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Builder to Builder

Builder to Builder

            The work is great and extensive, and we are separated far from one another on the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us. (Neh 4:19, 20)

The workers repairing the wall in Nehemiah’s time went where they were needed, strengthening weakened areas of the wall, clearing away rubbish, and putting in new bolts and bars for the gates. Open to enemy attack while fulfilling these tasks, each of the builders kept his sword girded at his side at all times. Imagine doing construction work with a weapon inhibiting your movements and weighing you down. The builders took this inconvenient but necessary precaution because their individual safety affected that of the entire city of Jerusalem.

We face the same risks as builders of the Lord’s house today. Servitude without cultivation is spiritual suicide, and the longer we serve, the more vulnerable we are to attack. Remember that we cultivate ourselves for our own protection, as well as for those who depend on our work. As in Nehemiah’s day, the work today continues to be extensive. There are always sections to be patched and gates to be built. We are often spread thin over a wide range of tasks. As we work diligently, our focus on accomplishing a task for God can sometimes turn into tunnel vision. We are blind to the needs of brothers and sisters around us or even see them as obstacles preventing us from doing holy work the way we think it should be done.

In contrast, those rebuilding the wall prepared themselves personally against attack but were also ready to drop their work within a moment’s notice to aid their brother. Let us also hold fast to the principle that our spiritual cultivation and the health of others’ spiritual life come first.

Although it may bring us inconvenience or appear that the work goes slower this way, when we know what is most important in our servitude, God Himself will fight for us.


            Questions for Reflection:

1) What concrete step can you take today to fortify yourself against spiritual attack?

2) When serving with others at church, do you focus more on progress and results or the spiritual health of each member?

Author: Lois Kuo