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 13
The theme of chapter 13 No Compromise with the World
If we learn nothing else from movies, we should know to never make a deal with the devil. He is very real, he cannot be trusted. He is the father of lies and he does not simply want to hurt you. He wants to destroy you and your legacy. Pay attention!
While most Christians won’t literally sign in blood on some contract as Hollywood would portray it, every time we compromise our faith and our love of Jesus we have made a deal with Satan.
Neglect of leaders to focus their lives and ministries on Jesus can become the norm too easily. Our focus becomes our own little kingdom, our own little ways of thinking. Too often we allow the media or politics to guide out thinking ahead of the ways of Christ. When that happens there is more compromise that takes place. God’s Word takes a back seat to what brings temporary peace or what feels good. Nehemiah is again brought into the loop on the latest compromise and the process is the same as before.
- Energy- Emotion
The people that you lead either directly or indirectly will often anger you, frustrate you or otherwise tire you out. You, however, are the leader. You must confront. You must continue to work to God’s glory.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. –Galatians 6:9
Leaders, unlike Nehemiah, we must keep our cool and help people to put their focus off of themselves and onto God. That connection must start with you. Ask God to direct your steps, to guard your words and to defend your heart. Do not let anger and frustration rule your mind.
NOTE: If you start to feel anger consistently it might be a good time for a short retreat. Get into the woods or on the beach and seek that personal connection with God. Burnout is close.
Now faced with even more compromise, Nehemiah takes his stand. He declares loudly that this will not continue. There will be no compromise with the world. To those that he is leading he reminds them of the consequences.
Sin= Broken families
We often think of sin as a momentary lapse and has temporary ramifications. The list above is just a touch of the problems that sin causes. Most of the time sin can impact multiple generations. We must do all that we can to cut off sin at its core. We must not excuse sin or explain it away. It must be dealt truthfully with much love.
Leaders take charge! We have already looked at that in detail in an earlier blog post. But here we see it live and personal. Many likely came to Nehemiah with a justification for the sin in their lives. That is our natural state. We do not spend enough time looking in the mirror at our own sinful faces. Examine your life and repent today. Then be like Nehemiah and take no excuses. No compromise!