Day Seven of the Great Adventure: Learning From Nehemiah’s Example
Nehemiah 1:4-7 (NIV)
4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
5 Then I said: “O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands,
6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you.
7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
Yesterday we saw how Nehemiah expressed his praise for who God was. Before he offered any request, he focused on God’s nature and character, as revealed in scripture.
This one act will empower you to trust God for things you have not yet been able to trust him. After you have spent some time in praise and adoration of who God is, the next thing that most often follows is an acute awareness of how you have spurned such grace and beauty. When you see God ins all of His glory and see how much he desires to care for you, you will be convicted about how much you have refused to trust his goodness.
Nehemiah moves from confessing God’s character and glory to calling forth the sins of his people and his own life. Something interesting in Nehemiah’s life is we do not hear of any sin that Nehemiah has been guilty, yet he confesses sin as it was his own. He willingly identifies with his people in their sin.
This confession is not some simple light-hearted brief confession; it is a sincere heart wrenching exhaustive list of the acts of rebellion that God’s people are guilty of. The deeper the repentance, the more magnificent the deliverance.
Take some time with the Father to confess every sin you are aware of. Do not be quick in this expression and confession.
You might want to read Psalms 51 to give you a good pattern of how to confess your sin. Ask the Lord to show you your sin. Tell him he is free to expose nay wicked way n you and in our church and community. Remember, the deeper your confession, the deeper your deliverance.
When Nehemiah began to confess the sins of his people, he did not know how much it would cost him, but the joy that was to come would be worth every moment spent in repentance and confession.
Psalm 19:12 gives us some assistance as we go about confessing and repenting of sin. Psalm 19:12 (NIV)
12 Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.
May the Lord show you the places you have sinned and need to repent.
Expecting Great things from God,