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A Sad Metaphor

In the book of Nehemiah, we see a picture of the deplorable condition of Jerusalem. Its city walls were completely destroyed, leaving the people in a vulnerable position. This was an actual historical event, but I’m afraid it could also serve as a sad metaphor of the Church’s condition today. God put a man in place to serve Israel in rebuilding the walls.

[box]Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a reproach.” (Neh. 2:17)[/box]

If we consider that walls around a city were meant to bring protection, and using that metaphor, what has the Church put in place to protect her from the enemy’s onslaught? Is there a fortification of truth? Are we built on solid theology? Are our walls filled with the strengthening and effective prayer lives?

Are the “construction” elements pure and holy?

Or is the Church a reproach, a disgrace, something the world can easily mock?

How am I applying myself to rebuilding the walls?

I’m afraid, if we’re honest with ourselves, we have to admit that the Church isn’t making a godly impact on the culture. We are not causing the lost world to be amazed by our God. We don’t exhibit strength or a place of protection.

The Church appears to be losing the battle on many fronts . . . so what am I doing to change that?

How am I applying myself to rebuilding the walls?

When Nehemiah heard about Jerusalem’s condition, he wept, fasted, prayed and moved out in faith to obey the work God put in his heart. He set about fulfilling his purpose in God’s plan.

If the Church is in a state of spiritual lethargy and disrepair, if our walls have caved to greed and our structure is faulty due to theological error, man-centered movements and a celebrity culture—what can we do to repair her?

It starts with you and me. It starts with us living out the truth of the Word wherever we are. It starts with you and me being salt and light—here and now!

Who has God placed in your life and in your sphere of influence? 

Are you a daughter, a wife, a mom, a grandmother, a friend, a co-worker, an employer, an employee? Who is in your life that you can impact with God’s truth? Who are you able to come alongside and encourage them to walk in victory? Who needs your wise counsel and life experience?

What person in darkness are you sharing the gospel with?

What responsibilities has God given you?

Do you view your relationships as your mission field? Do you approach your workplace as an opportunity to demonstrate your love for God by serving your employer well? Do you apply yourself to mothering your little ones with the passion of a wall builder?

What is God asking you to do?

Sometimes we can get so caught up in the mundane responsibilities of work, school, laundry, meals . . . that we lose sight of the big picture . . . we forget that “here” is just the temporary and the lesser. He calls us to the eternal and greater. He calls us to make the most of every moment—now.

He invites us to walk in the Spirit through our daily activities, to live for something beyond this sphere while carrying out our earthly responsibilities. 

For some, “living for the beyond” may mean selling all you own and taking off to spread the gospel across the globe. Africa may be your portion of the wall. For others, it can be sticking it out on a difficult 12 hour shift, but filling that 12 hour shift with God’s glory with your heart attitude, your work ethic, your integrity and gracious interactions with others. Your wall, today, may be mothering little ones and inspiring them to live for something more than themselves.

How will you apply yourself to your wall today?

Image courtesy of artur84/FreeDigitalPhotos.net