Friday, 7 June 2013

"Be sober, be vigilant!" A Commentary on Nehemiah 4

A reading of Nehemiah 4 brings home forcefully the thought that faith and trust in God is not a substitute for diligent effort. We are indeed called upon to be sober and vigilant, because our adversary has is miscreant followers crawling all around God's people, looking for an opportunity to strike. And it appears we can't all just pray about it and leave it there; we must extend that prayer to take intelligent decisive action. It even appears that God connects with us only at the point where our efforts of love and faith are stretched to their human limit in doing God’s will.  He of necessity must connect with us because, on their own, our efforts cannot outdo the devil; so we will always need divine connection/intervention.

I rejoice today that God is always available to defend and guide us - even though many times the enemy seems to have us surrounded on every hand, and all our efforts at spiritual reform appear futile. At points we feel hopelessly dominated by the vices of the devil. If we’re careful enough though, we’ll feel it in our hearts, and see it in our lives life that God is constantly aware of all that is happening with us, and that He has a plan for our escape and delivery from the arch-enemy. Oh that we’ll pray for the sustained desire to seek God’s help.

We are also blessed with people in our lives who constantly pray for us.  Can you not feel it those prayers working?  But tragically also, so is the devil. And so we must keep the prayers ascending, even as we continue to exert the efforts to connect with God. 

Father in Heaven, as today we will endeavour to rebuild the walls of truth, of love and of justice - pillars of Your Kingdom - grant us your servants a mind to work, a resolve to not surrender to the enemy, a preparedness to stand in defence of Your holy cause. Grant us power over our besetting sins, a vision of what is yet ahead, and a will to establish Your honour in all the earth. This we pray, in Jesus' name, amen.

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