God is never caught off guard by anything that happens in our world. He isn’t surprised by the awful drug plague or the blood-bath of abortion. So what is his response in times of turmoil and depravity? What does he propose as an antidote to apostasy and growing demonic power?
God’s answer is the same as it always has been — to bring forth the victory of God in a renewed way. In Nehemiah’s day, the walls of Jerusalem were in ruins, the city a literal pile of stones, and the church was totally backslidden. The wicked powers surrounding Israel persecuted them severely, mocking every work they tried to undertake.
How did God respond in such a time of ruin? Did he send a well-trained militia to help them? Did he send a palace guard to smite their prominent enemies? No, God raised up one man — Nehemiah — who spent his time praying, fasting and mourning, because he was broken over Israel’s condition. He also continually dug into God’s Word, grasping prophecy and moving in the Spirit. He remained separate from all the wickedness surrounding him and maintained a holy walk with the Lord. And, in turn, everyone who heard him preach was purified in soul.
Soon a revival of holiness swept the land. “The priests and Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, the gates, and the wall” (Nehemiah 12:30). The house of God also was purged, with everything of the flesh cast out. Nehemiah told the temple workers, “Take out everything that has to do with idolatry or sensuality!”
Nehemiah had the spiritual authority to bring back godly fear to the temple because he had been on his knees, weeping, broken, seeking God’s heart. And because of this, he was able to confess the sins of a whole nation: “Please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant … for the children of Israel” (Nehemiah 1:6).
Beloved, this is God’s concept of revival! Every chamber of your heart that is unclean and unsanctified must be swept out — no dark places left. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
Purpose in your heart to be the person of God who brings about change in the world around you.