1 Peter 2: 5; Nehemiah 4: 6, 10, 14, 16, 17, 23; 1 Thessalonians 5: 17; Ephesians 6: 12; Nehemiah 6: 3; Romans 8: 28
As I look at this nation spiritually, what I see are ruins, just like in the time of Nehemiah. Although our ruins are not in literal bricks, to me, the principle is the same.
1. Church attendance is statistically going down & churches are closing.
2. Laws are being passed which are against Gods ways. This year alone cannabis has been downgraded to c from b. The Gender Recognition Bill is due to become law by mid-March and the new gay marriage laws are due before Parliament later this year. There are calls by the National Secular Society that the true religious profile of the UK is reflected in the classroom. Calls for atheism and humanism to be afforded the status of legitimate belief systems have been heeded by the Institute for Public Policy Research.
3. In a recent BBC2 programme the UK was found to be the second most godless nation in the world.
God's house is now not made of bricks, but people. The ruins are people's lives.
1 Peter 2: 5 'you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.'
So what do we do about it? What should our response to these ruins be? I believe there are keys to be found within Nehemiah:
Nehemiah 4: 6 'So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its
height, for the people worked with all their heart.'
As Christians in this nation, although we are all called by God to do different 'jobs' whether that be: completing our education, being a plumber, a teacher, a parent, a Minister, we are all called to rebuild the wall. Everyone was involved in Nehemiah's time. That means we're called to love God, love ourselves and love other people, see Matthew 22: 37-39 and we need to do it with all of our heart. I believe whatever our 'job' is, that our first priority in our hearts needs to be rebuilding this nation spiritually.
Nehemiah 4: 10 'Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, "The strength of
the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot
rebuild the wall."'
We need to get rid of the rubble that is in the way. To me that means weeping and interceding for this nation, repenting to God for the sins of the nation that He may remove the rubble. It also means removing stumbling blocks in our own lives. We can't focus with all of our hearts on rebuilding the wall if our hearts have been captured by building our own lives and not His Kingdom. As it says in Matthew 6: 33 'But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.'
Nehemiah 4: 14 'After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the
nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "Don't be afraid of
them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your
brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your
Sometimes the personal cost of following after God can really hurt. At these times if for no other reason, we need to remember our relatives and our friends and persevere with God for their sakes. If we don't, then they may never get to know God. If we don't, then we're not doing our bit to keep them from getting swallowed up in drugs, fear and all the other effects of a godless society.
Nehemiah 4: 16, 17 'From that day on, half of my men did the work,
while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and
armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah
who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work
with one hand and held a weapon in the other,'
While doing our work in the day, whatever we are doing, we need to pray without ceasing (see 1 Thessalonians 5: 17). We don't hold physical weapons like they did in Nehemiah's time as we fight against principalities and powers (see Ephesians 6: 12). Prayer is our weapon. Chat with God in the day. Listen out for what He is saying to you. It could be that through your chats, you end up putting a few more bricks on the walls through decisions you make, how you treat people, how you treat yourself.
Nehemiah 4: 23 'Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards
with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went
We need to build God's Kingdom first then our own lives after that. As people we have basic needs, but we can't shed God off our lives at different times of the day or in certain circumstances. We need to be with Him in everything.
Nehemiah 6: 3 'so I sent messengers to them with this reply: "I am
carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work
stop while I leave it and go down to you?"'
Know that this is a great work. While we look at the devastation in our land so that we're not in denial, we're not going to be discouraged or downhearted and we're certainly not just going to focus on the negatives. We're going to focus on the great work we're called to. We're going to focus on being a part of the answer, knowing that whatever we do as it says in Romans 8: 28, God will use it for good for His purposes.
View all Life Files by Heather Bellamy