Monday, February 25, 2013
The Need to Be
Nehemiah 1:1-4 (NIV)
I have heard several sermons from Nehemiah. Most of them are given by preachers who wanted to build something new. They built new sanctuaries, new family life centers and new fellowship halls. They used the words of Nehemiah to motivate the people to act. This was their first step.
But Nehemiah's first step wasn't hearing of the walls being torn down or that the gates were burned. His first step was who he was. He wasn't looking to do something great or even to make his name great. He was a man of faith who sincerely cared for his people. He knew that the condition of Jerusalem would profoundly affect the worship there even if the Temple was rebuilt. So, he didn't need to be guilted or motivated to act. He did so because of who he was.
That is something that we preachers often forget. We hire consultants to tell us how to raise the money so that we can build. We hardly ever recognize who the people are. We hardly ever depend upon who they are. We think that we have to make them feel guilty or inspire them to build when they should want to join in with us because of who they are.
Of course who you are shouldn't stop at building church structures. It should be a part of sharing your faith, confessing your sins, worshiping regularly, having a quiet time, reading, studying and teaching the scriptures, giving to those in need and anything else it takes to make disciples for our Lord. These things should always come our of who we are.
It also should make us look at what we are doing and ask, "Does what I am doing indicate who I want to be?" If not, we aren't who we think we are. Wanting to be someone doesn't make us that person. We have to act if we are to be. Eventually we will be and not have to think about our acting.
Recently someone told me that I needed to change the titles to my blogs so that I could get more traffic. I thought about it. I am not good at writing titles. That doesn't mean I shouldn't try to do a better job but I don't necessarily want more traffic. I really want to help people who are serious about following the Lord. I want them to give God glory with the way they live their lives. Reading a blog won't do that if that isn't a desire that is in their hearts. I am someone who isn't that concerned about the traffic. (though I admit that I was at first) I am someone who wants to join people in living gloriously victorious Christian lives. I am someone who does not have to be motivated in helping people do so. I really don't have time to seek those who really don't care so that I can feel good about how many people have read my blog.
I write this blog because this is who I am. It is not something I do apart from that. I really don't need the motivation of more people reading it. I wrote this blog until this is what I became. How different would my Christian life be if that were true in other things? I mean, what if I was a person who so naturally gave to others that I didn't have to think about it anymore? What if I was a person who naturally had a quiet time with God each day without having to force myself to do so?
My goal is to be. I get to that goal by doing until I am. Then, I don't need anyone who needs to tell me what I must be doing. I will do because I am. Nehemiah fasted and prayed until he was one who would rebuild the walls and gates of Jerusalem. He was a Jew who loved his people first. He was a builder of walls and gates second.
He did what he was. I have a feeling that most people won't understand this.