Sunday, September 20, 2009

While You're In The Palace...

Nehemiah was the king's cupbearer, living securely in the palace of Shushan, ever close to the King's presence, always at His beck and call.

Meanwhile, his fellow captive Jews were "in great affliction and reproach" because the walls and gates had been destroyed. Walls were a city's chief defense against enemy forces. The gates, in addition to being a defense, were also a city's identity; in some instances, the gates even represented the "glory" of a city.

With no walls to defend her, the former Jerusalem was easy prey for marauding armies. With her gates burned, she had lost her identity, indeed, her glory. No doubt Jerusalem had brought upon herself this tragic fall from Jehovah's graces; yet there was a man whose heart was not calloused to her downfall. Nehemiah received word about the reproach of his brethren, and his heart was broken. He sat down to weep, to implore God for the plight of his own countrymen, and even to repent on their behalf.

I wonder, while you're in the palace, can your heart still be touched with the plight of those who have brought about their own ruination? Or are you so secure, so comfortable in your own calling as the King's servant, that you scarcely remember those whom you once called "brethren"?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Samson's Last Request

Samson's final request was for vengeance. He could have asked for restoration, but he chose vengeance: "Avenge me this once of my two eyes...". As a result, he died with an enemy he had fought bitterly against for much of his short life.

Who knows what great things he might've accomplished had he sought restoration of his anointing, instead of revenge for his blindness? A blindness that was brought about by his own carnality, lust, and self-reliance.

Is your desire merely for revenge against an enemy that has taken something from you? Are you simply out for one final, but hollow, victory over an adversary that has bound you, taunted your anointing, mocked your ministry?

Or are you seeking restoration to the anointing and power that ultimately brought about all your previous victories?

Do you want revenge? Or revival?