Do you want a blueprint for joy in your life? Do you want a formula for renewal, revival, and spiritual growth? Do you want to understand the secret of godly contentment and confidence?
Nehemiah reveals all of that and more to us in Nehemiah 7 and 8, giving us powerful life lessons as he leads his people to:
1. Assemble together with other believers. God didn’t design us to be Lone Ranger Christians. When believers assemble together and unite their hearts in prayer and worship, something miraculous takes place. Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20). When we gather together, we encourage one another, support one another, and challenge one another to a deeper faith experience.
2. Affirm the authority of God’s Word. In order for revival to take place in one life, or in the life of a church, or in the life of a nation, it must begin with a hunger and thirst for the Word of God. The Bible is not just a collection of old stories and inspirational quotations; it is the guidebook to victorious living in Christ — the key that unlocks the door to revival. Until churches boldly proclaim the Word of God and Christians obey it, there will never be revival and healing in our land.
3. Adore the God of grace. When the people stood in the square together at the completion of the walls and listened to the reading of the Book of the Law, they wept, rightly mourning their sin that had led to such shameful circumstances. But once they had repented, it was time to adore God, rejoice in His strength, and celebrate His goodness, mercy, and amazing grace. You cannot experience the authentic joy of the Lord until you have expressed sorrow over your sin.
4. Honor God by surrendering all to Him. When Ezra read from the Book of the Law, the people of Israel heard the Word of God, they honored the Word of God, they heeded the Word of God, and they put God’s Word into action. The people consecrated themselves to God, surrendering completely.
God’s goal for your life and mine is that we would enjoy our faith and experience the joy of a vital relationship with Him. When we surrender everything we are, we gain everything God is. If we truly grasp the practical power of these four principles, we will be renewed and reenergized to impact the world for God in the twenty-first century. (DR MICHAEL YOUSSEF)