My friend Pat wrote about Nehemiah yesterday. Describing his ministry as well as the ministry of Paul and who we might be needing in the coming day. It triggered something. I like Nehemiah. I like a lot of what he stands for. Represents. Does. Nehemiah has been on my heart for a few weeks. The Lord has been breaking out some cool things that I “knew” but probably was not ready for in recent days.
Years ago I became infatuated with Nehemiah 8:10. Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10 Many years ago my friend Steve wrote a song about this. Joy! Love carried forward. Passion inflamed and hearts on fire.
Because I have been sharing over the last week or so about some revival thought process, I thought I would break some of this out.
A little context for those who might be unfamiliar with him. He was a high official in the Persian court of King Artaxerxes I. He was a cup bearer. Close to the king. Able to reach out to the king.
Nehemiah embraces the occasion of the arrival of one of his brethren, who, with certain others, had come from Jerusalem to inquire as to the condition of the escaped remnant and the city of Jerusalem. Nehemiah finds his heart captured.
Nehemiah learns that, in spite of former revivals, the people are in great affliction and reproach, and as to Jerusalem the wall is in ruins and the gates burned with fire.
Are we hearing this???
In spite of a Brownsville, Toronto, Smithton and more…
Despite the amazing revivals of recent years we find ourselves in spiritual declination in the United States. Our hearts in so many cases hurt with what we had, what we lost and so many feel “going home” is a better option. Folks, I am not there. I am hope-filled. But clearly we must see and hear of the similarities. While I believe in seasons, I do not think devastation and neglect is a necessary season.
Many were fired in the flames of revival. So many had high hopes for this ministry, that calling. Disappointment set in when things did not go as expected. Men and women of God set down and “children” with no more of a clue went to fill shoes never intended for them. I get it.
I have watched brilliant young ministers fall by the wayside because men and women checked out over disappointments leaving direction-less folks in their wake. Fathers arise. Mothers arise.
Men and women of God. You may have missed the first ship, denied the calling and pulled out of the ministry. Can I call you out of remorse, regret, relapse and rehab? For today, I truly believe God is assembling a Nehemiah or two. Giving men and women a second chance. A second time around.
The United States in many regards appears much like what Nehemiah learned. There is affliction and reproach, walls (borders) in ruin and gates (policies) burned by fire.
But God, who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly has appointed bearers of the cup. The wine, the joy, the symbolism of His blood for the remission of sin. Even now communion is being restored to the church, to the home.
In Nehemiah, God has demonstrated the threads of His life through various men. Ezra had been used by God as both a scribe and a priest. A recorder, close to the heart of the Father who knew what God had established in His word. Nehemiah was very different. Despite his high standing in a secular kingdom he carried the heart of the Father for the people.
Even in our day where religion has drifted off in so many cases, prophetic voices are calling for the walls and gates to be rebuilt. Perhaps our method of entrance to God (universalism versus salvation) and our walls calling for a separation that is holy unto the Lord is what Nehemiah is in this day and this hour is being called forth to be called upon. Who will drink this cup?
Hebrews 2:1 So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. If I simply drove my boat towards shore at a high rate of speed, (Been there, done that, ran over my brother.)alarms would arise. But drifting has deceptive feel of comfort, developing complacency, a thought that “this is peace”. This is a deception at best and a danger at worst.
Nehemiah recognized this.
A study of these times reveals a weakened company of people. Revival came to them by grace. For surely, they had little to do with it. But despite these revivals, these awakenings they headed downward. Spiritual conditions were reduced and the implication of spiritualness denied. CLEARLY this is our country in this day. Like Nehemiah, it is time to assess, process, overcome duress and demonstrate progress. These signs shall follow, accompany, them who believe.
It is time for the “city” to be rebuilt, for the walls to stand and the gates to be established. Some of you may see this as your personal or corporate person. Others may see this as a city, region or nation. I am not talking about an actual wall or gate but the establishment of a Godly standard being restored to His people.
And all of you who were burned? God is going to use you in this newly formed wall and creation. For this is your holy calling. Your validation of your salvation.
For the joy of the Lord is your strength.