“A place for everything and everything in its place!”

That does not describe our home! However, recently we have been trying to get our home more organized.

This has involved moving furniture to switch around how rooms are used, building extra storage furniture, and generally everything being all over the place. Which ironically has felt a lot less organized!

I think there is a stage in every DIY or building project where you think “Why did I start this?” But you know, or at least you hope, that it is going to be better at the end of it. That all your hard work will be worth it.

In Nehemiah, God’s people weren’t just facing problems with their building project, they were also facing opposition from the people living around them.

As the walls of Jerusalem rose, so did the opposition. Their enemies combined together to do whatever it took to halt the work, even saying they would murder God’s people to stop them (Nehemiah 4:11). But God frustrated their enemies’ plans so His people could return to the job He gave them to rebuild the walls.

However, while the people were encouraged by God’s intervention, they were also wise as to how they went about building. Half of the people rebuilt the walls and the other half guarded them. Even when they were going for a drink of water they brought a sword.

They were focused on the job God had given them to do, and they were also ready to defend themselves and their work. 

As Christians, we are also builders.

We may not be builders of the walls of Jerusalem, but we are builders of God’s kingdom.

In 1 Corinthians 3:9–11 Paul wrote:

“We are co-workers belonging to God. You are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master-builder I laid a foundation, but someone else builds on it. And each one must be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than what is being laid, which is Jesus Christ.“

We should seek to be bringing God glory and to be used by Him to build His kingdom where we are. However, we have a dangerous enemy who seeks to halt our building work by whatever means he can.

C.S Lewis wrote in The Screwtape Letters, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.”

The devil is a real enemy, particularly to those building God’s kingdom. But his power is limited, because “to [Christ] belongs the power forever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:11).

It is important we are wise in how we view the devil and his discouragements, lies, and deceit as he seeks to tear down and destroy. 

Have you ever been involved in a ministry that is making an impact and then something happens to disrupt it?

Or you might be having a great chat with someone about God and something happens to suddenly stop the conversation?

Each of us is facing, or will face, some opposition to sharing the Good News about Jesus and the building up of our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Therefore, we also need to be wise in how we build. We need to be prepared to resist the devil, expecting attack.

Knowing the opposition others have faced can also help us remain strong in our faith in God. We know God is at work because of the opposition.

In 1 Peter 5 we receive a wonderful promise from God. After we have done our part and suffered a little in the building work, “Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” How amazing!

At the end of God’s kingdom building work there will be something so much more beautiful than any of us can even imagine—we will be called into His eternal glory!

We learn from 1 Peter 5:10 that suffering does not last forever. This is good news that brings great hope.

Whatever you are suffering from, it will not last forever. While it is never pleasant, and suffering can even make time seem to pass more slowly, it will pass. 

What is God calling you to do this week in the building of His kingdom where you are?

Is God laying on your heart someone to speak to, maybe at home, the school gates, on a sports team, or at work?

Or maybe you are being encouraged to keep going in the ministry He has called you to at your church?

Are you praying to protect the kingdom building work being done by others and yourself?

Are you being called to share with your brothers and sisters the difficulties you are facing to seek prayer and also to prepare them for the difficulties they will face?  

We all face opposition as builders in God’s eternal kingdom. Is the end result worth it? Undoubtedly. 

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Julie McIlhatton

Julie McIlhatton

Julie McIlhatton lives in the beautiful Northern Ireland with her lovely husband and two fantastic boys. She is blessed to be able to be a stay at home mum and be involved in different ministries at her church. In her free time she likes to watch movies, play board games, and go for walks (when it’s not raining!). She enjoys listening to music of various kinds and is amazed at how much easier the right music makes mundane tasks, like cleaning. She is acutely aware of God’s undeserved love and grace lavished on her. In response, she seeks to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.

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