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There is a danger that comes with rebuilding broken walls. After a while, when we have been following God's vision and resisting those who oppose us, we can begin to think that we have done the work on our own. And nothing will shatter the closeness we feel with our Father like unchecked pride.
If we are to continue walking in step with the Lord, we must ask God to make us aware of our sins, confess those sins to God, and ask for His forgiveness.
They confessed their sins as a first step toward renewing their relationship with God.
Read Nehemiah 9. Toward the end of Nehemiah, we see a wonderful prayer of confession—an example for us as we daily commit our lives to our Savior and continue our journey toward Christlikeness. The walls around Jerusalem had been rebuilt, and now was the time for celebration. The men and women who gathered recognized God's mercy in restoring the walls of the holy city. But a holy city deserves a holy people, and so they confessed their sins as a first step toward renewing their relationship with God.
First, the people acknowledged their responsibility for sin. They came together, "fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads" (Nehemiah 9:1). These men and women did not come with excuses or justifications; they came with tears.
Second, the nation of Israel recognized God's justice. After reading from the Book of the Law, they confessed, "In all that has happened to us, you have remained righteous; you have acted faithfully, while we acted wickedly" (9:33). We who live in the New Testament era have this promise: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
Finally, the people clung to God's promise of forgiveness. As the Levites prayed, they rehearsed the history of Israel. Each time that the nation rebelled, God showed mercy and forgave His people. It was on this basis that they could trust that God would indeed forgive them.
How can you know that God will keep His promise to forgive when you confess your sins? You can look back on God's track record and find this assurance. The greatest example of God's love for you and His willingness to forgive can be found at Calvary, where He did not spare His own Son so that you could be adopted as His child. No wall is too broken for Him—for He is the ultimate rebuilder.
Prayer: Lord, I confess my sin to You today and ask for Your forgiveness. Purify my heart, my home, my workplace, my city—until You are the foundation. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God" (Nehemiah 9:31).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon Rebuilding Our Broken Walls, Part 8: WATCH NOW | LISTEN NOW