Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Humility before God: A Humble Leader Seeks God First, Part 1

Scripture: Nehemiah 1:5-7
I said, "I beseech You, O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and loving kindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, day and night, on behalf of the sons of Israel Your servants, confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have sinned against You; I and my father's house have sinned. "We have acted very corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.

Insights: When you face a problem is your normal response to try and fix it?  Most people do not seek the Lord first in the problem solving plan.  In fact, more often than not, God is their last resort.  This statement, however, was not true of Nehemiah.  After he was presented with the information the very first place he turned was to the Lord.  For all practical purposes the remainder of the chapter is Nehemiah’s prayer to God.  The first aspect of prayer we can learn from Nehemiah is concerned with praise to God.  Notice how he addressed God in verse five.  He exalted the Lord and told Him how awesome He was.  Nehemiah also referenced God’s loving kindness.  Think about it this way: Nehemiah’s boss was the king and he was pretty powerful, but compared to God, Artaxerxes was nothing.  The second aspect of Nehemiah’s prayer dealt with confessing sin.  Verses six and seven tell us of the sin of Israel as well as Nehemiah’s own sin in the process.  They as a people had disobeyed God’s commandments, statutes, and ordinances.  It is interesting that Nehemiah threw himself into the midst of the problem.  The normal human response is typically to point the blame elsewhere, but not for Nehemiah.  Tomorrow we will look at the next two aspects about prayer which Nehemiah’s pray models for us.  Until then, Beloved, let me encourage you to begin now going to the Lord with your problems.  Let Him be your first thing and allow Him to examine your heart and reveal the truth of the situation to you.  May your response to Him bring glory to His name.

  1. Are you taking your problem to the Lord first?
  2. Are you open to recognizing your part in the problem and repenting of it before God?
Prayer: Father, You are the One true God and awesome in power and might.  Examine my heart and reveal to me any wicked way.  Then Lord, give me the courage to truly repent and seek hard after You.  Amen. 

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