One of the snares that we face individually and congregationally is developing a mindset of “business as usual”. There is a real danger in becoming a Christian of habit and not heart, but it is “with the heart one believes unto righteousness”. We must keep our relationship with Jesus coming from our heart.
When Israel returned to their land in the days of Nehemiah, the nation was infected with compromise and indifference. The people of God were “stuck in the mud” spiritually, and Jerusalem was in ruins. After God provided the materials for the work, protected the people in the work, and enabled them to complete the repair of the city walls, the people gathered together to hear the word of the Lord. This had a profound effect upon them. Although the outward repairs were completed, there remained issues of the heart that had to be confessed and repented of. Reciting their history of walking with God revealed a pattern of disobedience and forgetfulness of God’s provision for them. Pride had set in. They had also set up idols, and in rebellion had refused to listen to God’s word through His prophets. (Read the pattern in Nehemiah chapter 9 carefully, and let God speak to your heart.)
What brought about the reformation in the hearts of these people? Repentance! They heard and obeyed the word of God, turned away from sin to follow God’s Law, and restored giving unto the Lord. Reformation begins with self judgment and repentance, and true reform deals with heart substance, not ritualistic shadows. For this to occur in this church, it needs to happen in each of us; otherwise, it’s just “business as usual”.
May we pray as the Psalmist: “Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your mercy, LORD, and grant us Your salvation.” May the Holy Spirit create in each of us a fresh, pure, holy passion for Jesus, expressed through love and obedience. God’s promise to us is that He will draw near to us whenever we draw near to Him. This will bring about our reformation.