Checking Out the Walls
16 July 2018
Nehemiah 2:11-13, 17 'I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days I set out during the night with a few men… examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire… Then I said to [the leaders], "You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace."' (NIV)
Nehemiah was sent by God to rebuild the walls and gates of a broken-down city. In the process, he would revive the spirits of a shattered nation and give courage to a demoralized people. God can't do anything through people who are dispirited. That's why the Bible says so much about encouragement. Literally, the word means giving people back their courage. Without courage, you can't achieve anything for God. The Lord wants you to become a Nehemiah in your own circle of influence; to rebuild the confidence of people who's defences have been broken down, whose lives are constantly open to the devil's attacks. But Nehemiah was wise. Before he started the work, he surveyed the damage, he got a sense of how bad things really were and what had to be done. You can never be effective for God unless you're prepared to see the present need around you. You can't live with your head in the clouds, sprouting Christian clichés hoping that the situation will change. Faith faces facts. Faith says, 'This is the real situation.' Then faith says, 'That's the way things are, but this is the way God would like them to be – and I've been called to bring the changes.' Being aware of the need is the first step to bringing an answer. Open your eyes to need around you and pray that God will guide you, so that you see what he wants you to change and how.
Prayer: 'Lord, please make me a rebuilder of broken walls. Help me not to walk around with my eyes closed, always asking to see your will for my life but never seeing that it's right in front of me. And help me to know what parts of the need I am gifted and called to meet.'
© Mal Fletcher 2003-2004