Thursday, July 17, 2008

Walls Around the Temple

Tomorrow is the end of our study on the Temple! I can't believe we've done 15 days of this. All y'all are probably like, "Oh, believe us, we can!"

Still, two more days and then we'll jump in to something new! I want to remind you that if you have suggestions please slide over there to the suggestion link and share your thoughts.

We're going to look at one more thing concerning our temples, then tomorrow I'll leave you with a beautiful hope for the future with Christ!

As I said yesterday, Nehemiah was way in on this rebuilding business. His heart, however, was not just for the temple, but the walls that were around Jerusalem. Nehemiah knew that the great city needed a safe, strong wall around it and he was the man to do it.

He left his post with the current King, and made way for Jerusalem. He gathered the men and they worked hard and long to finish rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Sometimes they would work with a chisel in one hand and a sword in the other in case their enemies came to attack them.

Not a bad spiritual picture for us.

There is a healthy and smart thing about boundaries. If you have certain temptations that are difficult to overcome then you probably understand boundaries. If it's food, I'm sure you've set boundaries of what you can eat and when. If it's TV, same thing. Well, you don't eat it, but you know what I mean.

Gossip? Shut your mouth or stay away from those who you can't help but chat it up with.
Fantasy? Keep you brain out of romance novels and soap operas.
Worry? Don't mull over the problem again and again.

There are many things we set boundaries around us to protect us from falling into sin, and just as they built their walls with work and determination, they had sword in hand.

Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked.

Nehemiah 4:17,18

We too must keep our sword, the Word of God, close at hand at all times. If need be, we'll keep it in hand, on the mirror, on the post card, in the kitchen, on the sticky note, whatever it takes to get that Word deep in our belief system to strengthen us and make us equipped for every good work, every encouragement, every moment we need to have grace!

This walk with Christ has times of great determination, stamina, fortitude, and purpose to ensure we do not fall into traps that we have found ourselves in too many times.

Do you find that you are weak in areas? Get the Word, strap it on close, and pray that God's Spirit who is in your inner being will transform you into the spiritual giant He has purposed for you.

Do you find that you struggle with the same thing over and over? Grab your chisel of determination to set yourself against it. Wield the Sword of God's Word over and over all the while humbling yourself to the inner work of the Spirit who will overcome the enemy in your life! In these things YOU WILL FIND FREEDOM!

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Be rooted and established in love. Do not look to the left or to the right. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.

Now, finally, as Christ builds Himself in you, take the words of Nehemiah to heart and use them when you feel you are slipping....

I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down!

Nehemiah 6:3

We cannot go down to apathy, or confusion, or depression, or anger, or bitterness, or gossip, or binging, or laziness, or fear, or worry, fill in the next word.

We will not go down to those thing because we are carrying on a great project purposed by the Living and Loving God before the foundation of the world. We will not go down to those things because we are called by God to do good works. We will not go down because we have been chosen before the creation of all things. We will not go down because we are the beloved.

We will not go down because the Spirit of Christ dwells within us and in that we are very much carrying on a great and mighty project indeed!

I pray you are blessed by the Word of Christ in your life today.

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