But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.” Nehemiah 5:15

Nehemiah was a truly faithful leader. Instead of using his position of authority to enrich himself at the expense of the people he led, his leadership blessed the people. This is a rarity in leadership, both in Nehemiah’s day and ours. What was it that led Nehemiah to this kind of leadership? 

The fear of God! That means, Nehemiah took God and His word seriously. Instead of just saying good things about God, this leader’s reverence and worship of God had tangible effects on his actions. To fear God means that the heart recognizes God’s position as being Lord of all. It means the heart desires to please the Lord, to do that which would honor Him. Nehemiah recognized that the will of God trumped whatever sinful desires might tempt him.

Fearing God doesn’t mean we try to avoid Him, like we would a dreaded disease. The God we fear is also the one whose children lovingly call “Father.” Fearing God and loving Him run hand in hand. Fearing God is joyfully worshipping Him. God fills the hearts of those who fear Him and takes pleasure in those who fear Him (Psalm 147:11). How about you, is your heart walking in the fear of God? 

Let us repent where we’ve minimized God in our lives. Let us seek His sufficient and abundant grace where we’ve failed.

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