We started this series almost two months ago by taking the time to inspect our walls, and I think returning to that concept is the perfect way to end our journey through the book of Nehemiah. For so many chapters, this book focuses on the people’s devotion to God and their intentional turning from their sins and back to him. They took the time to count the cost of following him, repented, and promised to obey his rules. It seemed like they would be intentional and their following wouldn’t be fleeting. And yet, by Nehemiah 13, they were back to their old ways of doing things.
This chapter is pretty sobering to me because it’s such a clear reminder that anyone can stumble if they’re not careful. No matter how good our intentions are, we can turn our backs on God because that’s our natural setting. If we don’t pay attention, guard our hearts, and have those people who can call out sin when they see it, we can easily end up in positions that we don’t want to be in.
I’m going to keep this post short so that we each have a little more time to examine our hearts and lives and see if there are any areas in which we’ve become lax. Let’s invite the Holy Spirit in and ask him to reveal those areas where we have drifted or settled for less than his best for us.
The good news is that someone like Nehemiah isn’t going to come through and kick us out of a community when we mess up. Instead, Jesus has paid the price for our foolishness, disobedience, and sin. We simply have to return to him. We don’t have to offer any sacrifices or adhere to a strict set of behavioral rules, but we can come and sit with him, trusting him to heal our hearts because everything else flows from that.
I’m so grateful that we’ve been able to journey through Nehemiah together. I know that I’ve learned a lot about leadership, life, and following the Lord from this incredible book, and I hope you have too. Let’s continue to inspect our hearts regularly and put ourselves in positions where God and others can point out sin in our lives. I fully believe that living this way can change our lives and the world around us—what an amazing opportunity that is!
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you?
How can you invite God and others into your life?