Since 1847 we have been building and developing Liberia. 133 years later (1980) saw destruction and demise erupt from chaos and conflicts.
Have we approached the rebuilding process the right way, that is, the Godly way?
The book of Nehemiah in the Holy Bible is a book about action and rebuilding. If we follow the tried and proven steps according to Nehemiah, perhaps our outcome could be different. Remember what God did for the Israelites, he can also do for us.
Evil tries to prevail over good. The enemy’s only agenda is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). When the enemy attempts, we ought to turn to God like Nehemiah and the Israelites did. When we depend on God, serve God, and trust God, the enemy will not succeed in his plan to stop work committed to God.
Nehemiah, governor of Jerusalem, led the priests and Israelites in restoring and rebuilding the walls of the temple in the Holy city of Jerusalem after their return from 70 years in exile, tired of living in disgrace.
After our own years in exile, war and existing out of order, we should adopt lessons from the book of Nehemiah. Perhaps then we could succeed in redeveloping self, family, community, ministry, church, business, government and nation.
Lesson of Rebuilding From the Book of Nehemiah:
Before we do anything, we ought to first seek God through prayer and fasting (Nehemiah 1:4-11). When we do this we invite God into the process and with the gracious hand of God upon us, our requests will be granted, we will win favors and we will overcome obstacles.
We need Godly leaders and scribes who are filled with integrity and the fear of God to lead the people right and fair (Neh. 7:2).
When work begins and is progressing, rest assured there will be accusers and distracters to obstruct the work. In opposition they will try every trick in their power to destroy and discourage the work. Nehemiah and the Israelites experienced ridicule and distraction. Knowing God was on his side, Nehemiah did not falter or get discouraged. Instead, in faith he insisted that the “God of heaven will give us success” (Nehemiah 2:19-20). God is pleased with faith and acts on our behalf when we live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Always be prepared to stand against the enemy until the work is done. Continue to work with determination for what you believe in and what God has entrusted you with (Neh. 4:21).
In opposition to the enemy, be brave and steadfast; “don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is almighty, He will fight for you and in time will frustrate the plan of the enemy” (Nehemiah 4:14-15).
Don’t take advantage of anyone, taking what is not yours. Help the poor in reverence for God. Speak to God and ask him to remember you in favor (Nehemiah 5).
If there will be success, read the Bible often for guidance and direction. Get your understanding from the Word, to clarify and encourage the (spiritual) rebuilding process (Neh. 8:5 & 8).
Fast and pray as you worship God for all He has done, all He is taking you through and all He is about to do, for He is a God of promise, a righteous God (Neh. 9).
Especially during times of crisis, Liberians know how to turn to God, fall on their knees, and cry out to Him for help. But after God responds and delivers us, we quickly forget the goodness of God and return to the usual offenses and disobedience that draw us further from the truth, further from the Father. We must stop that.
We should not take for granted that God is a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love and receives us every time we call, even when we worship graven images known and unknown to ourselves. Thankful for His great compassion He never leaves us, but guides us and waits patiently for us.
To that end, let us recognize and own the fact that we, Liberians have been disobedient and rebellious against God one way or another, putting His law behind our backs, committing awful blasphemies. The enemy is in many imaginable forms of evil and misfortune. When we are oppressed we cry out to God. From heaven He hears us and in his great compassion He delivers us and rescues us from the hand of the enemy, be it coups, civil wars, or Ebola. “But as soon as they were at rest, they again did what was evil in God’s sight”. May we not continue living down this path where God has to deliver us time after time, or we will forever have to start over, living in frustration and utter poverty while the world mocks us (Neh. 9:26-28).
Rebuilding and redeveloping is not just a physical process, but a deeply spiritual one as well. As we realize this and humble ourselves before God, pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, His Word promises us that when we do this, He will hear from heaven and will forgive our sins and will heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
God’s eyes are open and His ears are attentive to the prayers of those who sincerely call upon Him in spirit and in truth. What the devil means for evil God can turn around for our good, and our God can turn the curse into a blessing.
A Summary of Nehemiah:
- First, seek the God of heaven through prayer and fasting
- Be careful and strategic who you share information with
- Gather information and draw up the plans
- Proceed with wisdom
- Choose leaders filled with integrity and the fear of God
- Expect the enemy to oppose God’s work
- Do not get distracted or discouraged
- Don’t be afraid of the enemy, knowing that God Almighty is more powerful and will fight for you
- Remain focused and determined
- Fight with determination for what you believe in and what God has entrusted to you
- Pray for God to strengthen your hands, your mind and your will
- Don’t take advantage of anyone, don’t take what is not yours
- Help the poor in reverence for God
- Speak to God, ask Him to remember you in favor
- Read the Bible often for guidance, wisdom, clarification and understanding
- God is a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, but do not take this for granted
- Do not fall backward in disobedience, dishonoring God and expecting repeated deliverance
- May we always remember to bring a tenth of the tithes up to the house of our God and not neglect the house of God
- Read the book of Nehemiah in the Holy Bible
- Rebuilding and developing is a physical, and a deeply spiritual process
May Almighty God remember us with favor as we seek Him first in the physical and spiritual rebuildingof ourselves, our families, our communities and our nation.
If we continue to do the same things, we will continue to get the same results.
Let us follow a new path, a Godly path, in 2015.
Wilrusha O. Fernandez is the founder of Virtuous Pal Ministry, Monrovia, Liberia.