Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Day 5: Refusing to accept the status quo

Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, so that we will no longer be a reproach!” (Neh. 2:17)

An old joke says that status quo is Latin for “the mess we’re in.”

Like any good leader, Nehemiah was honest about the situation the people faced. The broken-down wall and ruined gates meant the city could never be safe or prosperous. It also meant that they were in disgrace, and the laughingstock of their neighbors.

“Things will never be the same around here.”

“This place used to be beautiful; now it’s a ruin!”

“I know God has chosen Jerusalem but I just can’t picture how things will improve.”

We can imagine how the people, having lost hope, might have said things like these. They knew Jerusalem had a powerful call and destiny – but Nehemiah helped them see that they could seize it and live it out instead of living with reproach on a daily basis. He awakened something within them that would refuse to accept the way things were as the ways things had to be!

Lord, when you call your people to do a work, there may be great difficulties and testings along the way. Help us to remember the great call and the great destiny You have placed on this house; don’t let us be satisfied but keep us reaching out to You for what seems incredible and even impossible. Let us walk by faith and not by sight.

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