Today's devotion from Nehemiah 10.
I don't know about you, but I'm often guilty of being blinded by my perspective. What I'm trying to say is that I often overlook some things because I'm so focused on others. I guess its kind of like that old story about the three blind men trying to describe an elephant based on their experiences. Yeah. Its a lot like that.
One of the powerful realizations of this covenant made with God is that it reveals both sides of the coin. It deals with both positive and negative. There are certain practices that go against God's decrees for their lives. Those will be prohibited and outlawed. The people will not participate in those actions any further. They will structure their relationships and dealings with the Gentiles in accordance with God's laws and expectations.
At the same time, the people committed themselves to a positive action as well. Not only will they abstain from certain things, but they will intentionally commit to perform other expected actions. In this case, they dealt with the act of giving and stewardship. They would bring their tithes and offerings so that the Law of God was obeyed.
Do you see what I'm seeing? Two sides, but the same large all-encompassing coin. I think we often get wrapped up in our own experiences and perspectives to the point that we only focus on those aspects of faith that we find important in our experience. For example, if I am struggling with some sin, then much of my focus will be tied up in trying not to do commit do that. If an emphasis in my faith if some positive action, then much of my relationship with God might consist of prayers to obediently perform that action or duty.
Here, they commit to a covenant in which both, positive and negative, are presented. The reason this is so important is because it is a way in which we see the true cost of walking in relationship with God: the whole. God doesn't desire parts of us. He doesn't want to just redeem our finances or marriage. God wants to be Lord over the entirety of our lives in every imaginable facet.
Is there some area of your life in which you are not committed to giving God reign? Are there aspects of your faith that are blinded by your experience and perspective? Maybe today is a good to day to ask God to illuminate those areas, not so you may feel guilty, but so you can be freed.