“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.”
Nehemiah received word concerning conditions in Jerusalem. No doubt, he hoped to hear the work of God was being accomplished, and the people were living righteous and holy lives. Instead, he heard of how the people had let the sin of discouragement keep them from serving the Lord, and the city walls remained a pile of rubble.
The news Nehemiah received is all too common. The conditions of the world and the church are often much less than we hope. Believers commonly allow things to hinder them from serving Christ, and the world is constantly being devastated by the effects of rebellion against a holy and loving God. The uncommon element to this story is not the condition of things, as much as it is the response of the man. Instead of allowing these things to discourage him, Nehemiah determined to make a difference. His reaction to the news is one that is not only telling of his character, but should stir each of us to emulate his actions, and make a difference in our world.
We read, Nehemiah sought the Lord. As the story unfolds, we find Nehemiah’s efforts to seek God include, confession for personal sin, prayer that God would accomplish His work, and diligent, targeted ministry to see the kingdom of God furthered on earth.
There is no doubt, we are living in dark days. Man’s moral compass has been compromised. It seems almost every sinful action is being espoused as a right and a freedom. Anyone who would even suggest certain behaviors are sinful, is immediately tagged as being intolerant, judgmental, and a threat to the common good. How is the Christian to respond to this? I believe it is time to take a page from Nehemiah’s book. I think we need to seek the face of God. We should confess any personal sin and get rid of it, while at the same time, praying on behalf of those who are caught up in immoral living. We should also seek every way possible to bring the light of the glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a confused a dying world.
Will you pray today that God would give us an open door to take the truth to the world like never before?