Thursday, May 13, 2010

So What's the Problem?

Now it happened... that Hanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah.  And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem.  And they said to me, "The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame.  The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire." - Nehemiah 1:1-3, ESV

Here was the problem: the people who had survived the exile were in great trouble.  They were not doing well.  They were shamed and broken.  They were oppressed and broken, defenseless because of the wall that had been destroyed.  Things were bad.

As I read through Nehemiah 1-2, it hit me: To ONLY have a heart for personal spiritual growth is to NOT have the heart of God.  How much of the Bible is filled with accounts of God coming to the rescue of his people by using another person? How often is it filled with someone responding to God's direction to impact the lives of others—individuals and multitudes alike? The whole Bible is filled with a problem being presented and a God with a solution to be carried out.

We see problem every day.  They are all around us.  But what are we doing to be part of the redemptive story? If my whole focus in walking with Jesus is "personal spiritual growth", I've missed it.  Now please understand me: when I say "personal spiritual growth", I am speaking about a desire to only focus on me, myself, and I with Jesus through personal devotions.  I'm convinced that my relationship with Christ will grow only as much as I am willing to APPLY that which he shows me in his word.  I am to take the things that he teaches me, and then I am follow the leading of his Spirit to be part of the rescue mission that he is carrying out.  I cannot grow in Christ if I am not willing to serve Christ.  The thing about serving Christ, though, is that it always has something to do with action.  If you don't like to do ministry then you've chosen the wrong Savior to follow after.

So, what's the problem that God has brought to your mind?

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