We are a nation and a world desperate for men and women of God to lead. Today you begin or continue that journey. As Joshua directed the people of Israel I also direct you, “Choose this day who you will serve.” As leaders in this modern world we can be tempted to follow the latest fad or chase after money, fame or power. Will you serve those idols or will you choose to serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
Read Nehemiah chapter 9
The theme of chapter 9 is Repentance
If you long to be a true Spiritual Leader we must start with repentance. We are a fallen people. Yet this whole idea of confession and repenting of our sins seems to be a lost art in the modern church.
What seems like a lifetime ago I was the pastor of a small church in a small town. In his town they would daily test out the volunteer fire siren at exactly noon, so when I would be preaching I knew I had to be done by the siren or they were not going to be hearing any more anyway.
This is not too dissimilar to most Sunday services where if the pastor preaches more than 5 minutes too late those in the congregation start to be worried that they will not get a good seat at their favorite restaurant before all of the good seats are taken by those that go to churches with pastors that preach shorter messages.
Contrast that with this passage. It starts with six hours that is 360 minutes of simply reading God’s Word. No video, no break, simply reading God’s Word. Again that is only the beginning. That is followed up six more hours of worship and confession. When was the last time your church service even had a confession?
Confession is a deep portion of repentance but we work to keep our most embarrassing sins a secret. Do we even feel the pain of our own sin?
There is an interesting story in 2 Samuel 21:1-14 where there is a drought and when it is revealed that it is because of a broken promise from Saul that David works to make things right. Maybe it is time that we work to make things right even for those things that we had nothing to do with personally.
Slavery: The church endorsed it using Scripture.
Racial Segregation: Many churches used Scripture to justify and many of those enforcing it went to church consistently.
Ignoring the poor: In too many communities the church has done too little.
In truth I might be able to go on for six hours of confessing the sins of the church that too often has led out of hate and anger rather than the love of Christ. Seek to feel the pain of the oppressed and let us confess that sin
As a Spiritual leader notice in verse 4 that the Levites led the way. Leaders must be first in confession and worship. What does worship look like in a secular setting? Maybe it doesn’t have hymn books but it is a picture of love and adoration. It brings in a Spirit of holiness.