By Greg Lunsford--
I don’t know about all of you, but God has been working on my heart so much during this Nehemiah: A Story of Restoration series. Each week as I pray, study, prepare, and write, it seems God has been working on my own heart through it all.
When I first went through Nehemiah in my youth, I failed to see all that God was doing. I thought, “Oh, this is a book about a renovation project that only handymen will understand.” I lazily glanced over it just to chalk it up to “having read” a book in the Bible.
It wasn’t until I studied Nehemiah in Bible college that God really opened my eyes to what he was really restoring, and it has been one of my favorite books since then. My prayer and hope are that we don’t miss what God was really restoring and how he was restoring it.
What was God restoring?
God was restoring his people back to himself. The Israelites had an on again/off again relationship with God. When they really needed God, they would cry out and God would always hear them and answer their cries. Then, almost immediately, the people would turn away from God and go back to false idols and away from his commandments. God still loved his people and started to restore his relationship with his people.
How was God restoring the relationship with his people?
The relationship was restored first by the presence of God. It is clear to see how God’s hand was upon Nehemiah and the Israelites. God’s presence reignited their heart for the Word of God and that led to worshipful hearts that drove them to a deeper prayer life.
Wow! Being with God radically changes us!
Church, the same God that had a heart of restoration for a people that had turned away from him time and time again is the same God that has a heart of restoration for you. His presence is always with you. His love is always for you.
As a church, let that truth drive us deeper in a relationship with God. Let’s have hearts that worship in everything that we do. Let’s dive into the Word of God daily and be changed. Let’s continually be in prayer and listening to God speak.