This is part 1 out of 3 in a devotional series based on the book of Nehemiah, written for New Horizon Church Camp 2018.
And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. (Nehemiah 2:18b)
Ready - When Nehemiah shared his burden for the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem with those around him, they responded readily and made the necessary preparations to start doing the work ahead of them. Similarly, when God convicts us of the need to rebuild - it could be our relationship with God, our marriage, family or the church - we need to be prompt to obey, and we should also get ourselves adequately trained and equipped.
Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate... And next to him the men of Jericho built. And next to them Zaccur the son of Imri built. (Nehemiah 3:1a, 2)
Rally - Not only were the people willing and equipped, they also worked together - brothers alongside each other, fathers with their sons. The entire community got into the action and supported one another. In the same way, we also need to gather support for whatever rebuilding that we undertake in our lives, family or church. It could be intercessors who pray along with us, or co-workers who could provide help or advice and even take over whenever we are tired and need to rest.
From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail... And I said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “The work is great and widely spread, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” (Nehemiah 4:16a, 19-20)
Reinforce - Finally, there is bound to be opposition to any work that is done according to God’s purposes. We need to constantly keep alert through prayer and arm ourselves with the Word of God, just like the Israelite builders took precautions so they would be able to defend themselves in case of an attack from their enemies.
Questions for reflection / discussion:
- Ask God to show you the areas of your life that need to be rebuilt and note them down. Are you ready to say ‘yes’ to Him? If not, what are the things that hinder you? Commit these to God and trust Him to remove them one by one.
- What training or equipping will you need for the areas of rebuilding that He has revealed to you? Who are the people whom you can ask to support you in prayer or as partners in the work of rebuilding?
- What are the ‘enemies’ that may try to distract you or deter you from the work of rebuilding? How can you resist these ‘enemies’?