This week I’ve been reading through the book of Nehemiah as part of my 1 year reading plan with Youversion.com. Nehemiah is the story of a man who was burdened for the situation of his hometown which was destroyed by the Babylonians.
Interestingly enough, God actually allowed and orchestrated this demise.
You see the people of Israel had fallen away from God and stopped worshiping him. They were doing things that went against God’s Word and he had enough. God used the Babylonians to bring judgment on Israel. Many of the people were killed while most of the survivors were taken to live a slaves in the land of Babylon. It was there that Nehemiah got the vision to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the city.
Through most of the book, Nehemiah leads the people on this crusade to resurrect the city. They even find a copy of the books of the Law that Moses wrote (Gen-Deut) and read them to everyone. They repented and began to align themselves with God again. Things were back on track for the people of Israel. God was blessing them again. They had their city restored and could be proud as a nation once again.
Then it happened. Nehemiah left and went back to Babylon as he promised the king he would do (Nehemiah 13:6). Guess what the Israelites did? They started to fall back into their old sinful ways again!! In such a short time they began to ignore God’s Word.
How could they do this? Didn’t they remember the pain and turmoil they had been in for the many years of captivity? How could they do this after all that happened?
Then this thought hit me. How often do we do this today?
God speaks to us about something in our life that is not honoring him. We feel convicted. We ask God to forgive us. We plan to do it right this time.
But before we know it, we fall back to that same sin. We didn’t plan to, it just happened. How do we stop it?
Do what Nehemiah did. He cleaned house (Nehemiah 13:8-31). He got rid of the influences that were dragging the people down.
We must do the same. What influences do you need to remove from your life so you can continue honoring God?
- Are some of the friends you hang out with leading you back into sinful behavior?
- Are you connecting with someone online in an inappropriate way?
- Are you in a relationship that is not honoring Christ?
If so, you need to clean house. Remove those temptations from your life or you’ll end up back there again.