Where Is God Calling You to Rise Up and Build?
By: Chelsey DeMatteis
And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work.- Nehemiah 2:18
Rise and build - these two words can sound empowering and excitingly enticing for a culture that is all about one's self. Our current culture can cause us to pause in embarrassment, even though at some point we’ve all taken the bait. Everywhere we go, we get a dose of the fallen world, and for most of us, we don’t even have to walk out the door to experience it. We want to serve ourselves.
It’s this constant tug between honoring God or honoring ourselves. We can get caught up in this place of thinking, I’ll rise up to the occasion when I feel like it or, When I have more time, or I’ll choose which area of God’s Kingdom I’d like to help build. How interesting is it that sin begins to invade even the way we want to serve the Lord!
Thankfully, when we have hearts tethered to Christ, our hearts tend to be full of conviction. That conviction led me to fall in love with Nehemiah’s story. This is a man who trusted God in his circumstance, in his waiting, and then on his God-given assignment. He rose up to the call for which God was building him up.
The story of Nehemiah paints a beautiful picture of letting God call the shots in our lives and following His plans according to His will. We can clearly see in Nehemiah’s life that the words “rise and build” were spoken over his life as a call from the Lord. They had nothing to do with human success, but everything to do with our Almighty One.
Rise in Hebrew means to arise, stand, rise up, stand up. This calls us to action. We have to choose to stand up when God calls us.
Build stood for rebuild, establish, cause to continue. This is the action that takes place from following what God is doing and will continue to do in and through those who do work to expand His kingdom.
This gave my heart such a hope that God not only calls me to action, but He is the one building me up until that process comes to fruition.
As I continued reading Nehemiah’s story, I loved seeing when these words in Nehemiah 2:18 were spoken between him and the other men. They were so dedicated. “And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, ‘Let us rise up and build.’ So they strengthened their hands for the good work.”
It was their mission to do the work of God. Nothing would stop them, no fear from man, no scheme from the enemy. We have to ask ourselves: Am I learning His truth as much as I should? Am I leaning into the Holy Spirit the way I’m called? Am I truly on mission for Christ and His Kingdom or am I on mission for what keeps me comfortable?
When we begin to wrestle with these things, I think we’ll start to see revival in our hearts take place like these men in Jerusalem. These men fought for the things God was doing where they were. His mission for them was serious, they didn’t negate the mission because it was a call to build a wall. This is where we must take action and rise up to what God is calling us to. The thing He’s calling you to might not look glamorous, maybe it’s not something you think you’ll enjoy, maybe it’s loving a person that you think is better off being loved by someone else. This thing He’s calling you to maybe the very thing that begins rebuilding a heart for Christ.
What’s the thing God is stirring in your heart? What do you keep coming back to that feels more from the Spirit than from your own desires? Like Nehemiah, his heart grieved for what was taking place where he was from and he began praying to the Lord about how he could help. In his story, we can see that what his heart began breaking for was the same thing God had planned to use him for in his life. We see this all throughout the Bible. As hearts lean into God and have a deep relationship with Him, their desires begin to line up with what God wants to use them for. So, as we wrestle, pray, ask, and lean in, may we listen for His whisper and hold fast to the truth He who has begun a good work in us will bring it to completion (Phil 1:6).
Lord, whatever you are building up in us, I pray we will rise up to action to move where you’re calling. May you remind us that you are the source of our strength, your plans are not like ours, and your heart’s mission is to make you known. I ask that you bless us with the courage of Christ to build the Kingdom where you’re asking us, let no fear hold us back from the love you want to use to change us and those around us.
In Jesus's Name, Amen.
You can find more from Chelsey on her website, https://www.chelseydematteis.com/.
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