In today’s world, there are so many broken walls to rebuild; in individual lives, families, organizations, and of course, countries.
Are you grieved over broken walls? Are you tired of just complaining? Do you long to play a significant role in rebuilding? Then let’s talk about Nehemiah and his building project.
A quick review of the Book of Nehemiah reveals six principles we can adopt when faced with the daunting task of building from the scratch up again.
- He fixed his focus
What exactly is the task before you? Many things will catch your eye, and you may even be deeply disturbed by many others. But you cannot do everything. You need to discover how you were custom-designed to bless your generation, and outline what you need to do to accomplish it. Nehemiah 2:2-5,
“2 so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.” I was very much afraid, 3 but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” 4 The king said to me, “What is it you want?”
Then I prayed to the God of heaven, 5 and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”
Once you’ve identified that purpose, focus on it and channel all your energies and passion towards it, like Nehemiah did.
- He found the facts
Research, research, research! Your goal should be, “Nobody else should know more about this than me!” Do this quietly; at this stage, nobody really has to know. Nehemiah 2:11-13,
“11 I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days 12 I set out during the night with a few others. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on. 13 By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal Well and the Dung Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire. “
Find out everything there is to know about your project, past and present. If you’re working on something that is broken down, find out how it got there, the reasons why it failed, the mistakes that were made. Be realistic about the volume and extent of the work that needs to be done.
- He formed a fellowship
When your preliminary research and preparation are completed, you will need a fellowship- a strong team. Just as Jesus wasted no time in selecting The Twelve to work with him, you must also assemble your team. Nehemiah 2:17, 18,
17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” 18 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me.
They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.
- He fortified their faith
As you work to fulfil purpose, you will at some point face the challenge of getting your people to go with you and obey God. You must speak words of life to them, they need to hear them. Nehemiah 4: 13, 14
13 Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. 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 families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
- He faced the foes
There will always be haters and naysayers; this is a fact of life. You must stand up and face them, just as Nehemiah stood up to Sanballat and Tobias- in prayer and with your words. Nehemiah 2:19, 20,
19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?”
20 I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.”
- He fulfilled his function
Nehemiah followed a clear pattern, delegated, and accomplished his mission. Chapter 3 details who did what, and how, and at the end of the book, we see Jerusalem inhabited again.
If our social media interactions are a reflection of what is in our hearts, then the condition of the nation is one of our greatest concerns; there seems to be no end to the lamentations of a people whose leadership has repeatedly failed them.
We pray for a leader who will be courageous and compassionate. However, we are all nation builders- he is going to need you. You may never hold office, but by making a difference where you are called to, you will bolster the efforts of those at the forefront. Building is never easy, but the principles found in Nehemiah point the way to success.
O God of all creation, grant this our one request; help us to build a nation where no one is oppressed- and so, in peace and plenty, Nigeria will be blessed.
I wrote this article for vinemag.com