Summary: When everything appears to be in shambles, God's people pour out their hearts to God.
LIFESTYLE PRINCIPLES BY WHICH GOD’S WILL MAY BE DONE IN OUR LIVES
Might we pray this way - “Thy will be done in my city as it is in Heaven“ . . . ‘Thy will be done in my Senior Adult Community as it is in Heaven” . . . “Thy will be done in my habitat as it is in Heaven” . . . ”Thy will be done in my own life as it is in Heaven.”
When we pray that way, we are asking God to help us live in such a way that we may experience a bit of Heaven on earth.
In a previous series we considered different aspects of “Why We Are Here” . . . We concluded that we are on our way to the perfect place prepared by the Lord, as depicted by John in his vision of the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
If we really want God’s Will be done on earth as it in Heaven, then we must be about the Father’s business - building His kingdom where we are now, doing so in accordance with biblical principles, set forth by God’s servants, who poured out their hearts to God in a prayers of confession and submission.
In our next six studies, we will see that one of God’s servants, Nehemiah, not only was led to rebuild walls but also to help rebuild broken lives, to bring about that which was best for those who loved God and were called to do His Will.
This rebuilding process occurred five centuries before Christ when many of the Jews who had been exiled to Babylon were granted permission to go back to Jerusalem to restore what their enemies had destroyed. The returnees finished rebuilding the Temple but, for decades, the absence of walls and gates left the city without protection.
When Nehemiah - a Jew who had merited a high position in the king’s court – asked about conditions in his beloved city, and was told that Jerusalem was in shambles, he became distressed and poured out his heart to God – Nehemiah 1:1-11 . . .
Nehemiah is more than a story about rebuilding walls . . . It is my hope that, beginning today, and continuing five more weeks, we will gain insight into that aspect of the story which shows clearly that In difficult situations, God works through His servants to do three things:
rebuild lives stressed out by the consequences of disobeying God . . .
restore hearts distressed by seemingly insurmountable circumstances . . .
reset the criterion by which we are to build or rebuild lives including ours . . .
If we, like Nehemiah, desire to know and do God’s Will - as it is in Heaven, we must respond as did he by pouring out our hearts to God . . . We must get in touch with our Father which art in Heaven. Praying to God our Father is always the right response to any challenging situation which we face in life!
When crisis occurs in our “city” of habitation, someone dials 911 whereupon first responders arrive to assess the situation and then act upon their assessment in ways that will help not harm.
When we become aware of a crisis whether it affects us directly or indirectly . . . and we are moved to tears by a genuine concern for folks whose lives have been, are being, or will be affected by the crisis, shouldn’t we in a very real sense become first responders by taking our concern to the Lord in prayer?
Genuine concern for the plight of people wandering around like sheep with no shepherd . . . plundering through the ashes of ruined lives . . . wondering what tomorrow might bring in the way of relief from whatever may be the woe that has befallen them . . . moves a child of God to tears. Nehemiah wept . . . Jesus wept . . . “Weep o’er the ‘erring ones, lift up the fallen”!
Genuine character surfaces when a godly person becomes aware of a dire need that calls for a merciful response and acts accordingly. That Nehemiah was honest and trustworthy is evidenced by his important position – cupbearer . . .
Although he controlled the king’s time and kept the king’s signet ring at all times, Nehemiah’s loyalty to the Babylonian king did not supersede his allegiance to the God of his fathers, nor did it preclude his longing for a restored Jerusalem.
Yes, Nehemiah could have insulated himself from the plight of his kinsfolk so far away, but his godly character was such that he still had that longing in his heart for their salvation and restoration.