"See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame." Dear people of God, each of us is unique and different in our own way, and God can do much more with us, when we are working "together," than when we are working individually in our own ministries. Consider again the idea of a wall: In order to build it properly, there needs to be many stones placed together, side-by-side, thus, completing it. If we then are to be a spiritual house, and we are "living stones," then each of these "living stones," (us), needs to be placed alongside with others in this wall. We need to work together in Him.
There has been the illustration of the wall being built during Nehemiah's time, and how they had to tear down the old, and build-up another wall to protect them from their enemies. (Neh. 2:17-18) How similar are we today? I think that the parallel is very close. At that time, Jerusalem had lain in ruins, and its gates had been burned with fire. I believe that the walls of our present church are in need of repair, and that our "gates" have been burned with fire. They replied, "Let us start rebuilding." So they began this good work. Neh. 2:18. In reading Neh. 2, one would notice that there are "several" groups of people who worked on repairing the wall. (Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. (Neh. 3:1) The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. (Neh. 3:3) The Jeshanah Gate was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshulliam son of Besodeiah. (Neh. 3:6) The Valley Gate was repaired by Hanun and the residents of of Zanoah. (Neh. 3:13) The Dung gate was repaired by Malkijah son of Recab, ruler of the district of Beth Hakkerem. (3:14) The Fountain Gate was repaired by Shallun son of Col-Hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah. (3:15) On and on, the repairs were done by various leaders and groups of people. Each of these individual walls and gates, were being rebuilt by certain groups of leaders. An evangelist, for example, is able to gather people in, and through the efforts of the Holy Spirit working in his or her life, can reproduce a great harvest of souls for the Kingdom. This is one particular type of "wall," or "gate," if you will. A prophet or an apostle, also builds a wall, through their own giftedness and calling. We have as an example Eph. 2:20-22, "Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit." These types of "walls" are foundational. From this foundation, then, the rest of the building rises to be completed in Him through the various ministries of the church. All of course built upon the chief cornerstone, Jesus Christ. So, we all need to gather our own individual trowels, and begin laying-in the stones we are given by the Master Builder. Let us look at what Paul writes in I Co. 3:10-13-"By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light." Paul is mentioned as "an expert builder." As an apostle, God had equipped him to be a master builder, one who lays a foundation in his writing of the scriptures and in teaching and equipping the early church in it's understanding of the gospel and Jesus Christ. We would be wise to pay special attention to how we do build though, on top of this foundation which has been laid. Whether we are using silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, God will bring our works to light at that final day, and it will be revealed whether we were building with the right materials or not.
Some final thoughts about the wall which was built during the time of Nehemiah: There was opposition to the rebuilding of the wall at this time. Many people were murmuring to themselves, saying "What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble-burned as they are?" Neh. 4:2. "Can they bring the stones back to life" .Can we bring the stones back to life? the ones which God has entrusted each of us with. What is it in the stones which brings life? May the words and deeds we do, cause us to "bring life" to others. Will we experience opposition from others, when we begin a work such as this? Most certainly, we will, especially when we are rebuilding a wall which has stood for centuries, and in it are the decaying stones of "tradition," "ease," and "complacency." However, God can and will replace these stones with those of his own choosing. Then the stone which was "tradition," had become the "new wine of his Spirit." "Complacency" has been changed to "renewal," and "ease" has changed to "workmanship."
Let us read the words from the Father:
"THE WALLS OF MY CHURCH"
The Lord then said: "Inspect the wall to see if it is ready." "Truly, the wall of my Spirit has been built. Be careful how you would build, for not with hay or stubble is my kingdom to be built. There is a need for in my body to begin rebuilding the walls. Many of the stones which have been used have become loosened and cracked."
(Then again, I was shown the wall, but this time there were several people on the top precipice of it, standing there along the top edge of it. Here I saw a priest who was robed in gold and white, with a tall hat, like would have been worn in ancient times. There were others who stood at various places on the wall looking out from it.)
"The people of my kingdom are there looking out. Be there, and offer right sacrifices unto Me. Offer sacrifices from a true and repentant heart. Notice the walls, for they have become hurt and weakened."
(Then again, I was shown the wall, and this time I was looking at individual stones or bricks within it. One of the bricks was labeled, "tradition," another one was "complacency," and a third one was "ease.")
"Blow the trumpets, for the enemy is coming. Sound the alarm, and make ready; for the enemy is devising an attack. He is planning on entering through the door. I have said that my church will prevail, and truly, it will. But where there are weak spots in the wall, this is where he would attempt to enter in. (Here I saw where the individual stones of "tradition," "complacency," and "ease," had become pushed in, and a vapor or mist was starting to flow through the wall at these places.) The Lord then said, "Watch and see what I will do." (Then the stone which was "tradition," had become the "new wine of his Spirit." "Complacency" has been changed to "renewal," and "ease" has changed to "workmanship." But it is not through your works, but through mine in you. For with my Spirit of "renewal," and the "new wine of my Spirit," and my "workmanship" in you; it is through these new "stones" that my church will stand. But just as it was in the days of Nehemiah, so it is again, for they all came together to rebuild the walls. Let it be a joint effort. Come together, and do this as one man. Then the walls will be strong, and they will stand. Warn the people about the breaches. Be constantly on guard about these "stones" which need to be refilled. The wall must be guarded and inspected. It must remain pure and undefiled. Be on guard, for the days are rushing forward to the day of my return. Do the work that each of you has been called to. Then when I return, my church will be ready. This is not a time of ease, but of working together. Be ever watchful of these things."
They were working with one hand, and held a weapon with the other one. We need to be prepared for battle, even while we are yet working. There are things that can be done "only" through the varied, and different approaches and personalities of God's people.
"WILL YOU JOIN WITH ME IN THE BUILDING OF THIS WALL?"
(I saw a very majestic King, who was looking out from this wall, and observing how it was being done and created.)
There is a need for my body to be working together as one man. How can one man do the job when so many are needed? For it is the effort of many laborers working on the wall. How can the wall be built when there is bickering and dissension? When man is left to his own devices, he will build a tower of Babel. Because of this "seemingly" great effort, nothing was done. In man's efforts to reach the sky, he was left alone and was "dispersed." This magnificent man-made building was brought to ruin. and because of this, the confusion set-in, and there was no unity done in my name. What would you long to build? What would the crowning achievement be of your life? Great things have been done perhaps in the past--great monuments, and things of incredible splendor, but nothing can compare to the incredible "workmanship" of my Spirit. Consider for a moment, the Great Wall of China....an incredible effort, but used to keep people out, a boundary line between two borders. So, the effort to build this wall in my name will be something that will be remembered forever. All of the trappings of religion and tradition need to be done away with. Every "stone" that is not of Me, needs to be done away with. (I saw several layers of "solid-looking foundational stones which had been laid, and were set and ready to build upon. They were like great limestone rocks which had been quarried and cut to fit perfectly into this wall.) Gather the stones and build this thing in my name, and then this wall will be "raised," and will be built strong in my name. Will you join with Me in the building of this wall?"