As we are approaching a time for a broader launch of this site, I thought it would be helpful to take a brief step back and frame the need SeqHim is attempting to meet for those that will be logging on for the first time in the next few days.
“They said to me, “The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and it’s gates are burned with fire.” Nehemiah 1:3 (NASB)
The people of God were suffering. What as Nehemiah’s reaction?
“Now when it came about when I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” Nehemiah 1:4 (NASB)
His reaction was first mourning over his people and second prayer and fasting. But what did he pray for? Did he pray over a solution? No, if you read the next few verses, you will find that Nehemiah prayed…
- a prayer of confession on behalf of the nation. (Neh 1:6-7)
- a prayer of reminder to God’s of His promises to His people. (Neh 1:8-9)
Significantly, v11 ends with “Now I was cupbearer to the King”. In other words, God had placed him in a position to help the people as he placed Esther in a similar position (Esther 4:14). And I believe he is confronted with the same internal struggle as Esther…do I stick my neck out before the King to help my people who are in need? With great personal risk, he did…just as Esther. (Esther 4:15-17)
What situation is the Church in today? Is it really fair to compare it to the Israelites in the time of Nehemiah? Certainly, the situations are different…but, the pattern and principles involved are the same. I want to briefly mention three ways that I believe the people are suffering:
- Many are deceived into thinking that the world’s ways are God’s ways. So, they think they are following Christ, but they are really obeying another master. And as such, they suffer the natural consequences of it.
- Many want to genuinely follow Christ, but they do not know how. They hunger and thirst for righteousness, but they do not know how to obtain it.
- Many are being deceived into false doctrine. So many people who profess faith in Christ fall pray to obvious heresy. Why? Mostly because they were never taught the truth, the value of spiritual disciplines, or how to obey God in a practical sense.
Why are the people suffering? Well, there is much to say about this, but at the end of the day it comes down to the simple fact that we are not glorifying God in the ways he has taught us to. We are, in a broad sense, embracing the world’s principles of success rather than God’s, and so we miss out on God’s blessing and suffer.
How are we to react to this? Well, how about mourning? Do you care that the people are suffering? If so, how about praying and fasting over it? What do we pray for? How about confessing the sins of the Church on it’s behalf? How about reminding God of His promises to build and protect the Church. Nehemiah provides an excellent example for us. Will you follow that example with me?
Then what? Well, Nehemiah went and rebuilt the wall with great risk and sacrifice to himself. What will we do? I believe we must:
- Identify, mobilize and encourage faithful believers to genuinely follow Christ.
- Call out into the visible Church and help those God brings forward to genuinely follow Christ.
- Call out into the rest of the world, sharing the pure gospel of Christ, and helping those who respond in faith become genuinely follow Christ.
Will you join us in the mission? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…we need all the help we can get. There is much of work left to build this wall!
What’s the first step? The first step (of many) is to build the community of believers…let’s spread the word of this effort far and wide that all those God is calling to it around the world can join in. The next steps will unfold from there.