“…to walk in God’s law, which was given through Moses, God’s servant, and to keep and to observe all the commandments of God our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes.” Nehemiah 10:29
Nehemiah 8-10 describes the kind of spiritual renewal our nation needs today. Like these Jewish exiles, many of us have a new appreciation for living in spiritual community with other believers. And, we’re rediscovering the joy of gathering for worship. But spiritual renewal is more than a feeling. It also involves commitment and obedience. Nehemiah 10 reveals three specific commitments that grow out of genuine spiritual renewal.
One of the most basic indicators of spiritual renewal is committing to a life of separation (v30). Israel’s faith had been weakened by living among and marrying people who worshipped idols and false gods. Sound familiar? According to 2 Corinthians 6:14-16, we’re to separate ourselves from anything not in harmony with Christ. That means building our close relationships around Him alone. As a result, we help to strengthen one another’s faith.
An important aspect of separation is honoring a day of worship (v31). The Sabbath had become just another day to buy, sell, and work. So, the Israelites committed to once again reverence it as holy. Today, Sunday is the day we celebrate our risen Lord. Focusing on worship one day a week better prepares us to live for Jesus the other six days of the week.
Spiritual renewal also brings a sense of responsibility for God’s house (vv32-39). The details in these verses reveal not only a commitment of their time, but of their finances as well. Far too many Christians show up to sit and soak rather than to serve. God calls each believer to some area of responsibility within the local church. We, too, can commit that “We will not neglect the house of our God” (v39).
How does your life back up your profession of faith in Jesus Christ? Is your faith evident by your obedience to the Lord? If we want America to have a spiritual awakening, then God’s people must lead the way. So, as we step back into life as a spiritual community, let’s make sure to include commitments to separation and service.