Monday, January 28, 2013

Solitude is the Quintessential Ingredient to be Led by God, Part 2

Scripture: Nehemiah 2:13-16
So I went out at night by the Valley Gate in the direction of the Dragon's Well and on to the Refuse Gate, inspecting the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and its gates which were consumed by fire. Then I passed on to the Fountain Gate and the King's Pool, but there was no place for my mount to pass. So I went up at night by the ravine and inspected the wall. Then I entered the Valley Gate again and returned. The officials did not know where I had gone or what I had done; nor had I as yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials or the rest who did the work.

Insights: In today’s verses Nehemiah told us two times he inspected the damage of the wall.  The Hebrew word used for inspect literally means “to look into something very carefully.”  It is actually a medical term describing a physician probing a wound to see the extent of the damage.  Remember in this study we are building a spiritual wall of faith with bricks of character.  In the very first week I asked you to allow the Lord to examine the condition of your spiritual wall.  Once again, I ask you to allow God to examine your spiritual wall with the eyes of a surgeon and let Him reveal to you any wicked way of which needs to be repented.  Going back to our text, we learned yesterday that God had placed some things on Nehemiah’s mind regarding the wall and Jerusalem.  Now, still in solitude, he was being directed by God to go and see firsthand the extent of the damage.  All of the groundwork for this major renovation was being accomplished in the silence of solitude between Nehemiah and the Lord God.  In Augustine’s Confessions he wrote about mankind’s desire to experience on his own “flashes of insight and sudden glimpses of God’s glory,” instead of learning how to be “content to seek and find the truth in solitude.”  I think these thoughts of Augustine’s are very true today in our Christian culture.  We want quick mount of transfiguration moments with God, but we do not want to do the hard work of walking daily with Him while carrying our cross and denying ourselves.  The reality is our true growth and dependence on God comes in the daily pilgrimage with God in our quiet times with Him and His Word, not in the sudden flashes.

  1. Are you allowing God to examine your spiritual wall in your times of solitude?
  2. Would you describe your spiritual walk as one of searching for sudden glimpses of God’s glory or one of seeking and finding the truth in solitude?
Prayer: Father, search my heart and reveal to me any wicked way in me.  Give me the courage to repent of any transgression You reveal to me.  Let my life be satisfied in the daily journey with You.  Amen.

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