Friday, March 22, 2013

Nehemiah 3:17-32

God’s strength is made perfect in weakness, not “quit-ness.”
After being told that the wall of Jerusalem would be rebuilt, the families that lived there began the backbreaking work of rebuilding it.
Nehemiah told them that God wanted to accomplish this great task. The people could find confidence in the power of God; but this did not exempt them from being the ones who physically worked on that wall. They would have to find the rocks, clean them, shape them, set them, and square them. It was their fingers that would inadvertently get smashed between two stones. It was their sweat that dripped on bricks as they labored in the summer sun to piece the wall together.
It was God Who would accomplish the great task in spite of their weakness. But it was through the sweat from their weak bodies that the hands-on work would be completed. They were His vessels, accomplishing His purposes.
At times, we have a somewhat misguided perspective when we hear that God wants to accomplish something through us. We get excited, and surrender to allow Him to do His great work. In our minds, it is almost as if we are marionettes that dance around on invisible God-strings, by which the Divine Puppet-master sways His limp, mindless dolls from one holy task to another.
While this may sound good, it just isn’t biblical. We are not just agents that are controlled by invisible strings that reach up to heaven. No, rather we are agents of obedience who move our own hands and hearts. We walk by faith, and we do this by being obedient.
It is in our obedient weakness that God accomplishes great things.
Just as Nehemiah and the people of Jerusalem had to partake in the finger-smashing, sweat-dripping, back-aching, Providence-powered work of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, we too must strap on our work boots and work gloves for the building of God’s kingdom. Relying on His strength, we can’t just “let go, and let God.” Rather, His strength is made perfect in weak effort. We must with everything thing in us, however inadequate that may be, strive to build His kingdom through praying and working.
Just as in Nehemiah’s day, He will accomplish. It is our task to work and to trust Him for the increase.

Food For Thought: Read Rev. 5:9. Will God be able to get His gospel to every nation, tribe, and tongue? How will He accomplish this?