There is a very practical; everyday side to our faith in God and we find that Nehemiah speaks to that in the Old Testament. Ezra had led a spiritual renewal, while Nehemiah was like the James of the Old Testament, challenging the people to show their faith by their works. As we try to look at how this can become a personal application for our lives there are four lasting principles that stand out in Nehemiah. First, compassion is very often the starting point of our obedience to God’s will in implementing the works He calls us to out of our faith. Second, our cooperation with others is not just required, but mandated so that we walk in unity to carry out God’s will. Third, a Godly confidence results from steeping ourselves in fervent prayer and the digging into of the Word of God, which reveals God’s will. Fourthly, courage will expose itself as sanctified tenacity in refusing to compromise on the conviction that one is doing God’s will. Our unwavering faith will allow His word to shine through us as we allow our heart, mind, soul and spirit to be saturated with it.
Living God’s way should include some guidelines for growing in Godliness. This means making God’s priorities our priorities, realizing that they often are different from ours. Inserting our will over His causes the works part of the equation to become unbalanced. God still accomplishes all things through His Word. It is what both our faith and our works must be centered on. The Scriptures are our true guides and source for ordering our lives according to God’s will. Understanding and obeying His Word brings joy. It also teaches us to acknowledge God’s hand in all of our success. It is in being passive in our execution of what God directs us to do that keeps us from seeing the full measure of success in what He calls us to do.
The book of Nehemiah talks about our need to place the good or the welfare of God's people at a much higher level than our own. We need to not only confess our own sins but be aware and repentant of general corporate sins as well. We are called to come together and rejoice in His Word. We need to collectively stand with understanding of His Word and lift each other up with encouragement out of His Word. Part of our putting works to our faith is just promoting the joy of the Lord within God's people, letting it be a powerful and constantly resurgent source of spiritual strength to all. We need to always direct our works to His will and glory and not man's, bringing forth an ongoing celebration of His success in bringing spiritual progress into and through our lives. The process of letting His word flow through us must be coupled with our allowing the active removal of the ways of the world from our lives. The word says that we need to root out worldly ways in ourselves, and also those that have become established in the life of the church. Reject carnal compromises and refuse evil alliances, He has called us to be set apart from the things of this earth.
We all know or should know that the Lord is the one true source of our spiritual advancement. We also know that no such progress will go unopposed, it will incur spiritual opposition at every turn. Satan will use every device to quench our spirit and our progress. Many time’s it is expressed through human agency, our fellow brothers and sisters. We need to act with discernment in all things. We need to earnestly seek God's will in all matters and have the wisdom to discern the true origin of any verbal attacks or other assaults motivated by our spiritual adversary. It is these attacks that he uses to keep us from going forward in activating the works part of God's Word by faith. Nehemiah tells us to make our decisions by ascertaining the mind of the Lord. Doing His will many times brings hostility and we need to be prepared for such reactions, not surprised by them. Opposition to our carrying out of His works through faith will anger those that oppose us. Our opposition will not look upon us with excitement as God's favor is shown to His people. Many time’s we will be faced with negative words from those that claim to come in His name. We need to be in His word and be able to discern and reject those things that come from those directed by something other than a Godly influence. In these days we must be guided by the discerning of His Word, moving forward by faith to do His good works.
Faith takes God at His word; it does not question His promises. Through faith, we can speak confidently, praising Him for promises, even before we see the answer ahead. We can trust Him to bring His glory out of the works we do in His name. As we exercise our faith in Him we can be assured that our responses in demanding situations will be from the Lord. We don't presume; we pray, search His word, discern His will, perform His good works and then praise Him for all success and favor.
There is a great work that lays before us today. Time is short and today is the day to put into action His works in each one of us. We must be ever mindful of and insure the welfare of the church. We must all come together is such a way so that everyone carries a fair share of the work and no one puts his own interests above those of others. We all serve the same purpose and need to be providing an example of obedience and diligence to His work today. We need to understand that righteous living is obedient to the will of God as the Scriptures reveal to us. We are entrusted with the responsibility to set our personal concerns and ambitions aside and take up the heart of a servant in faith through declaring His works.
Spiritual victory comes through faith that God fights for us as we align ourselves with His word. We can ignore the insults of those opposed to us that do not find their foundations in His Word and trust God for victory. We can trust His justice; we can trust His faithfulness. We must be constantly aware that stepping into His works in faith involves spiritual warfare. Be prepared for battle, and lift those up that are under spiritual attack. Discernment in these last days shall be your guide as we all seek to be in His place of service for the Kingdom. Success and favor with men comes from the Lord alone. Rest in it and move forward in it today. Let your discernment and works be a part of the restoration of our nation today.