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Keep that Fire Burning!  

Winter has finally arrived! It’s getting really cold this week. When I was growing up, we heated our house with wood, so when it started getting really cold like this, it was important to get a roaring fire going and to keep that fire stoked. If we let that fire burn out, we were going to be in trouble in the morning!

During their season of remarkable revival and renewal, the people in Nehemiah’s Jerusalem had dedicated themselves to obey the Lord going forward after years of disobedience. (Neh. 10-11) They were burning white hot,… until they weren’t. Their fire waned and their focus shifted. What happened?  

After over a decade in Jerusalem, Nehemiah, who had provided outstanding leadership for the people as governor, had been called back to serve King Artexerxes for a year. Without his leadership, the people really began to stray.  

  • When Nehemiah left, the people lost the godly leadership they needed.  We should never underestimate the importance of solid, grounded, godly leadership in our lives and the importance of being godly leaders to others who count on us.  

  • With Nehemiah gone, the people lost vital accountability, so they slipped in their commitments to honor and obey God.  Accountability is imperative in our faith journey. Left on our own, we will naturally tend toward chaos and sin. That’s why being actively involved in a healthy church family is so critical.

  • With Nehemiah away, the people stopped supporting the ministry of the temple as they had promised and God expected.   Now ministry was really suffering and the people were not getting the spiritual guidance they needed.  

It’s clear that the people of Jerusalem, despite dedicating their lives to obey the Lord, were still vulnerable to sin and corruption. Culture’s negative influence remained a serious threat to them. And the reality is, the same is true for you and me. Staying focused on the Lord, keeping that fire stoked, seeking first His Kingdom is essential in our faith journey!  

Maybe you’re at a place today in your faith journey where you are all in, fully focused, burning white hot for Christ’s sake, but you want to make sure you stay that way. Or maybe your fire is waning, your focus is blurring, but you want to get that right. Perhaps you’re still trying to fully understand what the Lord expects from you and you’re totally open to learning more! No matter where you are in your faith journey, God has so much to teach you about keeping your fire for Him burning.  

Key Truth: Without spiritual leadership, we are prone to stray like sheep!  

18 When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild.

    But whoever obeys the law is joyful. Proverbs 29:18 (NLT)

It is crystal clear that we need godly guidance in our lives. Without it, we’re in trouble! But when when follow it, life is so much better; in fact it is joy-filled!  

In Nehemiah 13, we see that the people of Jerusalem, after making three promises to God (Nehemiah 10-11), broke all three promises!  

1) The Separation Promise (Nehemiah 13:1-9; 23-31)

2) The Support Promise (Nehemiah 13:10-14)

3) The Sabbath Promise (Nehemiah 13:15-22)

How did the people break their promises and what were the implications for them? How did Nehemiah respond when he returned? And finally, how are we at risk in our time and what can we do to make sure our fires stay stoked for Christ’s sake?  For answers, click here to listen to:  Resolute - Part 10 - Stay Focused!


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