While I understand that there are differing opinions, I personally do not believe that our nation, communities and churches are headed in the right direction. Like other societies who have lost their way throughout history, we appear to be careening down the slippery slope that leads to economic calamity, moral depravity and spiritual emptiness. That being said, I do not believe that we are without hope. I believe there are ways to turn things around.
Using the wisdom found in the story of Nehemiah I humbly propose seven “R” things I believe we absolutely must do:
Before any progress was made, Nehemiah had to recognize the condition his home was in. It was only then that changes could begin to take place.
Without a broken heart and a turning of our ways, we will never have the initiative to do the things that are necessary.
After a time of mourning, fasting and praying, Nehemiah responded to the need. He put a plan in place and began to acquire the authority and resources necessary to begin repairs.
There will always be those that oppose us, but that is never sufficient reason to give up. Like the people of Jerusalem we must learn to rebuild with our hammer in one hand and our sword in the other. Otherwise, our enemies will tear down as quickly as we build up.
Opposition is not always physical. Sometimes physical force is the easiest to recognize and resist. The rhetoric and the criticism can destroy our dreams just as quickly. Like Nehemiah, we must be ready to rebuff the verbal onslaught and to deflect the criticism of those that wish us and our nation harm. If they don’t love us, they have no right to advise us.
In the midst of the rebuilding, it was found that some of the insiders had become part of the problem. They had abandoned the way of Faith, and were acting like the enemy. They were abusing and taking advantage of their own neighbors. It was critical that they re-engage their faith and begin acting like God’s people again before all their work came to nothing.
Upon their return to their ancestral home, each exile was commissioned to repair the walls nearest their own home. This was a great strategy because people tend to work harder and more diligently when they are personally invested. It also gave them a daily view of why their work was so important.
Lord, grant us spiritual eyes to recognize our problems, hearts for repentance, tenacity to respond properly, courage to resist attacks, minds to rebuff the rhetoric of the enemy, wisdom to re-engage our Faith and the skills necessary to repair all that is broken. Bless my readers today in Jesus Name, Amen!