Imagine it, you have an important project and you have devoted all your energy, effort, planning, hard work, team leading, perseverance, focus, blood sweat and tears. You pour your life into this project and then, it’s completed. Nehemiah 7 brings us to a pivot point from building to completion and completion to establishment. A pivot point in our lives will make or break us.
Have you ever been there? A pivot point? I don’t think it’s coincidence that Chapter 7 is the transitional chapter, and I get to share it with you. Part of my passion is seeing where something or someone is, and helping them transition into the best they can be. I flip homes, and in the beginning, it’s all about the foundation. Is it sound? What walls are staying, what walls are going? Is the roof in good shape? We don’t start adding finishing touches on it until we know it will stay standing. The focus is on the bones. Houses and people alike… we need good bones, a solid foundation.
There does come a day when the repairs are done, and it’s time to start the design. Within the same day we go from rebuilding walls to laying flooring and tile. There is a shift. A transition. Part of being successful is seeing that transition point before it’s there, and putting a plan in place. On the day of rebuilding completion I don’t just then go get floor samples and paint swatches. I also don’t take time off from all the hard work of rebuilding. That would be a waste of time, money, and delay the next house waiting in the wings.
I think we often delay our own transition by lack of preparation.
What I love about Nehemiah is in the same breath that he reveals the wall is complete, he sets the tone for the new season.
7 After the wall was finished and I had set up the doors in the gates, the gatekeepers, singers, and Levites were appointed. 2 I gave the responsibility of governing Jerusalem to my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah, the commander of the fortress, for he was a faithful man who feared God more than most. 3 I said to them, “Do not leave the gates open during the hottest part of the day.[a] And even while the gatekeepers are on duty, have them shut and bar the doors. Appoint the residents of Jerusalem to act as guards, everyone on a regular watch. Some will serve at sentry posts and some in front of their own homes.”
What wall have you been working hard to build? Maybe it’s something external… but perhaps it’s internal. Notice in most of scripture, we are encouraged to tear down walls and strongholds. Here, we are building one up.
A wall is protection. I see a parallel between Nehemiah’s physical wall of victory and the victory we gain in Christ by overcoming lies, habits and old ways of thinking. Fear used to control my every move, but once I allowed the Lord to come into that fear, we built a wall up against it, together. Now that I have that victory over the enemy, I don’t just allow fear enticing movies or thoughts in. I guard my victory. Just as Nehemiah did, we need to increase the amount of guarding to guarantee not just a moment, but a life of victory. Nehemiah placed doors on the gates, gatekeepers by the doors, and limited the number of hours the gate would be open each day. This wasn’t a decision made from fear, but from authority. He wasn’t about to give back to the enemy what he fought to build!
Nehemiah also teaches us the importance of worship. He established victory over the enemy not as a shout immediately after the last brick was laid, but as a lifestyle. Just as important as guarding our freedom, is remembering who it is that makes us and keeps us free! Focusing our attention on the Lord will free us from anxiety of ‘what ifs’.
Know that whether your transition point is an external victory or an internal one, the Lord is with you! He has brought you to this point and you are well equipped to finish the wall. Do not forsake the foundational building, and rebuilding. Those are vital bricks! Your victory is a new beginning, not just a moment of authority and worship. You’ve worked hard to finish, now begin with fresh eyes, new vision, and renewed strength… it’s time to establish!
Featured image by Heng Films