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We Can’t Stay Here: Part 1

We Can’t Stay Here: Part 1

  1. Introduction
    New series— “We Can’t Stay Here”— and the whole premise is that there are things in our lives that there are things that absolutely keep us from moving forward as we follow Jesus.
    1. Usually, we think of big things- Lust, Greed, being a  fan. But often times it is the subtle shifts in life, the little steps, the tolerable sins. And every once in a while God, in His graciousness, wakes us up, helps us realize- we can’t stay here! We have to move forward.
    2. This series will look at three areas specifically— complacency, comfort, and consumerism— I hope it disrupts some things
    3. This morning we’re going to look at the problem of complacency— “Nah, I’m good” or “not my problem” to courage that says “Something needs to be done”
    4. 3 Requirements to move from COMPLACENCY to COURAGE
    5. Context— Nehemiah was a cup-bearer to Persian King Artaxerxes; 444 BC; Babylonian captivity; the walls of Jerusalem have been in ruins for about 140 years to this point; there’s a small remnant of Israelites who have come back into the city of Jerusalem.
  2. Nehemiah 1:1-4
    1. A SOFT heart- Courage asks us to care
    2. Recap Passage— A small remnant goes back to Jerusalem and naturally without any kind of wall they are harassed and susceptible to attack— Nehemiah hears this news and it breaks his heart. Here are his countrymen, his brothers, his fellow Israelites disgraced and in trouble. But does he say “oh man, sorry, but that’s not my problem” or “ That’s unfortunate, but I’m good here in the palace. I’m 1000 miles away. I’ve got a cushy job. Don’t bother me.” No! It says he sits down and weeps— for days he weeps and fasts.
    3. He has the same reaction that Jesus did when he arrived in Jerusalem— Luke 19:41-41 “ As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it, and said ’If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace- but now it is hidden from your eyes…”
    4. Nehemiah and Jesus are both moved to tears because of the state of the those they care about— and this isn’t like “oh that’s so sad” this is ugly crying— this is the hard to breathe, snot running down, tears flowing, heart-broken crying—Are you and God crying about the same thing?
  3. Nehemiah 1:4-10
    1. A PRAYERFUL heart- Courage asks us to surrender
    2. Recap— What does Nehemiah do in his compassion? After his ugly cry? He prays. He intercedes on behalf of those his heart has broken for— he knows that whatever comes next, he is going to need the Lord’s favor. He knows he is about to go before the Persian King, which would have been terrifying, and make a request. So before he does anything to action, he spends time with the Lord.
    3. I know all sorts of people who say, “But, I’m only one person!” Or, “We’re just one family, what can we do?” Or even, “We’re just one church, what can we do?”  You can pray to the God of heaven and earth. Because I’m here to tell you that God plus one is always a majority! Every single time- God plus you is a majority! Even in the context of big needs, you have a bigger resource, prayer. Some of the most important time you’ll ever spend is in prayer— Are you ready to surrender the circumstances you’re walking through to the Lord? Sometimes the most courageous thing we can do is ask for help.
  4. Nehemiah 2:1-6
    1. A RESOLVED heart- Courage asks us to do something
    2. Recap passage— cup-bearer duties—King sees sadness— Nehemiah afraid— Nehemiah says what’s on his mind— King asks what he wants— Nehemiah makes his request— and guess what? The king grants it!— Nehemiah at the resolve in his heart, that in the midst of his own fear to do something!— He’s going to rebuild the walls! He’s got resolve!
    3. He’s not going to send other people. He’s not going to whine about it. He’s not not going to sit around and complain: Why won’t somebody do something about this? Why? Because the God of heaven has given him this burden. And he’s looking at this and saying, “As long as I’m alive, if there is a breathe in me, I am not okay with this. On behalf of God I will say, not on my watch! I am the SOLUTION to the PROBLEM I see.— Are you ready to do something about those things which break your heart? Or are you gonna sit on your hands and say “I’m good” or “what can I do?” Are you gonna step out with resolve, from your own self.
    4. And moving from courage to complacency doesn’t always have to involve “big” things. It can be simple things, local things, like no longer being complacent in your marriage, no longer being complacent about your debt, no longer complacent in your faith
    5. Moving from complacency to courage is more about you (and me) saying “I see a problem, whether in my life, or in the world around me, and I’m going to do something about it. I’m going to have compassion and empathy, I’m going to pray, surrender, and intercede. And I’m going to have the resolve to be the solution to the problem I see. As followers of Jesus, we cannot be complacent. As followers of Jesus, we can’t stay here.

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