Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Call To Righteousness {part 2}

As we saw in part 1, Elul is the month that we prepare ourselves. While of course we can get closer to God at anytime there is always room for improvement and we can all stand to get closer to our Abba. So why not do it now?

In the first 7 chapters of Nehemiah the people began rebuilding a wall to protect themselves from the heathens around them. Let's now examine the next 6 chapters to see how they got right with God after the wall was complete. 

First, the people learned God's commands. Nehemiah 8:1-8 talks about how Ezra read the book of the law {Leviticus} and how the levites {in v. 7} "caused the people to understand the law". We can apply that to our own lives by taking the time time to read God's law. People are often quick to say that they are not under the law because of salvation is Yeshua {Jesus} and while yes we are free from the punishment of not keeping the law, that doesn't mean the law is not still pleasing to YHVH. 

See the law has never been what gave salvation. Salvation has ALWAYS BEEN by grace through faith. Those saints that made it to Heaven from before Jesus came, got there because of their trust, and faith, in God {see Hebrews 11}. It was not through the perfect keeping of the law. They couldn't even keep the law perfectly, that's why they had to do sacrifices. So the law was never for salvation but always to create a holy people. God has always said "Be ye holy, for I am holy" {1 Peter 1:16} that has always been His desire. To have a people that are holy, or set apart, for Himself. So that still applies to us, He still wants us to be holy! Would you commit to read through the Scriptures and ask the LORD to show you what He desires from you? I'm not suggesting that you make a list of rules and begin trying to keep them all in your own flesh. YOU CAN'T! But what you can do is seek out His will on this matter for your life. 

Secondly, the people began keeping His feats. You can't come before our Holy God, looking for His presence, and not be moved to do something. You just can't. He is holy and we are not, therefore we will want to change after having a real encounter with Him. So after they understood the law, they began keeping His set apart Holy Days {8:9-18}. They started with what they could. 

Thirdly, the people confessed their sins {9:1-4}. This step is one that will need to be repeated over and over again. Once you know God's laws you should be convicted of your sin. See the law should not puff us up and make us think "oh yea I got this". It should bring you to your knees, with a humble heart! All those laws that you haven't kept, all the sins that you have committed, Jesus took that on. He took on the sins of the ENTIRE WORLD to be separated for the very first time EVER from YHVH. He did that FOR YOU! If that doesn't move you to repentance, then I don't know what to tell you. 

Fourthly, the people committed to be set-apart followers of YHVH {10:28-39}. Making such a  commitment doesn't mean you'll be perfect. It just means you are asking for the Ruach HaKodesh {Holy Spirit} to guide you and help you to honor God in all things. 

Fifthly, the people cleansed themselves from the world {13:1-9}. Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude. {v.3} As followers of God we are called to be separate from the world. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.-2 Corinthians 6:17 

That means that we are not to look and act like the world, but rather act like children of El Elyon {the Most High God}. We shouldn't be so wrapped up in the things of this world that we neglect the things of God!

Lastly, the people committed not to inner-marry {13:23-30}. If you've ever heard the term "unequally yolked" you know exactly what I'm talking about; children of God marrying unbelievers. If you've ever been a believer, while your spouse was an unbeliever, then you know the pain of being unequally yolked. Our Abba in His infinite wisdom commanded us not to intermarry so that we can avoid the many hardship that come with it.  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? - 2 Corinthians6:14

These six steps are an excellent starting place to seeking the Lord on the issue of personal righteousness. Especially now that we are getting very close to the fall chagim {holidays}. Don't wait, seek the Lord and see what He has in store for you. 
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. -Matthew 5:6

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