Article: ARISE AND BUILD | Pr. Ribi Kenneth

As we begin to embrace a post-pandemic era that has been a seismic event for humanity, we are met with the reality and responsibility to mend and return to the next normal. While the task is mammoth and demands resolve and resilience, we are reminded of what Nehemiah did to build the ruins of Jerusalem and how by resolving to ‘arise and build’, he succeeded in bringing God’s people and the city ruins back to normal in a post-exile era.

So while we stand in the timeline of history requiring a similar measure in our post-pandemic fitful spiritual society, we need to step up and be the ‘shift’ that God intends us to be. Here are three things that we can retain from the account in Nehemiah 2:18, that will help us rebuild the spiritual ruins that we encounter today.
1. Build on God’s Blueprint: God is the master builder, and He as the architect has the blueprint. Dire circumstances cannot dampen God’s plans, nor does human intellect and creativity elevate it. All work done outside God’s will proves futile and worthy of God’s declaration “I never knew you.” Nehemiah understood what broke God’s heart, he knew God’s promises to Israel. Having come to this reality, he was burdened greatly, and chose to surrender his time and work to accomplish the restoration as God intended. Thus Nehemiah testified of God’s presence in Neh 2:18 “the hand of my God which was good upon me”
2. Arise and Build; The Christian life is one of progress, which can only be achieved when we carry out the necessary action. Our faith is proved by our deeds. If we know it is going to rain, we would surely carry an umbrella. But if we don’t take one, we believe it will not rain. So while we know God’s heart, our faith needs to be set into action. If we believe in God and His plans, we will take the instructed steps in partnering with God and accomplishing the mandate.
3. Build Together as a Team: We have all encountered in our workplaces or even in church groups, those who leave the task to a few to accomplish or vice versa. But if we are all various parts of one body, we all have different functions and all need to work cohesively for everything to function well. The heart may keep everything alive, but it is the leg that needs to get the body moving. This renders each individual an important part of the divine plan. Nehemiah stationed people in various locations and functions, and together as a cohesive unit, they overcame and accomplished the task at hand. The verse in Nehemiah 2 concludes by saying “So they strengthened their hands for this good work.”

The Christian journey is all about progress and growth. A good seed planted in the soil sprouts up and grows into a plant that bears fruits, we as Christians are planted by God and endowed with life for the mandate to make headway. To build is both a noble task and also one of the progress indicators in the Kingdom of God. So, arise now and build!

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