Recently I once again found myself in the book of Nehemiah. The first time I studied this book I saw the main theme as a guide to godly leadership. I was captivated by all that can be learned about Nehemiah as a leader and how clearly it applies for today. However, this time as I began to casually scan over the verses I was hit for some reason by the words “…Jerusalem is broken down…..the city….lies in ruins.” (Nehemiah 1:3, 2:3) My heart was tugged and convicted immediately by the first chapter. As the book continued, and as I pondered on the history leading up to these events, I was struck with an alarming sense of deja vu. I saw a picture of the western church as Jerusalem with its defenses torn down and smoke billowing from it gates. The few believers huddled within these ruins are hungry, discouraged and in constant danger of attack. They long badly for a leader to come and save the day, to rebuild. With a troubled heart I can with hindsight rewind my vision, back to the time when Solomon’s temple stood tall and the walls were a place of refuge and were a symbol to the world of might and splendor and glory of the God of Israel. A city that was a bold proclamation from on high that these were a chosen people, set apart for the glory of the one and only eternal Sovereign. I began to think over the elapsed time to see if I could learn what went wrong. After wading through the muck of the sin , unfaithfulness, and compromise of God’s chosen I was grieved as if looking in a mirror. Amidst countless warning the congregation of Zion continued in their rebellion. With my usual rashness I was quick to begin dictating a grim message against the sin of the western church. Then I stopped… my thoughts went back to where I started, to that small band of huddled believers. This group knows of the sin and compromise that led them there, to them it has been told. They scratch out a survival and wait for restoration, wait for someone to come and make it happen. Really what they need is to be shown how to be a catalyst, starting with Nehemiah as an example. Revival and restoration in the church take place when the individuals that the church is comprised of repent of their sins, personally and corporately and then seek to get on mission to glorify their God and to once again make themselves a monument to His glory and grace.
As I seek God for this in my life I would like to post a series of blogs on what it looks like to be a catalyst for revival and restoration in the church and get on mission for God’s glory. How we can be a part of restoring a Jerusalem in ruins.