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Building by Conviction


''Then I said to them, “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.” I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me.''

They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.'' Nehemiah 2:17 -18


The scripture above is the record of the conversation Nehemiah had with the Elders of Israel. He had been so burdened at the news from Hanani, one of his brothers, at the state of ruin of Jerusalem and its walls that he prayed earnestly for a way to find favour with his pagan Master - the King- to have the resources and support to go back and do something about it. Despite his being 'very much afraid', YHWH had answered his prayer and the King gave full support, opened doors, and supplied them with resources to rebuild the city.

The things that capture my attention are these:

1. His heartfelt concern for the City of God - Jerusalem. He cared deeply.

2. He prayed earnestly for an opportunity and when God answered, he did not use it for his gain but sort to restore the glory to Israel.

3. Went to the Elders with this opportunity and requested their support in rebuilding the 'Whole' wall. It was a request to them to shift their focus on the Glory of the Whole Kingdom rather than their homes and lives. A request to seek the Glory of the God of Israel rather than their own.

Nehemiah's heart spoke to me because I recognized it in myself.


Oh, Lord let the Elders see this opportunity and not faint. Let this record of committed certainty and oneness of mind (“Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.'') be our testimony. Amen.


The Chief Master builder handed us building materials. The shape, size, or composition of our materials depends on the part of the structure to which we are assigned. Materials for the foundation differ from that for the roof, walls, or windows.

We also have a plan and guide. The guide is the Spirit of God and the plan is the Scriptures: the word of God. Whatever the materials we are given, they are to be placed according to the guide. My materials are not superior to yours nor are yours superior to mine: all are needed, specific to the parts we are building. Now if I can advise, according to the guide, the placement of a part or two, I'll give that advice based on what I see in the guide and you do the same as well. The point is that we are all committed to the building of a strong structure to the glory of our Kingdom. It is from that conviction - that team spirit, that wholehearted commitment to a common cause, that we inform, aid, or correct each other.


The Kingdom is ours but the purpose of building it strong is for the benefit of the whole world.

''Beautiful in its loftiness,

the joy of the whole earth,

like the heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion,

the city of the Great King.

God is in her citadels;

he has shown himself to be her fortress.'' Psalm 48:1-3


I attended a Parental Voice meeting at my daughter's school this week. As I was leaving, the Lord said to me 'This is why the Kingdom needs to be strong - it is needed'. The Kingdom of God on earth is the preservation of its souls and all creation. It is the only source of the Divine life of God - it illuminates the darkness, gives direction and preserves for eternity! How? Because YHWH is in her citadels.


We often say there is no vacuum in the Spirit and that is a true saying. Jesus himself said:

When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.” Luke 11:24 -26


Whatever the Kingdom of God does not fill, the adversary fills with his spirit and ideology of darkness. A weak, fractured, and dilapidated Kingdom struggling to survive as a cohesive entity cannot help this world. We are the light. We are the salt. But the strength of that light or salt is only enhanced by our united vision and love. Here is Isaiah's prophesy again:

''In the last days

the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established

as the highest of the mountains;

it will be exalted above the hills,

and all nations will stream to it.


Many peoples will come and say,

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,

to the temple of the God of Jacob.

He will teach us his ways,

so that we may walk in his paths.”

The law will go out from Zion,

the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.''


The world needs answers and we have it. But a fractured kingdom is a weak Kingdom.

I pray we see this opportunity as a clarion call to come together and rebuild Zion with personal convictions of its necessity in today's world. May we see that it is only when the knowledge of the glory of our God - YHWH - fills the whole earth, that darkness will have nowhere to hide. The power is in our hands and our mouths. Can we be inspired to commit to this same response they had? Can the Testimony of our generation of the Church be: “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work?

By His Spirit, we will. Amen.

 

''We have all these great people around us as examples. Their lives tell us what faith means. So we, too, should run the race that is before us and never quit. We should remove from our lives anything that would slow us down and the sin that so often makes us fall.

We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne.'' Hebrews 12:1-2 Easy-to-Read Version







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