Sunday, September 28, 2014

Swords and Shovels

During the night, he walks around the city to examine the evidence. (Nehemiah 2:12)  Although he doesn’t want anyone to know why he is present, the evidence couldn’t be dismissed.  It was truly apparent the enemy was real, his plan was to ruin, and the destruction was un-believable.  If he didn’t see with his own eyes, he couldn’t have understood the need.  Although the news broke his spirit, it touched his heart.  

We don’t have to look far to see the destruction of the enemy, we see the rubble.  It’s under our shoes, it’s in the stench of our nostrils, it's before our eyes, and so close to touch.  Yet, our eyes can’t believe what we see.  We pick up the rubble to try to image what it is or who it belongs too.  Destruction doesn’t just touch cities, it destroys lives.  Although the rubble proves life once existed, where are they?

Satan’s method hasn’t changed, he desires complete annihilation.  Annihilation of dreams, families, and God’s promises.  Keep in mind, Nehemiah was a patriotic Jew.   So, this was his homeland, his people, his history, and where he worshipped God.  No longer is there any security for the people, the walls have crumbled.  The gates are twisted metal, completely destroyed by fire.  Someone had a purpose, it’s evident.  What do we do when the enemy attacks our families, our cities, or our nation?  Either we can be silent or desire to change the situation.  We can only change the situation if we allow it to touch us, we allow it to break us.

“When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.  For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of Heaven.” ~ Nehemiah 1:4

If we don’t allow the brokenness of our people break our spirit, cause us to pray, or mourn our godly history; we walk callused.  Can we truly leave our heritage, our people, and our nation in this situation?  Our children deserve a heritage of God’s truth, so they have an example to follow.  Yet, who’s willing to take the sword or shovel to rebuild?  If we long to rebuild this nation, we have to get our hands dirty spiritual and physically.  Faith isn’t just what we believe, its proof of our calloused hands.  Our hands bleed, have blisters, and covered in dirt because we understand the need.  Love lifts people out of the rubble, it helps rebuild what was lost.  It doesn’t leave the rubble for others to clean up, it’s willing to take a shovel or a sword or whatever is needed to rebuild a life.  Either our hearts are calloused or our hands, it shows who we are and what we really believe.  Faith demands actions toward the broken, it brings healing.

With the Word (the Sword) it’s the only way our hearts can be truly healed from the brokenness.  We are anointed to bring good news, bind up the brokenhearted, and release those bond in darkness.  Yet, we have to use our hands to rebuild the walls, so we can rebuild our life.  It will restore income, a place to live, and a place to worship with God's people.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”~ Isaiah 61:1

Understandable, it can be quite overwhelming when we examine the evidence-it beyond our abilities.  Fear focuses on my abilities; faith focuses on God’s.  Your faith will be challenged but it will NEVER BE defeated!  It’s only when we seek the Lord’s face with diligence, we get the answers.  Nehemiah prayed for three months before entering the king’s presence.  Although Nehemiah felt overwhelmed with the burden, God was working behind the scenes to fulfill His will-to rebuild.  It’s interesting how a cup-bearer who had no carpentry or architect knowledge was used to bring security, restoration to his people, and reclaim a heritage near extinction.  God’s plan for our lives, our cities, and our nation will only be discovered if we seek His face.  God’s the only One who has all wisdom, knowledge, and power to help us.  Honestly, let’s admit we lack the wisdom but we don’t lack the knowledge who to seek! 

In our natural eyes it may be overwhelming but we need to look at it through God’s eyes, it’s an opportunity to show the love of God.  May we remember who we are, call upon the name of God, and repent.  It’s only when our hearts restored, we are willing to restore the life of others.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14