Yesterday, we discussed the importance of having a foundation based on the truth of God’s Word. First off, we need to accept Jesus Christ as Lord. Only with a genuine relationship with Him can we build up solid lives. Next, we need to ensure that our relationship with Him is all that it should be and to understand that even though we are saved, we will still experience trouble and heartache in this life.
It is always a good idea to examine our hearts and make sure we are right with God. Is there unconfessed sin in our lives? Are we habitually doing things we know are wrong and shrugging them off as no big deal? If we are serious about wanting to live lives that are pleasing to God, we need to make sure we’re starting off with a clean slate. God has promised if we will confess our sins, He will forgive us. Look at the prophet Nehemiah’s example:
And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer. (Nehemiah 1:5-11)
Not only did he confess his sins, but he confessed those of all of Israel. The prophet recognized the need went far beyond himself. This situation impacted his friends, family and countrymen. This problem was bigger than just his state of mind, as it is with us. It’s not just about us. It’s about our family and friends, our church and workplace. Something bigger than our happiness is at stake here. Let’s step outside our bubble of selfishness and realize this journey will require us to think beyond ourselves and our desires, just as Nehemiah did. And while that sounds complicated, I promise you it is well worth it.
Obviously, you cannot control anyone else, and it is not your place to try to “fix” others. My point is that our sin reaches far beyond ourselves, and others are greatly affected when our relationship with the Lord is not as it should be. Without the solid foundation of a right relationship, the rest of our life begins to crumble.
As we begin this new year, I urge you to set aside some time to spend with God and take an inventory of where you are in your relationship with Him. Do you spend time with Him regularly? Do you talk and listen? Do you obey Him or argue with His commands? Do you walk with Him daily or act in your own strength? Ask yourself these questions and more to determine which (if any) areas of your relationship need a tune-up.
A good year is made up of good months which are made up of good weeks which are made up of good days which can only be lived fully when there is nothing between ourselves and the Savior. Want a great year? Check that foundation. It makes all the difference in the world.