The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah… Nehemiah 1:1 (NKJV)
Nehemiah was a passionate person. When there was something worth fighting for, he fought for it. That’s the theme we see throughout his life in the book that bears his name. Whether it’s stepping up to ask the King for a favor or fighting off those who would oppose his efforts to rebuild Jerusalem, Nehemiah was a man who went “all in.”
We see a striking example of this (literally) after the Jews began to repeat the practice of intermarrying people from the nations surrounding them. This was the same sin that had brought them to ruin many years before—and Nehemiah wasn’t going to let it slide:
So I contended with them and cursed them, struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, “You shall not give your daughters as wives to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons or yourselves. (Nehemiah 13:25 NKJV)
Just so there’s no misunderstanding, this isn’t advocating hitting people or pulling out their hair if they sin. But the point in sharing this passage is to underscore the passion that Nehemiah had when it came to the things of the Lord. Obedience was something serious. It was worth fighting for. And he fought for it!
Sometimes, our greatest sin can be apathy. The Lord says that a lukewarm spirit or attitude towards the things of God is something that makes Him want to vomit (Revelation 3:15-16). Nehemiah was in little danger of that, but what about us? Are we passionate about the eternal truths of God that determine eternal destinies? Or are we guilty of losing the fire of our faith?
If we have grown cold in our convictions or in our compassion, the Holy Spirit is willing and able to restore the flame and renew the passion that once burned bright and clear. All we need to do is ask Him, and He will answer…because it’s His heart’s desire to rekindle ours.
Think About It…
What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17 (NKJV)
Consistency breeds security. If you're an employer, you take comfort in knowing that you have consistent employees working for you. If your car needs to be fixed, you're going to take it to a mechanic who has consistently performed well. And if you're a coach, you'll probably draw up a play at the end of a tight game that puts the ball in the hands of your best and most consistent player.