Reflection May 13th

Scripture: Nehemiah 6

The book of Nehemiah describes his work in rebuilding Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. In this book, several people try to stop him rebuilding the city walls by coming and interrupting his work and trying to distract him but he refuses to engage with them and gets on with the task given to him by God.

It reminds me of when Jesus was interrupted in His prayer in the dessert and the distractions of Satan. Jesus recognised him straight away and resisted but here Satan appears through different men and, just like Christ, Nehemiah resists. Just as they resisted, so too we also have to do that with the enemy. During this present time of lockdown, in particular, he would love nothing more than our faith to fail. He will come through different people and question who we are (children of God, made in His image), what we are doing (strengthening and encouraging one another in faith, forgiving, loving and supporting each other and standing firm), and why we are doing it (we love Him because He loves us and gave His life for us).; Satan will try to undermine us and ask: “Are you really necessary?”

He will try to attack our very identity and purpose, so we have to remain firm in faith and focus on Jesus. We have to remember we are God’s children, made by Him and called by Him, and that during this time of lockdown He is calling us to different tasks and different ways of worshipping Him until we can all meet together in person.

Today, let’s not accept Satan’s beckoning hand of temptation to be distracted and fearful but get on with the task of building up His church and keeping it together. We are his children and safe in His hands. God is building up His church, preparing us for what is going to come, and all of us are relevant and necessary for what He is going to do. We may not understand where or how, but the fact that we are here, and we are His, means that we are necessary, for such a time as this.

The book of Nehemiah is designed to teach us that only with God’s help and remaining together in Christ can we actually change ourselves and recover from difficult situations. In an individual’s life the rebuilding of the walls is a picture of re-establishing the strength of that life, let it also be a way of strengthening us as a church.

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