Nehemiah 8:9-12 gives an excellent picture of falling short in the past of the ways of God, and of God's reponse as we try to repair the damage we have done because of our shortcomings.
After much opposition, lies, battles, death threats and sin among the Congregation, some 42,000 strong, plus servants and singers, the Children of Israel returning to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity were confronted with their situation.
They gathered together in one accord and heard the Law read to them. They were full of shame and sorrow. Even as they were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem they still felt unworthy as they heard the words that Moses had written hundreds of years before. They knew they had fallen short, so very short of the instruction God had given them over the years.
But the mercies and great compassions required more of them than sorrow. The great compassions of our God demanded that they be joyful! Be glad! This is a new day!
Forget the past!
This also applies to us as we look over our past failures, shortcomings and doubts. No matter our shortfalls every time we enter into the Presence of God in prayer it is a holy occasion. He is glad, full of compassion and love for us.
Always bring to mind; our shorfalls do not endure forever; His mercies endure forever!
Here is the Nehemiah story that is as real today as it was the day it occured, because God does not change~
" And Nehemiah and Ezra the Priest, the Scribe, and the Levites that taught the people said unto all the people,
'This day is holy unto the LORD your God: mourn not nor weep; for all the people wept when they heard the words of the Law."
"Then he said unto them, 'Go your way, eat the fat and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry: for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
" So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, 'Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.' And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send protions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them."
We have words declared unto us; everytime we enter the Presence of God it is a holy occasion. We can, we must have, great joy in the realization that we are entering into the Presence of One who understands that we are but dust. His Spirit dwells in our mortal being and we are already seated with Christ in Heavenly places. It does not say that we will be seated with Him; it says that we are already seated with Him!
Enter into His presence with joy and thanksgiving; we have an audience with the Creator of all things. What a great priviledge! Our past is just that, past! Our future is to spend eternity with Him.