wall-1024x768The walls  of the  city were  in a mess reduced to piles of rubble. What once stood as defensible and secure now could be easily breached by friend and foe alike. Such was the situation Nehemiah surveyed as he responded to something God had burned on his heart. Compelled by an urgent need to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, he not only surveyed the magnitude of the task, but also refl ected on God's goodness to him in the past. He testifi ed to the people 'about the gracious hand of my God upon me'. (Neh 2:18)

I like that. It reminds me that God yearns to journey with us; that memory and recollection are important features of our faith-walk with Him; that as He has come through for us in the past, so He will again in the future. We can depend on our God.

Nehemiah's heart-throb was clearly for the reconstruction of something tangible that would bring God honour and glory. Above all, he desired an increase of God's presence among the surrounding peoples and nations. He had a heart for missions. And he was committed to making a difference, a signifi cant difference.

The story of Nehemiah is a compelling one. As we bring his example into our world there is much we can learn. We note the way he heard God's clear call to action; we admire his obedience to that call, trusting God as he overcame many practical and psychological odds that would have stopped many in their tracks; we marvel at his missile-like focus around the task and envy his undeniable leadership skills. All these attributes
were important and necessary in getting the job done.

But there is one stand-out feature for me. And it comes in the form of a simple statement. It is this, "But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat." (Neh 4:9) Here we have a remarkable blend of prayer and practice, of faith and works. This is an exhibition of a deep dependence on an ever-providing, enabling God on the one hand to protect the work being carried out on the other.

Nehemiah leaves us an example to follow, and God still searches the hearts of His people for those prepared to do something signifi cant for Him. Developing the missions focus within your local church or going to a ministry position in some corner of the globe are obvious traditional options. But God might just have someone next door or across the street for you to tell your story of His 'gracious hand' upon you to.

So let's check out the 'rubble' that is around us and hear how God might want us to respond with innovation to restore His honour and great name among peoples and nations.

That's going to demand different things of different people. So we'd love to journey with you and your church leadership as you respond to what God is putting on your heart. Feel free to contact one of the Directors at GC3 as we'd love to work alongside with you on this.

Sefton Marshall, GC3 Operations Director


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