As our country has continued to open up, I’ve been privileged to travel more frequently and be a part of camps, conferences, and conventions. Because the majority of events were cancelled in 2020, there seems to be a great response to the assembling of ourselves together this year.
Worship services have been dynamic, and the response to the preached Word has been passionate. It’s been so refreshing to see and experience such a hunger for God, especially among our young people.
Throughout my time on the road, and even in my own personal walk with God, one command has continued to bombard my thoughts:
Rebuild the walls.
As our hunger for God increases, along with our desire to see Him move like only He can, there is a call for God’s people to leave behind the things of this world and make the trek back to the place we belong.
A place of consecration and sanctification.
A place of covenant and promise.
A place of holiness and separation.
I believe that, like in the days of Nehemiah, we are being gathered together unto the place where God has chosen to set His name.
In Nehemiah 1:8-9, we find the prophet praying and reminding God, saying “Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.”
There is a gathering taking place as we turn to God and desire to keep His commandments, but with it is a call to get to work and set some things right.
Nehemiah wasn’t just praying those words without cause.
The Jews had been taken into captivity because they had turned from the Lord. They were no longer in the land of Promise, and while a remnant of the people of God remained free from captivity, they were greatly afflicted. Nehemiah also received the news that “the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.” (1:3)
This caused him to weep, to fast, and to pray before the God of heaven.
And the Scripture tells us that at some point, God put it in the heart of Nehemiah to rebuild the walls.
He made his way to Jerusalem and the invitation was made to, “come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem...”, and the people responded, “Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.” (2:17-18)
There were some safeguards that had been torn down while the attention of the people had been elsewhere. Some walls and gates had been destroyed.
There was no protection, no separation, and no defense against the enemy.
But the people rallied together and began to rebuild the walls.
And as they built the doors, the gates, the locks, the towers, and the walls of their city, they sanctified the city.
I believe the call to rise up and build is sounding again today.
Have some things been torn down and burned with an unholy fire? Have some walls of safety, some gates of sanctification and separation, some towers of consecration been destroyed while our attention was captured by the cares and distractions of this world?
Have our thoughts and energy been held captive by a culture that is counter to everything our holy God represents and requires of us?
Whatever the case may be, it’s our responsibility to be like the people who joined Nehemiah and have a “mind to work”. (4:6)
The weight of rebuilding the walls and repairing the gates needs to drive us to set our minds to working, no matter how hard it may be and no matter who wants to set themselves against us because of it.
Nehemiah and the people were so determined to set the city right that they worked with one hand and held a weapon in the other; ready to defend what they were working to restore.
The walls we are being called to rebuild, in both our personal lives and in the Church as a whole, are worth fighting for.
Holiness is worth defending.
Consecration is worth defending.
Separation from the ideas of a world that is only getting further and further away from God, is worth fighting for.
There is salvation and safety behind the walls of obedience to the Word of God.
I simply cannot get away from this call.
God is moving.
He is calling, and there are people who are responding.
We don’t resent the walls.
We aren’t repelled by the gates.
We aren’t offended by the call of God to “be ye holy, for I am holy”. (Leviticus 20:7)
We see the value in sanctification.
We treasure this covenant relationship with God.
Let us rise up and rebuild the walls.