Looking at the Church today it is easy to make a comparison to the walls of ancient Jerusalem--the walls are breaking down and sin is entering in with little resistance.
"And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire." (Nehemiah 1:3)
Rather than the Church influencing today's society, today's society is influencing the Church. In other words, the Church looks more like the world than like a pure and spotless Bride preparing herself for her soon-coming Bridegroom.
"...the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down." But, God is raising up Nehemiahs to repair the walls and go into action rebuilding the standard which sin has torn down. The modern-day Nehemiahs understand what it takes to rebuild.
Paul tells us that we need to be changed. We need to have a major renovation take place in our thinking AND to have our thinking affect our actions and our lifestyles. The key word is "transformation", a word that comes from a Greek word similar to our word "metamorphosis" meaning a change in form and habits becoming something totally different from its original state.
Without "transformation", our hearts will continue to harden against the Lord and society will continue to influence the Church until it is no longer recognizable as a holy and peculiar people set apart unto the Lord.
It has to start with you and me. We can't wait for others to begin to change; we are not accountable for them-we're accountable for ourselves. What areas in your life need to change? Ask Him how How can your life more clearly reflect the Light of the world? Is your thinking and your behavior pleasing to Him or have you fallen in the trap of going along with the modern trends in today's culture leading you away from a holy lifestyle?
Nehemiah didn't just accept the circumstances of the broken walls of Jerusalem. He sought the Lord, then he saw God supernaturally make a way for him to do what God had called him to do. God will do the same for you and me. All we need do is ask Him. We need to let Him know we want to be part of the rebuilding of the true Church, not the broken down and ravaged body that has accepted the world's pressure to conform.
Dare to be a Nehemiah. Pray, confess sin, fast, wait before God, and storm the gates of heaven for yourself, your family, and on behalf of the Church. Be a part of the solution; doing nothing will only find you part of the growing problem.
Father, my heart is heavy when I think of the Church You built up to reign in and to dwell in and to use for Your holy purposes. The affects of sin have diminished the power You have intended the Church to display in order that Your glory might be manifest throughout the earth. Although I don't understand how it came to be this way, I do understand that if You are not glorified, if the Word of God is not revered, then the evil in this world has entered in because the walls have not been rebuilt. Help me to recognize those things in my own heart that need to be transformed into Your likeness and Your image. I want to change, Lord, and I want to recognize those things in me which smell of conformity to this world's standards. Lord, change me! Lord, transform me! Lord, let a true "metamorphosis" begin in me and spread to those around me. But, start it in me, Lord. I need change! In Jesus' name and for His glory I pray, amen and amen.
"And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven." (Nehemiah 1:4)
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Jan Ross, President and Co-Founder of Heart of God International Ministries, is a passionate and outspoken defender of the Word of Truth and the Great Commission. http://heartofgodinternational.com. For more devotional material by Jan, please take a moment to visit www.hgdevotions.com.
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