Shining Some Light On The Subject

“On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads…They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the Lord…”
Neh 9:1-3
In my prior life when time was on my side and the chaos of work, wife, kids, ministry and every other distraction that pulls us away from God was not clamoring for my time, I used to love to read murder mystery and crime novels. Fiction was good, but what I truly loved was non-fiction stuff. It was always intriguing to me to read how the perpetrator of the crime seemed to have gotten away with the perfect crime. But inevitably, there was always something that he left behind at the crime scene that was his undoing.
Typically if it was a murder scene, after thorough investigation and exhausting all other means of revealing “the truth,” the investigators would introduce a chemical called luminol along with a fluorescent light to the crime scene and viola, there it was for all to see – the blood splattered wall or floor. What typically followed was a confession from the killer as he stared at the overwhelming evidence against him and how his actions had been exposed by the introduction of these two elements.
This morning as I read Chapter 9 in Nehemiah, that’s the image I had in my mind. Under the leadership of Nehemiah, the people had returned to the city of Jerusalem and had rebuilt the wall in an almost unheard of timeframe. On this particular day they had gathered together and without going too much in detail (there’s a lot of good STUFF here), they spend SIX HOURS READING GOD’S WORD!! When was the last time you or I spent SIX HOURS READING GOD’S WORD?
Here’s the perfect picture though of what typically follows any real time in God’s word – they were convicted of their sin! See God’s word is like spraying luminol all over a crime scene (our hearts). When the Holy Spirit then shines its light, our sin is revealed and we are convicted and have only one real option – confession. When we read this passage we see just that:
  • They read God’s word for six hours
  • They confessed their sins and the wickedness of their fathers
Then we see the result of that process – they spent another six hours worshiping the Lord their God.
God does not have a plan for us to be defeated and beat down about the sin in our lives. God has created us to be overcomers (Rom. 12:21) but we cannot achieve this while we perpetually live in sin – and the only cure for that is confession; and confession will only come through conviction. In my life, my greatest conviction comes when I spend time in God’s word and allow His Spirit to work on and in my heart – just like luminol on a blood-stained crime scene.
David describes how important conviction, brokenness and confession are in Psalm 51 when he says “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”
So take the time this morning, this weekend, this week to break open God’s word and seek His direction. As you read, ask Him to show you the areas of your heart that you keep hidden from others – the areas that need some luminol sprayed on them and the Light of the Holy Spirit to shine on them – so that you will follow that conviction with true confession, seek His face, accept His grace and then worship Him with all your heart.
Mystery Solved! 

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