One of my heroes is Nehemiah. His story is found in the Bible and it’s loaded with leadership and spiritual principles. Nehemiah was a Jewish man living in Persia after the Persian empire had taken over Jerusalem and exiled the Jewish people. Slowly over a 90 year period the Jewish people were traveling the 800 miles back to Jerusalem and were trying to rebuild that great city.
Nehemiah had an important and prestigious job as the cup bearer to the king. He found out that the rebuilding process in Jerusalem was not going well and they were struggling to make it. Mainly it was because the walls around the city had been torn down and that left them vulnerable to the people around them. Nehemiah had a great concern about the walls of his beloved city. The rest of the story is how he went about rebuilding the walls.
Here are some of my takeaways:
Wall rebuilding then…. Wall rebuilding now:
Ancient walls served many purposes. They offered Protection, Security, and reflected the strength of the people.
Likewise, today the walls of spiritual disciplines that we build around our lives are vital for our Protection and for building our relationship with God.
We need to examine the condition of our walls.
Are some gates open for the enemy to slip in?
Has neglect allowed a loose piece of stone or mortar to become a hole or a gap?
Have weeds of compromise overrun certain sections until those toppled walls have become a main entrance for sin?
If your walls are in need of repair lets take a look at some principles from Nehemiah.
First: Develop a genuine concern for the condition of the walls.
Is it a burden on your heart? We must have a genuine concern for the condition of our spiritual lives. If spiritual growth is not important it will take a back seat to all the more important stuff in our lives. The spiritual walls we have in our lives keep us focused on the best things and growing in our trust of God.
Second: Express direct prayer for guidance and protection.
Nehemiah started 800 miles away in prayer before the Lord. Prayer tends to be an afterthought many times. It should be the first thing we do. Get into the habit of acting on your burdens only after you have given them a firm foundation in prayer. Prayer is a privilege and God is available at all times. We have access to the only one that controls everything.
Third: Face the situation honestly and with determination until the task is finished.
If we are upfront and honest about a problem we usually can get more of a commitment from the people around us. An honest appraisal of your own spiritual walls will help you stay determined to fill the gaps. We all know were we tend to struggle and where we are allowing things to influence us in a negative way. If your unsure then ask the people that are closest to you for honest feedback.
Fourth: Recognize that we cannot correct the condition alone.
No amount of experience can overcome sin’s power to crumble our walls. It is only when we are willing to live in dependence on God that we have the power to fix and build the spiritual walls we need for survival. If we are serious about making changes in our spiritual lives then allowing other people to speak into our lives is vital. Pray for someone that can hold you accountable by asking tough questions and then pray for courage to be open and honest.
Breezes instead of wind gusts usually knock us down. We get lulled into neglecting our walls. We drift from God and allow other things to take priority in our lives. Slowly we stray away and can find ourselves lost, stuck or alone.
Pray for God’s help in recognizing those subtle breezes in your life that are causing you to drift into moral compromises.
What area of your spiritual wall needs repairs or strengthened?
Are you faithful in all areas of your life? At work, At home, At play?
Take some time soon to think about the condition of your own walls and then follow Nehemiahs example and rebuild them as needed.