The Power of Victorious Thinking

The Power of Victorious Thinking

Having read through Ezra and picking up in Nehemiah, have you asked yourself, “Why were the Israelites in exile?” Could you answer the question in less than five words? 
Moses warned God’s people before they entered the Promised Land, “Beware lest thou forget the Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:12 & 8:11). In the fullness of God’s blessings, they forgot the one “from whom all blessings flow.” The signature of their forgetfulness is their disregard to worship God sincerely. They gave tokens of appreciation, but the offerings were repugnant to God. They ignored the Sabbath which was designed to keep their life centered on God. 
You may think Nehemiah was intense, but he did not allow this mistake to be repeated. Either you live desperate for God, or you will experience devastation which will drive you to God. Nehemiah chose desperation and he lived with an intensity which challenged the people around him. 
How can you embody the same characteristic of desperation in your life? Look to Nehemiah’s prayer and you will find many pointers. He fixes his attention on God’s greatness and faithfulness to “them that love him and observe his commandments” (Nehemiah 1:5). Then he deals with sin. Many of the great leaders of God’s people have recognized their sinfulness, individually and nationally, in God’s presence. Even Isaiah stated, “Woe is me! because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). 
This is unusual in our culture, but it would be healthy to consider humility. When someone is struggling, let’s say with alcohol, and they only talk about it as an “ism,” such as alcoholism, they do not have the power to change it. They are a victim of their circumstances. Once they own it as their problem, they can change. They can now be victorious with God’s power!
As long as we blame our national devastation on “those sinners,” we have disarmed ourselves. We are victims of our situation. If we respond as Nehemiah did and own the sin, we will live in desperation to be the salt and light affecting our society powerfully. 
What sin should we confess personally and nationally? Consider the first chapter in Romans. It soars among the mountain peaks of the glorious gospel but dives deep into the sewage of man’s habitation. In this chapter, you will find the most sobering thought. “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful” (Romans 1:21). Man’s blundering begins with the first trip of thanklessness. 
Last week, we designated time to be thankful, but hopefully, it is a daily practice. Our nation reeks with entitlement, and it is eating us up from the inside, out. Consider praying, “O Lord God of heaven, I confess the sins of our people, which have sinned against thee. We have dealt very corruptly against thee. In the fullness of your blessings, we have forgotten You. Help us return to You. Mobilize your church to lead the way and start your work in me. Amen.”

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