This morning as I sit here in my room, Bible open and my heart stirred from reading Nehemiah chapter 2, I hear little ones in the background singing and preparing for the day. Songs of praise to the Lord come from the shower, humming from another room, and snoring from the youngest ones bed. My heart is filled with joy as I hear these sounds. I think of the day that is ahead of us. There is much to do and we will be busy, but before that all begins I want my heart to be ready.
What a guy Nehemiah was. First captive, then cup bearer to the king, then his heart in deep distress over his beloved Jerusalem. Not for himself but for what it represented to the world about Almighty God — and that was to much for Nehemiah to handle for one day the king asked why he looked so sad. Nehemiah told him. God had already softened Nehemiah’s kings heart to hear and see the deep auguish he had for his city and for his God. The king freely and openly provides passage for him to go, provides supplies and with an agreement — “I’ll see you when you’re done.”
Nehemiah journeys to Jerusalem. In Nehemiah 2:18, he gives thanks to God and his earthly king he serves for all that has been done. With an alreadied spent time in prayer, time alone with God seeking Him, and time in preparation, it was time for Jerusalem’s walls to be reborn, time for his God’s reputation to be fixed, reestablished amoungst the lands. He could not help himself but to give praise to his God and his earthly king and the men around him arose and said to Nehemiah, “Let us rise up and build.”
What a accomplishment to just even be there. To think a servant, a captive to a foreign king and to be given such freedom to “go back home” and rebuild.
Nehemiah’s focus was singular. Yes, the walls of Jerusalem were in ruins; yes, the city could not defend itself; yes, the city was a disgrace to the name of God and a laughing stock to the countries around her — the reputation of God’s name must be restored. The redemption of glorify of God’s name was more precious to Nehemiah than anything. God must be glorified.
“Let us rise up and build.”
What do we “build” today?
Or maybe…is there something we need to “re-build” today?
As I hear these little ones preparing for their new day, it draws my mind and heart to think, “What do I build?” In Proverbs a wise women builds up her house, but the foolish one tears it down (14:1).
I think of churches who have chosen to be lukewarm or even cold and are OK with it. Complancy is the norm. God is “when I have time” thing and the world sees and laughs. In Revelation, God says “He will spit us out” (3:16). This is not building. This is not rising up.
I think of marriages who do not honor God’s plan written in Scripture and find it to be OK (Gen. 2:24; Prov. 5: 18-19; Eph. 5: 22-33 just to list a few). When we obey and follow God’s plan what a glorious marriage it becomes — the two becoming beautifully intertwined as one. When God’s plan for marriage is NOT followed the world sees and laugh, for there is no difference between a marriage with Christ or without Christ; this not be.
I think of families who tear each other apart in word and deed and claim Christ (Eph. 4:32; Eph. 4:29-31; and so many more verses on our speech! Look them up!) Psalm 127:3-5 tells us how children are a blessing, an inheritance from the Lord…when our quiver is full — Oh the joy! What gifts from above! Treasure your family for when we don’t the world sees and laughs for we are no different. If Christ be in us, our speech should be different!
I think of many other “life areas” where Christ is not sitting on the throne of one’s life, but rather “self” is sitting on the throne of one’s life…but I will not go into anymore for my thoughts and heart and drawn to what God must think and see. How we must break His heart — when we should be praying “Lord break my heart for what breaks yours!”
Instead of squabbling, bickering, arguing, fighting, lieing, sowing discord, instead of disobedience God’s Word and choosing to live a lukewarm or cold Christian life, instead of churches giving the man of God you called to Shepherd and lead you a hard time: follow his God-leading — and follow and obey GOD!
All the while we focus on the sinful issues of others or focus solely on ourself, there are lost souls who are dieing — and once dead — will spend eternity in the lake of fire, separation from God forever, because we were to self absorb and self centered as individuals and as churches.
We fail at church, marriages, family and individuals because we miss the mark — the mark of the focus of ONE! If God is not our first and foremost our number focus in this life and we have grown God-complanct. Nehemiah was not such a man for he was truly God-focused.
Want to succeed? Be like Nehemiah, BE GOD-FOCUSED in every area of life! It is really that simply, though in action that is where the rubber meets the road…we have a choice!
To choose GOD FIRST above all else is the best option with the best results. (I Cor. 10:31)
It is not to late to build or rebuild!