This book became on of my favourites while in university because of the passion and desire Nehemiah shows towards his community. Listen to the prayer Nehemiah cries out in Chapter one.
I said, “God, God-of-Heaven, the great and awesome God, loyal to his covenant and faithful to those who love him and obey his commands: Look at me, listen to me. Pay attention to this prayer of your servant that I’m praying day and night in intercession for your servants, the People of Israel, confessing the sins of the People of Israel. And I’m including myself, I and my ancestors, among those who have sinned against you.
“We’ve treated you like dirt: We haven’t done what you told us, haven’t followed your commands, and haven’t respected the decisions you gave to Moses your servant. All the same, remember the warning you posted to your servant Moses: ‘If you betray me, I’ll scatter you to the four winds, but if you come back to me and do what I tell you, I’ll gather up all these scattered peoples from wherever they ended up and put them back in the place I chose to mark with my Name.’ (Nehemiah 1:5-9)
I have called this mini-blog series ‘An Inside Look’ because Nehemiah wanted to make a difference inside of the walls that surrounded his community. Nehemiah had a desire and God provided him an opportunity to make an impact on those around him. However, there were some difficulties for him to overcome. Nehemiah was afraid to speak up to the King. And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. He overlooked his fear and shared with the King the heaviness of his heart. He took his opportunity to speak out for his community and change was put into motion.
What do you see in your community that breaks your heart?
Have you spoken to God about your heavy heart?
What fears are holding you back from taking the first step towards changing, or impacting your community?
Are you keeping your eyes open to the opportunities God is placing before you?
A friend posted this on his Twitter feed in regards to the current Sunday series going on at The Peoples Church. I think this relates perfectly into what Nehemiah was going through and how many of us feel about the communities we live in.
Does the spiritual state of my city move me? Do I weep over it? Does the state of other people break my heart?
I am currently using this book as a devotion every morning and will be blogging my thoughts as I work through this. We are also covering Nehemiah on Sunday mornings at The Peoples Church for the next couple of weeks at both the 9:15 and 11:30 A.M. services.