Ezra opened the book in sight of all the people, for he was standing above.them; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. Nehemiah 8:5
I have being enjoying the book of Nehemiah so much. It has really been an eye opener for me especially concerning the word. If there is anything I have seen consistently in the book of Nehemiah it would be the people’s attitude toward the word of God. They had a reverence for the word of God. The word says, as Ezra opened the book of the law to read from it the people all stood up!! Wow!
I am not advocating that we stand up in church when the word is being read but what I am trying to show you is these people had a deep reverence for God’s word which reflected in their actions! Do you reverence the word of God? Can you imagine the kind of picture that was being painted to the children? The reverence and respect you have for the word of God will be seen by all, through your actions.
And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest an scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all of them, This day is holy to the Lord your God; mourn not nor weep. For all the people wept when they heard the words of the Law. Nehemiah 8:9
They wept when they heard the word of God. When I was reading all this I asked myself, does the word of God break me anymore? What have I allowed in my life that has dulled the living power of the word in my life? The thing is, we have become familiar with the word! Familiarity is a killer. We cannot be familiar with the word of God. These people wept when they heard the word, do you? Television and the internet are some of the things that dull our spirit to the word of God. We watch too much TV. We are always on the internet. We read the newspaper or that car magazine or the porn magazine more than the word and then we wonder why we are powerless???
And it doesn’t just stop there, it carries over to our kids. We allow them to watch anything and listen to anything. They don’t respect the word because you don’t! Television cannot be the main attraction in the house. The time’s when you gather together as a family should be the most exciting thing at home! On the second day, all the heads of fathers’ houses, with the priests and Levites, gathered to Ezra the scribe to study and understand the words of divine instruction. Nehemiah 8:13
Let us get back to the word. Let us desire to understand what the word means. Let us teach our kids. They are looking to us as examples. Desire to study the word. Don’t be familiar with the word. It has the power to change your life. Block out those things that are hindering you from reading the word more. Watch less TV. Spend less time on the internet or reading those newspapers. Ask God to ignite a fire for the word. But it starts with you. Steps need to be taken. The fire is not just magically going to happen. If you read the word for 10 minutes a day then extend it to 15 minutes a day. Wake up earlier, cut down the amount of time you spend watching Television and so on. I hope you are beginning to get the picture.
What is the difference between you and the next person? What is the difference between someone who drives around in an expensive Range Rover Sport and you? What is the difference between a family that travels to the best resorts in the world every holiday compared to a family that are struggling to make ends meet? What is the difference between a person who stays in a penthouse in a high priced suburb compared to someone who stays in a shack in a poor part of town?
What is the difference between a teenager who gets accepted into the best universities and the teenager who is struggling to get accepted at any university?
Believe it or not but there is an underline similarity in all these cases. I live in a place that overlooks one of the most expensive penthouses in the city. So one day as I was sitting and staring at it I started thinking, why am I here and not there? Why are the people who stay at the penthouse, at the penthouse and not here or anywhere else? Why do they drive the cars they drive which are very expensive and why am I struggling to buy a car?
The reason is simple but hard to come to grips with. My mentor taught it to me. I remember the first time he highlighted it, I was rocked. I tried to think of other reasons which I, did find. But he taught me this was one of the main reasons I was were I was. The reason is, in the way I think compared to the way they think! And that is the underline similarity between all those cases I mentioned in the beginning. And because the way we think is different our expectations are different. Thier expectations in life are higher compared to my expectations. Let me give you an example of how that works.
There is a guy who thinks about travelling all the time. He reads magazines on travel and he watches travel network. He is totally obsessed with it. What do you think his expectation is? Travelling! On the other hand we have another guy who is thinking of failure in his business. He worries and complains that things are not going his way. He losses all hope that it will get better. What is his expectation? Failure.
I hope that illustration has helped you to understand how our thinking can determine our expectations.
And please understand what I am saying. I am not saying bad things happen to people because they think wrong. We live in a broken world and because of that we cannot escape brokeness. What I am trying to show you is that you have a part to play in the story of your life. And the way you think is one of the main things that will determine where you are tomorrow. Just thought to make myself clear on that.
Which boat are you in? What does your “tomorrow” look like? What you think about today will determine your “tomorrow”. And remember that the difference between you and someone who is crazy successful is in the way you both think. Begin to change the way you think.
I will end this post with two scriptures:
For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverance and is honourable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.