Repentance, Revival, and Reform
It is interesting sometimes how stories evolve and sometimes what we thought the mission or main point wasn’t really the mission or main point. In the story of Nehemiah it’s obvious that focal point is the rebuilding of the city walls but the reality is it’s actually the story of the rebuilding of a broken relationship between God’s people and Himself. You see sometimes God is using something physical and obvious in our lives, like a broken wall, to help us see the brokenness inside of ourselves. The overarching importance of Nehemiah’s story is that for God to fulfill His promises of the Messiah the city had to be rebuilt and the people had to be restored to Him.
If you read Nehemiah 7-9 you will read about how Ezra and Nehemiah lead the people into a season of repentance, revival, and reform. This all comes from understanding their identity as God’s children by reading the truth found in scripture. The new (old) way of life that they had turned their backs on but eventually they accepted the truth, when truth is accepted it leads to freedom. In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” When we choose to believe in Jesus, to follow Him, and to make Him Lord of our life we will experience freedom! The three R’s of repentance, revival, and reform can help us in our journey stay on track.
Repentance means to turn from, a 180 degree turn, or leaving behind. Repenting is about turning from what leaves us broken, empty, and alone and turning to Jesus who RESTORES us, who FILLS us, and who makes us SONS AND DAUGHTERS. So exchange the darkness for the light. Exchange the bad for the good. Exchange death for life. Be made new.
Revival means a reawakening, a restoration, or an instance of something becoming popular, active, or important again. In Nehemiah’s story it was the understanding that following God and His ways were important and necessary. For us it could be the same or it could be us truly understanding our identity in Christ.
Reform means to make changes in order to improve or removal of faults. This is about accountability and change. You want to know the awful truth? Things won’t change until you change. Aka you have to make the changes in your life. Jesus loves us where we are at but loves us too much to leave us there. He wants to change us and make us new! But change won’t happen if we don’t change our heart, mind, rhythms, relationship, attitudes, and everything else. You cannot experience life change if you don’t change your life.
Understand this friends, we are all works in progress, we are all “fixer uppers” but know that our God has a plan. Know that if you want to experience revival or new life, try this. Revival begins with repentance and leads to reform. We must turn from the bad to the good and we must make plans to keep us on track. We can do this friends, together.