Rebuilding is not an easy task! In Ezra, we saw that the locals officials used many tactics to stop the rebuilding of the temple. Many of these same tactics are used against Nehemiah. He is taunted and ridiculed by the leaders as he is trying to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. Then, just as with Ezra, he is threatened.
Yet Nehemiah refuses to stop. Good for him!
Ezra and Nehemiah are excellent books for us to ponder as Christians. When we receive Jesus as our Savior, the first thing we do is rebuild our temple – the place of God’s Spirit. That’s actually what happens when we get born again. Our spirit man comes alive. As the temple in Jerusalem is the place of God’s presence, so is our spirit within us. We reconnect with God.
Then we start rebuilding the walls which have been torn down. The broken walls represent all of the areas of our lives which have been trampled by the devil while God was not being honored.
Every person has broken places before they come to the Lord. It’s a good idea to do some soul-searching and see what the Lord would try to show you.
Have you had addictions? Drugs? Alcohol? Pornography? Have you been abused? Have you had hurts which have damaged your confidence?
All of these are examples of broken down walls in your life. The enemy of your soul has been allowed free rein. But no more!
It’s time to rebuild, and restore. Our God is a God of restoration.
When our church purchased an old theater building, we began the lengthy, back-breaking job of refurbishing it. It was in total disrepair, but we saw beauty there, and knew that it could be restored.
One day, as I was scraping some popcorn grease off of the wall (not my favorite part), the Lord spoke to me. He said, “this is a picture of what I want to do in the lives of my people. I want to take lives which are broken down and seem beyond repair and turn them into lives of great beauty.” I love that!
So back to Nehemiah, when there are threats in the low places of the wall as they are rebuilding, a trumpet is blown, and the troops rally to those places. Special attention is applied where it’s needed.
My husband teaches about this often. The low places in your wall are those areas where you have greater weakness as you grow in the Lord. Those are the places where you need additional attention.
So what do you do? “Our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers.” (Ephesians 6:12). The devil is the one who wants to stop your progress.
Your weapon against the devil is the “sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God.”(Ephesians 6:18) So you take the scriptures which strengthen you in those low places. For instance, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”( Philippians 4:13) Or “If God is for me, who can be against me?” (Romans 8:31) Or any other appropriate scriptures.
As you speak and meditate on those scriptures, you will find greater strength coming to you – the strength you need to overcome and rebuild.
That’s the way you and I rebuild our walls. The longer we stay at it, and the more diligent we are to do it, the higher and stronger our walls get.
Our Father has a terrific design in us – and a special purpose. As we allow His Word – and His purpose – to work in us, we will see His beautiful plans unfold.
“The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, it grows brighter until the noon day sun.” (Proverbs 4:18)
Speaking of boldness, Peter has it for sure! And not only that. He also has understanding of scripture.
As Peter stands up to speak, he sees the meaning of scripture throughout the Old Testament. Suddenly truths unfold which he had never seen before.
Remember Peter of a thousand questions? The Peter who tried to talk Jesus out of going to the cross, and who ran when He did? Well here he is, transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit who is now living inside of him. What a transformation!
Now he stands and explains scripture which he had not understood before, and the fruit is evident. Three thousand souls are added that day.
Boldness, understanding, and unity. That’s the third element in this transformation: unity. These early Christians are in one mind and one accord. They share with each other, they are eating together, visiting, discussing with each other all that is transpiring. They are truly one.
Over the centuries since those days, the devil has managed to divide the church into a thousand parts. There are many denominations and doctrines which are aimed to separate. But our Father is calling us to be one again.
We actually might not agree on one doctrine. But we can agree that Jesus is the Savior having gone to the cross for us, having been raised from the dead so that we can be born again, and having sent back His Holy Spirit to live within us. Other doctrines are nuances compared to these central issues. He wants us to honor each other, to share with each other, to pray for each other – and with each other.
In the 17th chapter of John, Jesus prays that we will be one. Our Father is calling today for us to return to this attitude of heart. He wants us to join hands for the common cause of awakening in our land and in our world.