GETTING CLOSE TO GOD AGAIN
Neh. 9: 1-5
One of the great dangers of the Christian life is Drifting. Paul speaks about this in Hebrews 2:1. There is a dangerous undertow in the Society in which we live. At times we begin to drift even as we pursue the plan of God. We need to have some markers or flags that will indicate we have moved. We need boundaries that keep us where we need to be, close to the Lord.
We can be close to God if we want to be. Nehemiah had left his comfortable position in Persia to come to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. These walls not only protected the people of God. But they marked Gods people as different. The standard of God’s word is our protection. We must be careful not to drift. Someone once said: God has no favorites, just Intimates. Nehemiah shares three basic principles about fellowship. There is a difference between relationship and fellowship. Relationship does not speak about closeness, fellowship does. How close are we today? I want us to look at the principles that Nehemiah shares with the people.
Don’t Fake Fellowship: 8:17 – 9:5
This is an easy trap for those who don’t have intimacy to fall into; How do you keep from faking it? By recognizing the evidence of a genuine fellowship with the Lord. True closeness to the Lord is marked by 3 things:
- There is Joy: 8:17-18
- There is Examination: 9:1-3
- There is Praise: 9:4-5
Don’t Forget Fellowship: 9:16-17
Verse 6 begins the longest prayer in the Bible. Nehemiah rehearses all the wonderful thing the Lord had done. And then recalls how the forefathers drifted in their fellowship. God was Merciful and forgave the Israelite’s only to see them rebel again. There was a pattern of Pride that creep in. It all occurs because they did not maintain fellowship.
Don’t Forsake Fellowship: 9:30-38
This message is a call for this church to return to intimacy with the Father! To get close to God again. The same call Nehemiah issued to God’s people! Do not forsake this call. Do not forsake your fellowship with the Father!
Notice the instruction in the last verses of this text.
- Accept Responsibility for your broken fellowship. 30-33
- Decide to Obey God’s will. 34-35
- Don’t drift with the Current. 36-37
- Put the Lord first in your life. 38