Monday, July 23, 2012

Rebuilding Our Spirits

                In our Christian faith we often go through trials and tribulations. Sometimes we must start over fresh in order to draw closer to God. We need to get rid of the contaminants in our lives and rid ourselves of our former selves. We need to let go of the things that kept us from receiving Christ.

                Nehemiah, whose name means comforted by Jehovah, was from Judah. He was among the Jews exiled to Babylon. When the Roman Empire fell to the Persians, Nehemiah found himself as the royal cup-bearer in the palace of the Persian king Artaxerxes. This made it possible for him to be made the civil governor of Jerusalem at the time of their return. In the book of Nehemiah, he hears of how the walls of Jerusalem were destroyed and the gates burned with fire. Immediately he fasted, prayed, and mourned for the people of his country. He asked for favor in front of the king so that he may go and help the people of Israel.

                When the king saw him, he saw how upset he was. He asked Nehemiah to explain what was wrong and upon hearing him, the king granted Nehemiah permission to go help rebuild the walls. Upon arrival in Jerusalem, Nehemiah inspected the wall and ordered the start of the rebuilding. Certain men were assigned to rebuild each of the gates and the rest of the men built the walls. They faced opposition during the rebuilding from Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Amonites, and the men of Ashdod. They threatened to knock it down again but the Jews heard and warned Nehemiah. Therefore, he stationed men with weapons to prepare for attack and told them that God would protect them. During this time, Nehemiah helped the poor get food and the wall was completed in just 52 days. How? Because of the favor of the Lord. The exiles returned and the Israelites confessed their sins.

                In future years, Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem and discovered that the Israelites had returned to their previous way of life, sinning and disobeying the laws. Nehemiah ordered the Levites to purify themselves and assigned everyone duties.

                So, how can you apply this to your life? We need to rebuild ourselves when we are broken. When we sin, God allows us to give in to the desires of our flesh and only with repentance can we fortify our spirits again. We will be judged with the fire and be destroyed. When we have backslid, we are disgraced. Have you ever noticed that when you are deep into sin, something dramatic happens that causes you to repent and draw back to God? It’s the work of God to keep His people close to Him.

“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 or Jerusalem,
and we will no longer be in disgrace.”

-Nehemiah 2:17

                I will share two personal experiences that happened to me that made me realize I needed to rebuild. The first experience was in February of 2011. I had gotten caught up with the wrong people at my job and my dad, as he was supposed to, reprimanded me for it. I ran away the next day with $50 in my pocket and my car. My parents found me later that night and brought me home. I repented and started rebuilding my life and relationship with God.

                 I broke up with my boyfriend back in April. I had been so busy focusing on him that I often forgot about God. I believe that God allowed my relationship to end so that I could be drawn back closer to Him. Ever since the end of April I have been working on rebuilding my spirit, layer by layer, as Nehemiah and his workers rebuilt the wall. Have I completed the work? No. We are never finished growing in the Spirit. I continue to grow each day but God is using me for His works. Is a short period of time He has helped me progress so much. 

"Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who
is great and awesome, and fight for your
brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives
and your homes."

-Nehemiah 4:14

"Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, 
join us there. Our God will fight for us!"

-Nehemiah 4:20 

                 During the rebuilding of our spirits, we will face opposition from the enemy but he won't have a stronghold over us. If we have fear of the Lord and commit ourselves to Him, He will protect us. The enemy will not bring us down.

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow
of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and
your staff, they comfort me."

-Psalm 23:4 

                     Have you gone through a period where you had to rebuild? If so, I encourage you to please comment and share. 

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