Have you ever been humbled by your time in the word? You come to praise and worship God and open your Bible to drink in a word of encouragement or remembrance of God's faithfulness to his people and find yourself moved and convicted by the words you read? It is hard to keep an attitude of joy when you have tears streaming down your face. You want to kneel before the Lord and relieve yourself of the pain you feel in knowing you have dishonored God.
The people of Israel found themselves in exactly that position as they heard Ezra reading the law before the people after the census was taken. As the Priests and Levites explained the reading to the people, people were struck by how far their lifestyles had strayed from the standard God set for his people. Even though the people were mourning for their sins, Nehemiah tells them this is not the right time. There will be an opportunity for you to deal with the sins you have committed, but right now they are in the midst of celebrating the faithfulness of God and it is important that the people take their focus off themselves and really worship God.
Our relationship with God is multifaceted and we must not neglect it. First and foremost, we need to give God recognition for his wonderful power he has displayed. We have many records through scripture of how God intervened in creation to provide for mankind. He created the moon, the stars, and our earth. He provides us rain and sun; desire and provision. We must take time to see the hand of God and thank him for his wonderful power, grace and love he has displayed. Even beyond the records within the Bible, we know of God's faithfulness in our own lives as well. If we think about it we can see God's hand at work providing for our circumstances, and our provision. It is only right that we give God the high place he deserves.
Only after we recognize God's authority and greatness can we then confess our sins and recognize how far short we fall. There is a place for us to confess sins and we should do it often keeping a short list, but only after He receives our worship.
There is also a place for us to thank him for all he has done. Thankful hearts are humble hearts and they do not become bitter for things they do not have but are grateful for what they do. As a financial planner, I believe that our lack of gratitude to God for our provision is the greatest hindrance to our planning for the future. We seek what we don't have today and sacrifice our future in order to have something that God did not see fit to give us.
Finally, there is a place for us to bring our needs to God. He wants us to ask for his continued provision and to share our concerns before him. In bringing supplications, we acknowledge him again as our provider and we look to him to supply our every need. From this passage we see that God's word is able to pierce hearts and restore fellowship with him. Have you read his word for you today?