Text: Nehemiah 2:11-18
We have all faced large projects at one time or another in our lives. It might have been a large paper due for college or high school, or a business launch, or even building a house or other large construction project. It is an exciting time. I have worked on many large engineering projects, in many different fields. And I can honestly say that the best part of the entire project is always the moment you receive the purchase order. That moment when your bid has been accepted and you finally see all the work of the quoting process paying off.
Right after that however, the work proper begins and you have to roll up your sleeves. The problems start coming and the project begins to give you sleepless nights. What project are you facing right now?
Nehemiah was at the purchase order stage. He had just been given the letters from the King and he had taken the 900 mile journey to Jerusalem. He must have had tremendous excitement and fear at the same time. But his entrance to Jerusalem must have caused quite a stir. He was the king’s representative and had a military escort. His arrival did not go unnoticed. There must have been a lot of people watching him and waiting to see what he would do next.
When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem he took some time to rest. Actually he rested for three days.
Nehemiah also was watching the people, he was looking for workers, people who had a mind to work. Notice in verse 16 he writes; “The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work” Nehemiah was assigning resources, like any good project manager, he was assessing the workers and seeing who could do what jobs and how best to allocate them.
But Nehemiah was still operating in tremendous faith. He had no idea of all that was about to happen in his life. Nehemiah completely trusted the Lord for the outcome of the project. He did not operate out of fear he operated out of faith as we saw last week. Nehemiah was preparing and doing his part, because he trusted that God would do his.
After completing the survey of the walls and the people, Nehemiah took a very bold step in faith he made his “sales pitch” to the people. Verse 17 tells us that he addressed the people. The people of Jerusalem were discouraged and defeated. They did not have much hope for the future. But not Nehemiah, he was filled with courage and boldness that came from his relationship with God and the secure knowledge that God would allow them to rebuild the wall. His presentation to the people was three-fold;
- Firstly he drew their attention to the obvious; “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire.” They didn’t need reminding, but he wanted to create in them a sense of dissatisfaction, this is key like any good salesman will tell you.
- Then he went on to say “Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem,” He didn’t say, I am here to make you build the wall, no he was invested, it was their project, he was all in.
- And finally he reinforces his appeal by showing them that this was God’s idea and plan, not his; “I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me”. He encouraged them that God was going to bring this rebuilding project to be, and that God was with them.
The people responded immediately; “Let us start rebuilding.” Nehemiah just got his second purchase order!
This is such a great story of fear to faith to action, but it is more than just a Biblical narrative, what is the application for us today? What does God want us to rebuild here at Grace Point? When we look at the hand of God over this church in the last year, it is amazing to see all that He has done. But truthfully there is a lot of rebuilding to do, we are beginning to get a glimpse of the plan the Lord has for his church here. Are we going to respond like the Jews and say; “Let us start rebuilding” starting something new or are we going to hold back and resist the move of God.
But maybe God is speaking to you on a more personal level today. What is God asking you to rebuild in your personal life, in your home? Maybe today you have just received the purchase order to rebuild your personal and spiritual walls. Not walls to prevent others from being able to contact you, but walls from which to operate as a Christian from a position of strength and security in the Lord. Knowing who your God is and moving from fear and defeat into a life filled with peace and most importantly a life that God will use for His glory as you lead others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
So how do you go about rebuilding the walls of your spiritual life?It is all about time management, I am not going to give you a teaching on time management, but we all need that desperately. Time is a precious God given commodity, and we only have a limited amount of time on this earth. God is going to hold us accountable for the use of the time that he has given us. Successful people know the secret of success is what you read and who you spend your time with.Well as a Christian if that is true then we have a perfect answer, reading the Bible and spending time with Jesus in prayer. You can start today, what are you reading, and who are you spending time with? Building up the spiritual walls of our lives only happens as we pray and read God’s word.
But what about Grace Point? There is no doubt that this church is not what it was twenty years ago. But God is doing something here he is stirring in the hearts of his people here, and in this community. There is a definite shift that has taken place. God is bringing new people in, and raising up a new generation of workers who have a heart to build on the work of those who have gone before and have labored to build the foundations and walls of the ministry of this church.
Let us begin rebuilding, starting with our personal lives. We read in the book of Nehemiah that the people all rebuilt the wall section that was directly in front of their homes. They started rebuilding at home. Let us allow the Holy Spirit to examine our hearts, and convict us of areas and places that need rebuilding. Spend more time in prayer and reading God’s word. Praying for the Church and praying for your families. Then as God leads you get involved with the ministry of God here at Grace Point.