Tuesday, June 3, 2014

On Every Occasion

The Lord, in His beautiful way demonstrated His relentless love through His servant Nehemiah.

I believe that The Lord saw something in Nehemiah because his heart was for the people from the first day. A people that needed "a great work" in their own hearts and lives.

I love how Jesus makes things lovely even in the midst of hurt and brokenness. In order for us to see this in action, our focus needs to shift from self to Savior. Like Nehemiah, it is time to respond in full obedience to whatever He has for us.

So with that said, I would like to share a brief quote from David Guzik.

"But the real test of revival-the real test of God's work in our lives-is the long term. It is seeing where we are with the Lord ten years after a season of great work."

If that doesn't sum up the story of Nehemiah then I don't know what does.

We saw right out of the gate (no pun intended) that things were a big ol' mess. He immediately went to God in prayer with weeping, mourning and fasting. Not Facebook. Not Twitter. That. will. preach. Y'all.

And awkward silence.

You know I'm preaching to myself up in here.

See, Nehemiah was a mission to reform. By definition, the word 'reform' means 'the improvement of what is wrong; to form again.' And that's exactly what he did.

When we have Jesus, we can do anything because He enables us for His glory. I believe Nehemiah knew that to his core.

In the book of Nehemiah we saw several different types of reform: building reform, financial reform, priority reform (amen) and relationship reform (amen and amen).

Rather than trying to orchestrate everything just so, he just believed in his heart that prayer would change everything and so he left the outcome in the Lord's capable hands.

How could he do this? The Bible says in Proverbs 8:34, "Blessed is the one who listens to Me watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors."  Nehemiah had peace.  Even in chaos. Here's what I love about him:

"Nehemiah on every occasion looked up to God, and committed himself and his affairs to Him." (Matthew Henry)

He looked up to God on every occasion. Not just when things were going great but also when times were less than ideal.

I sometimes hide. I think I've said that before. Call it fear of failure, call it shame. Call it pride. Eew.

If we as the church, could just come to terms with Jesus, The One and Only, The Creator who sees everything. I mean, why do we continue to complicate things and pretend He doesn't see us?

News Flash! He does see. He does care. He will gladly do for me what I can't do for myself.

So Melissa, put your big girl pants on and let Him work.

He's just waiting for me to say, "Lord, I commit myself and all my affairs to You. Have your way." 

One last thing about Nehemiah that is worth noting: how beautiful his heart was for the Lord.

His heart wasn't for himself. It was fixed on The Lord.

"Remember me, O my God, for good." Nehemiah 13:31

Matthew Henry says it best, "He prays, remember me; not reward me. Wipe not out my good deeds, not publish them, or record them. Yet he was rewarded, and his good deeds recorded. God does more than we are able to ask." 

"Lord, my heart is fixed on You...remember me."