1. Introduction

  • When you hear the word “obedience” what thoughts and emotions does it trigger? Are they positive or negative or a combination of both? Does it vary depending on the context?
  • What is your definition of obedience? Share in your group.
  • When God commands us to obey Him what should our attitude and response to Him be? Is it always what it should be? If not what causes it to vary?

Consider George’s words:

For the Christian, obedience should be by desire, by delight, by design & by deliberate intention. How is obedience with you? Is obedience a struggle for you? In Ps 112:1  we read, “How joyful are those who fear the Lord & delight in obeying his commands.” Obedience to God, for you, as a Christian should not be seen as your obligation, it should be seen as your delight. As a Christian, obedience to God should be what you do!

Is this how you view obeying God? Read 1 John 5:3

2. Seeing Things from God’s Perspective

Are there times you don’t want to obey God?

Consider Moses response when God called him to lead His people out of Egypt. Read Exodus 4:13. Read all his ‘good’ reasons for not obeying God followed by God’s response. Ex. 3:11, 12, Ex. 3:13, 14-22, Ex. 4:1, 2-9, Ex. 4:10, 11-12, Ex. 4:13, 14-17.

What was the real issue(s) with Moses being reluctant to doing what God was calling him to do?

Fast forward to the person Moses was growing to become as he obeyed God, the person God could potentially see him developing into when He called him.

  • Just before the last plague Exodus 11:4-8 (esp.v8)
  • Before the crossing of the Red Sea. Exodus 14:10-14 (esp.v13-14).

In addition to those mentioned by Moses what are other reasons we struggle with obeying God?

Discuss in your group how the influence our sinful nature, the world and the Devil hinder us obeying God. What is the principle(s) we can apply from Moses’ life?

3. Nehemiah Obeyed God

  • What were the ways Nehemiah obeyed God in Susa before he left for Jerusalem, Neh. 1:1-2:8 and in Jerusalem as soon as he arrived? Neh. 2:11-20.
  • What was the condition Jerusalem was in? Neh. 2:17.
  • What influence did Nehemiah have as he obeyed God and started the work God had for him to do? Neh. 2:18.

Contrast this to the difference when the walls were completed. Neh. 12:27-31, 38-43, esp. v 43.
Discuss George’s words regarding the difference having the walls of Jerusalem made to God’s people living there:

Nehemiah’s task was not just about building walls. Nehemiah’s task was to establish the community of God’s people so they could flourish spiritually, socially, economically & personally. To enable the people of God to flourish required an environment that was set up so that this flourishing could take place. The people of God in Nehemiah’s day needed walls & gates in the circumstance of their lives.

4. Creating our “Walls of Jerusalem”

  • How does the principle God worked through Nehemiah to help God’s people at that time in Jerusalem apply to us as God’s people today?

Discuss George’s words:

Christian, if you want to grow spiritually you have to build for spiritual growth. If you want to grow spiritually, then you have to create an environment for your life that enables & encourages spiritual growth to occur. There has to be walls & gates – There has to be boundaries & barriers.

Securing Obedience to God requires that you establish spiritual Barriers & Boundaries in your life. Securing obedience to God is about being clear where you stand, what you believe & who you are. Spiritual boundaries are like the walls of Jerusalem; they define what happens on the inside & keep what isn’t to happen on the outside. The walls of Jerusalem served 2 purposes – It enabled them to determine what was kept out & to take control of what happened within.
Spiritual boundaries include the beliefs that define who you are, your worldview, your morality, your self-image, your aspirations, your associations.

What boundaries do you have in place? Read what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1.
What points does he make? How do we live “in the world” and not be “of the world?”
Discuss the following illustration.

Building spiritual stability into our lives can be compared to having three pillars holding us.

Pillar 1: Represents our personal daily time alone with the Lord reading and meditating on His Word being fed as we hear from Him and sharing whatever is happening in our life with Him. This environment can develop into an intimate precious part of our walk with Christ.

Pillar 2: Represents our Sunday Services where we join in the environment of the local Body of Christ. Here we have fellowship as we interact with God’s people and are fed from God’s Word through teaching/preaching, singing spiritual songs and the Lords Supper. We are encouraged and influenced by the corporate worship and fellowship of God’s people. We have opportunities to serve and be served and use the gift(s) the Holy Spirit has given us. This can be a very powerful environment for good.

Pillar 3: Represents our home groups where we look deeper into God’s Word while enjoying close fellowship with fellow Christians. We are in an environment where God’s people can support, encourage and minister to each other in a more intimate way using the gifts the Holy Spirit has given each person.

Each of the 3 pillars help to create an environment within spiritual walls which helps to hold and support and equip us to live a Christ centered life as we live and shine as God’s people in the world. Individually they are very helpful but altogether are very powerful in helping us to grow in obedience and maturity in Christ.


This post filed under

Bible Study Nehemiah