"So today we are slaves! In the very land you gave to our ancestors to eat its fruit and to enjoy its good things – we are slaves!" – Nehemiah 9:36
The Lord gives good things to His children, this is a fact I sometimes forget. Lately I have been doing some self reflection and looking at my relationship with the Lord. I have realized I am bound, or in slavery to things around me the Lord has given me to enjoy. I was talking with my confession group and one of the members mentioned what the Lord revealed to them while reading Nehemiah 9, this is a chapter of confession and repentance.
Nehemiah is drawing attention to the fact the people of Israel have given up their freedom for slavery. They have become blinded by their own wills and have chosen to self govern, the result of that is bondage, is slavery. They were living in the benefits of the Lord but acted as though they had stumbled upon it, so they made their house a home in their sin.
Today I am a slave in the very place the Lord has placed me and I am not eating the fruit He has given me to eat nor am I enjoying the good things He has given me because of sin. While my sin is not that I have turned my face from the Lord, nor have I served other gods or engaged in evil practices, I have forgotten and have not asked to be reminded. Earlier in the chapter, Nehemiah is reminding the people of Israel of the many things the Lord has done for their ancestors and for them. I believe it is their forgetfulness that led them to become slaves in this place meant to be freeing for them. It has been my forgetfulness that has led me to be bound in the place the Lord has set before me.
The Lord does not take away our freedom, we choose not to take it or choose to give it up. Now I am choosing to be free in the land the Lord has given me and to partake in His provision.
I urge you to do the same. Ask the Lord to show you any places you may be bound instead of being free.
I will leave us with a prayer,
Lord, I thank you for your goodness and for your kindness. I ask that you would help me trust your voice and your guidance. If there are any places I am in bondage would you bring them to my attention? Would you help me see where I am not living as free as you intended for me to live free? In the process, Lord I ask that you would prepare me for the truth and ask you to expose the lies. I ask for your peace, acceptance and forgiveness.
I pray and ask all of these things in Jesus' name,