Neglect isn’t always obvious. Well, at least it isn’t obvious at first. I’ll give you an example. Let’s pretend that I go several years without a daily exercise routine in my life. I’ll be okay at first, relying on my young age and past work. But what happens in the long run? I get old. I get out of shape. My body gets sore, not from lifting weights, but from lifting myself out of bed in the morning. Hey now, wipe that smile off your face; this is purely hypothetical!
The truth is, there are places in my life that I can easily neglect. Places that don’t have instant results. Places that seem intangible because I can’t see the good they do with my eyes. I don’t neglect the obvious stuff. I go to work and pay my bills. I stay on my side of the road and pay attention when I drive. I parent my children and make sure their needs are met. Of course I do the obvious stuff, because when I don’t the consequences are obvious.
The things I neglect tend to be the not-so-obvious ones. Which is why the results of that neglect isn’t always obvious. Well, at least it isn’t at first. The result of neglect exists even when we can’t see it. Neglect your wife and it will erode your marriage. Neglect your body and discover the aches and pains of old age. Neglect your walk with God and discover the erosion of your soul.
Nehemiah 10:39b “We will not neglect the house of our God.”
The commitment made by God’s people here is simply this: we will not neglect his house. Now in this context, they were literally talking about the temple of God. They were talking about the place of church. They had committed to be faithful in their giving and in their service. Because when you neglect the house of God, you neglect the kingdom work that God has called us to.
But wait, there’s more! For us New Testament Christians, the application goes a step further. Not only is the house of God the gathering place of the church. The house of God is the dwelling place of God…in us! We are called His house. We are His temple. Caring for that temple is up to us. When we neglect our spiritual house, we neglect the work of God in us.
The neglect isn’t always obvious… at first. But over time, our heart begins to erode. Our passion for our Savior begins to wane. Our love begins to fade. Our mission and our vision seem to have left the building. We cannot neglect the house! We must return to self-discipline, discipleship, the Word, and prayer. Because if we don’t we will eventually dry up, burn out, and find ourselves empty.
Neglect not the house of our God. Do the work today. If you do, you will find living water returning to your soul and filling those dry places. You will rediscover hope and vision. You will remember where left your peace. Don’t neglect becoming a house for God to dwell.