success for God's glory.

Engrafted by His Grace--

7 gracious comments:

Nicole said...

I have a strong conviction to stay on task during the day. As I work at home on the computer I get distracted very easily with other things than my work. I really need God's strength to accomplish this task. I need His help. Praying for this in agreement with your requests.

Love,
Nicole

Leah said...

God bless you, dear one. It is so easy to allow life to distract us, isn't is? I, too, have areas where I need to be sure to stay on task and stay faithful to the last word I heard from God.

Leah

Leigh Anne said...

I found your blog through "the preachers-wife". I am so glad I did. I feel the desire and conviction to write as well. Just started a blog last week. Thank you for sharing. God Bless!

Starla said...

Thanks for sharing!!!

Kathy S. said...

The Lord really spoke to me here. I have a heart for teens to walk in obedience and freedom, I feel disheartened at where many of them are at, and people say they need to make mistakes and learn things on their own...I struggle with "do I care too much?" or "do I have too high of expectations?" But I believe this post reinforced that I shouldn't grow weary, but continue the work that God is calling me to do.
Thanks Shonda!

Jennifer said...

Shonda, it seems that you and I have the same strong conviction that God wants us to write a book/Bible study. I have felt this for some time. And it is so easy to become distracted. I will keep you in my prayers as I hope you will do the same for me.

God Bless.

lisasmith said...

This, Shonda, is a good word! Girl, most of my convictions about finishing have to do with writing, scrapbooking for my children, getting my house organized and spending time with people I love. Crazy that we can't make time for important things, huh? I did claim for my verse for 2009 Matt. 6:33 which I love in the NLT. God promised me He would help me with these projects if I was faithful to keep Him first and spend time in His Word each day. So far, so good for 2009!!

And, your pants/powder story. I've long since decided that people are way too concerned with themselves to notice any powder on the seat of my pants!! LOL