“…Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you…” Nehemiah 1:11
“Daddy, I need new shoes. Look at these.” Five-year-old Macy held out one foot where a ragged tennis shoe dangled by one lace. Her father, Dan, smiled at her. “You’re right. We’ll go tomorrow, soon as I get my paycheck.” Someone banged on the front door, and when Dan opened it, twelve neighborhood kids glared at him from the porch. He recognized a couple of bullies who had terrorized his daughter and others who painted graffiti on his garage. “Hey, dude,” one bully shouted. “We heard you give out shoes. We’re here for ours, so hand ‘em over!” Dan shook his head. “I’d like to, but I can’t. You’re not my children.”
Some people treat God the way those neighbor kids treated Dan. They have no interest in loving and obeying the Lord, they merely want His blessings. They ignore His commands, but “claim” His promises. When they find themselves in a tough place, they demand that God rescue them. And sometimes He does, because He’s good. But He is not obligated to, because they are not His. Nehemiah could come with confidence before the Lord because He understood that God listens to His own children who delight in honoring Him. When we seek the Lord, we must do it His way. He knows His own children and is not fooled by those who pretend spirituality only when they need something. He delights in those who delight in Him.
Are you seeking God as a neighborhood kid, or do you delight in honoring Him?