Election campaign fatigue – did you experience it? Aren’t you glad the whole thing is finally over? Day after day for weeks listening to the spin offered up by the political parties and candidates as well as the mainstream and fringe media became white noise for me. And what about the expert opinions offered up on social media that revealed more about how we are as a society than the politicians themselves? Yikes. All I’m saying is that I’m really glad the whole thing is over.
But there is one thing that I am going to keep my eye on. It’s something that I’ve seen too many times in my lifetime that has left me more than a little skeptical. I’m talking about all of the promises that have been made to the voters in order to get elected. Will they be kept or will they be broken when reality sets in? How solid is the word of those that have now been given our trust? Like always, time will tell. I really do hope that my skepticism diminishes with the evidence that what was said is what was meant.
Any of us can be guilty of not following through on our commitments made. As time passes and challenges are faced our human nature has a tendency to offer us a way out of keeping our word. Excuses flood our minds and can desensitize us from our moral obligations. And it is fairly easy to give in and go back on our word if we haven’t made ourselves accountable to others in a formal way.
All of this is at the heart of what I’m going to be speaking to you about this Sunday. We have seen over these past weeks how Nehemiah had been used of God to lead the people of Jerusalem in the rebuilding of the walls of the city in record time. And last week we learned that Nehemiah stayed on as governor of Jerusalem to help the people rebuild their spiritual lives. Ezra the priest had read God’s Word to them and they responded to the conviction brought upon them by the Holy Spirit by repenting and then celebrating joyfully the power of the Word given to them.
Now what? How would things be different for the people after the celebration ended and they got back to the daily grind? How would they stay on track spiritually so that they wouldn’t slip back into disobedience to God’s commands? Accountability. The people made themselves accountable to God by formally making a binding agreement with God witnessed by Nehemiah, Ezra and the leaders.
Take some time in the next few days to read Nehemiah 9 & 10 and see how they moved from confession of sin to praise of God for his goodness and then to officially making themselves accountable to God for their commitments to him. Notice the things that they promised to do and what they set themselves up for if they didn’t.
I see a parallel for our lives in this story. You and I will only be as likely to follow through on our commitments to God as is our willingness to make ourselves accountable in a formal way. Only then with conviction can we say to God, “I really mean it this time” and then do it faithfully. How might accountability like that look in your life? Do you already have that built in or is it something you need to do?
I’m looking forward to going deeper into this with you. See you Sunday….