Nehemiah is a book whose major theme is revival, and it describes the schematics of a person who God instrumentally used to bring that about. Any person seriously seeking to bring revival in their context needs to read the truths of this book.
I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem…I went out by night… and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire
God makes a point to release a vision of his heart before releasing his servants to do his work.
Here He puts it in Nehemiah’s heart to go alone into the night to inspect the broken walls of Jerusalem. He enters into the city, the moon light casting its shadow over the rubble, the cool Mediterranean air was blowing over, and the music of the night surrounds the prophet.
And as he inspects the brokenness of what once was a glorious place, I can only imagine the nostalgia running through Nehemiah’s mind. What would he be thinking about?
Would he remember the promises made to Abraham that this land belonged to him and his descendants? Would he remember the journey of his forefathers from the land of Egypt to settle in the land that God gave them? Would he remember the promise to a former King David that there would always exist a king from the tribe of David for the Jerusalem?
But this was not a place of mourning, God has anointed this time for Nehemiah for hope.
As God began imparting a vision of what He saw, the ruins of the city no longer overwhelmed him. The scattered stone and walls suddenly became the backdrop his imagination. Suddenly, Nehemiah’s eyes glistened at the sight before him. Why? Because what he saw with his eyes were glorious? No–but because what he saw with faith was glorious.
You see, when the vision of God encounters broken circumstances, faith is produced in the heart of the one receiving. And God would use the faith produced in the one night alone in the city to serve as the seeds of hope that would give Nehemiah strength for the rest of the book.
If we are to see revival in our contexts, we must learn see not just the barren nature of our situations, but to see, like Nehemiah, with the eyes of faith what any geographical location would like if God almighty moved his hand to bring restoration. And so when I see America, I do see the suffering church, I do see a bride who has forgotten her first love, I see a missional urgency that is waning, and I see God’s people hurting. But with the eyes of faith, I see something gloriously juxtaposed over the brokenness of our land. It is the same thing that glistened in Nehemiah’s eyes–the vision of revival.