As is the case with overcoming almost everything we must first see the need. Many of the saints may see the need in “Jerusalem”quite clearly, or even to clearly. What we perceive, however, may not be the need at all or it is at best symptoms of something more. It is important that we Biblically search for that something more. Let me give an example…. Say for instance you are in a body where there is no life or passion and you are surrounded in the church by people who living in sin and seem quite content to continue in it. Aha! Immediately the response is to connect the dots and decide that the church needs to preach more about holiness! The problem is the little silhouette our dots shaped out was merely that of a vicious little Piranha, cloaking the sea monster beneath it. As westerners it is in our nature to with little patience desire quick info for a quick fix. This is unwise and can lead to fleshly decisions that can lead the body down any number of rabbit trails to some new or more complicated form of bondage. Maybe on the other hand you find yourself in a situation where you see legalism as the culprit for the lifelessness and lack of gospel impact your church is having and you believe the answer is that grace be preached more and reliance on God’s sanctifying work be more emphasized. In either of these examples what the tired saint has observed may very well be the root problem, but often it is only the surface.
In order to Biblically see the true need this we must start at the roots. According to scriptures before can ever begin “rebuilding Jerusalem” we must start right here. Yes… right here. Before we can understand what is weakening Zion we must identify what part we play in it, especially before we can play a part in restoration. Matthew 7:3 is the cardinal verse here as we seek to see the need, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brothers eye, when there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you may see clearly to take the speck out of your brothers eye.” Interestingly, this verse by no means denies that there is a speck in your brothers eye that must needs be removed, but a clear view of the problem must be there in order for us to give aid. So the process must start with individual saints. If we do not start by evaluating ourselves with God’s word we fall into danger of sinning, Galatians 6:3-5. I will write about this matter more at a later date. It is very important that when we see sin in the body that we begin seeking God with a spirit of repentance. Test yourself with God’s word.
Before I get to confusing and scattered let me just state a point. From what I see in scripture if we see a need in Jerusalem for restoration we must first see the need in our lives. If we, with humility and sincerity, seek for God to purify our personal lives He is faithful and eager to do it. My experience has been that when I begin to do that, I don’t like what I see and I quickly wish to look away. We must see the the need, while also looking through the need to a New Testament Zion, a bride holy and vibrant.
When Nehemiah first arrived in Jerusalem he didn’t even announce his purpose or make any effort to hail himself as a hero. Instead he went silently by night (Nehemiah 2:11-16) and inspected the damage. At one point the rubble was so high that he could not pass through one of the old gateways on his beast. In order to see how to rebuild Jerusalem we must first removal rubble from our section of wall. Pray and seek God’s word. Read through the sermon on the mount, the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians, ponder on 1 John. Next I will explore what realization and repentance, personally and corporately, looked like for this remnant, exemplified in Nehemiah, and their unlikely leader.