Day 3: Build Constructively Not Destructively

by Joe Amos

As you already know the theme for this 7 days of Prayer and Fasting is “Faith in the midst of ruins”.

Scripture reading:
“Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me. They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work” (Nehemiah 2:17-18 ).

Though life will have many twists and turns, ultimately we have a choice of allowing it to make us or break us. To grow us or destroy us! One songwriter said it this way “troubles don’t last always. In spite of what comes or goes, “remember that God is good all the time and all the time God is good”. The Bible tells us, “all things work together for the good of those that loves the Lord and called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

As I reminisce about my childhood, I am reminded of my father’s physical and mental abusive to my six siblings and myself. He grow up in a household with 13 siblings, and his father was physically and mentally abusive to them and his mother. So, I guess the old adage “life has a way of repeating itself” holds true. Unfortunately, my spiritual journey did not happen by watching the examples in my home, but through the lifestyle I saw lived out through one of my aunts family. As a result, I recall having a deep yearning to experience the love of God.

Soon after graduating from high school, I enlisted in United States Air Force and while in basic training I was selected to be the Chapel Guide. I was excited, not necessarily because of the position to lead the troops to the church, but because I was not required to help spit shine the “barracks (dormitory), so I thought“. This was the turning-point of fulfilling that yearning I spoke of earlier. One event after another the Holy Spirit was gradually drawing me into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Fast forwarding, I knew that God wasn’t saving me from the ruins I went through for me alone, but so I could eventually love on others. Therefore, my heart has been conditioned to serve others, and it gives me great joy, to see the excitement on the face of others through the simple act of kindness. So, over the years God has opened doors for Dale and I to sow seeds of love into the lives of orphans, prisoners, the homeless, those in nursing homes, and however else He leads us. Our prayer is when they are raised up from their ruins they’ll rise and build to the point of sowing seeds in other lives, “paying it forward”. I’ve seen evidence of kindness paid forward in our son’s life, after he chose to be homeless for a number of years.
Jesus said in one scripture, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, “I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:35-36).

Just as God used Nehemiah to rebuild the walls in Jerusalem one brick at a time, He wants to use each of us to fortify others lives for his glory and our good. We have been blessed to be conduits with whatever resources God entrusts in our care. We are mere managers and God is the owner of every area of our lives for his kingdom agenda.

I had a lot of resentment and bitterness towards my father for years until God showed me the errors of my ways. My past could have distorted my viewpoint and deterred me from casting all of my cares on God and reaching the destined he has for me. God allow trials and tribulations into our lives to make us strong, “better not bitter”. I encourage you to allow the Holy Spirit to let the Holy Spirit transform your life so you will be positioned to build on the wall constructively not destructively. Though most of my siblings choose the destructive path and hold-on to resentment towards my father. God has granted me the grace to forgive and to be a positive example of fatherhood before our three sons. Your past doesn’t have to dictate your present or future.

Discussion and prayer points:
What are some ruins in your life that God is rebuilding or asking you to have faith as He rebuild?

Pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and strength to rebuild our walls as a body of believers; like Nehemiah.

Pray for Christians being persecuted globally for their faith and works “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).


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