“They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read... ‘Do not mourn or weep.’ For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law… ‘This day is sacred to the LORD. Do not grieve for the joy of the LORD is your strength.’ The Levites calmed all the people.” Nehemiah 8:8-11.
Once the people were registered within the walls, they were all gathered together for the reading of the Law of Moses (the first five books of the Bible). To truly appreciate this scene, we must remember that this is the first time in decades that God’s people were together corporately and reunited. During the reading, fresh conviction fell upon their hearts as they were instructed as to the meaning of the word of God…and they all began to weep as the realization of their past sins fell upon their hearts. As joyful as it was to be together again, and to hear God’s word, it was met with their despair.
There is nothing more grieving in spirit than our realization of how short we have come to keeping the commands of God. As we return to fellowship with God after a season of fleshly living the reality of our past choices are brought into focus. We turn the binoculars for clarity only to hate the view that is becoming clear to us. The important part is to immediately take it to God with true repentance and receive His ultimate forgiveness. Upon His forgiveness we are to release the guilt and regrets from our actions, and receive the joy of the Lord for His joy is both our salvation and strength.
Leave it to the enemy to replace our repentance and forgiveness with immediate condemnation. He loves to remind us of our failures and our unworthiness every chance he can get. He cannot steal our salvation so he strikes at the next best target – our peace and our joy. ‘The enemy often turns remembrance into grief and regret…God has also taken up our grief and regret; therefore to hang onto those emotions and give them a front row seat in our emotional life doesn’t honor God and what He has done to forgive us.’ Nehemiah Bible Study, p. 108.
We should celebrate our forgiveness by wiping away our tears of regret and replacing them with God’s joy. Our guilt will no longer steer us into the direction of the enemy but rather move us in the direction of the Spirit.
Our flesh looks in the rear view mirror while our Spirit keeps our eyes on the destination.
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR,
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