Broken And Burnt Stones

[a]When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, 2 and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”

3 Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!” Nehemiah 4:1-3....."The very thing we're most afraid of, our brokenness, is the doorway to the Father's heart." Ann Voskamp

One of the devil's most effective weapons against us is to make us feel inadequate, unworthy, and disqualified as concerns the Father. He's not lying when he says that. We are born into this world with all of that and more being true about us. Yet it has been said that in Christ, He qualifies the unqualified. He does so because it is not about who we are, but who He is. In ourselves we are inadequate, but in Christ we are conquerors, and more than conquerors. So many spend their lives seeking to prove themselves, to others, even to God. We think in terms of how much we have to offer Him, but He is looking for those who are and will be broken bread and poured out wine for Him, in Him. He is not looking for perfectly cut stones, but rather for the broken and burnt ones. From such He brings glory for Himself. The wonder is not in the stone, but in the One who fits that stone into His Kingdom

When Nehemiah and the first Jews returned to Israel after 70 years of captivity in Babylon, the city was in ruins. The Temple, God's dwelling place among His people was nothing but a pile of broken and burnt stones, as were the very walls of the city itself. Nehemiah directed the people to rebuild and they would use the only materials available to them; those broken and burnt stones. They would qualify what everyone, especially their enemies, said was completely unqualified for the task given them by the Father.

Here is something to realize; satan knows exactly what the Father can do with that which seems beyond use. Sanballat and Tobiah feared what would arise if the Jews succeeded in rebuilding the walls, city and His holy Temple in Jerusalem. So they attacked with ridicule and name calling, hoping to discourage the work before it even began. They focused on what the stones appeared to be, but Nehemiah knew what God had spoken concerning those very stones. He was to rebuild all with those stones. Broken, burnt, past usefulness. If the devil invests that much effort concerning lifeless stones, what do you think he will seek to do to you as concerns the life He has called you to? We are all of us to some degree, oftentimes a very deep degree, broken and burnt stones. We bear the scars of many fires. Our edges are no longer smooth, but deeply pitted and scarred. We don't look like we could fit into anything of use or beauty, but the Lord has His own definition of use and beauty.
He can and will take the ugliest, most scarred and burnt life and shape into a beautiful stone in the Body of His Son Jesus Christ. Out of the rubble and wreckage of a city, the Father led Nehemiah and the people to rebuild the walls, the city, and His Temple. Satan opposed them at every turn, but he could not stop them. He never can. They could only be stopped if they believed the lie. They wouldn't believe it. Do you?

Where are the burns, scars and broken places in your life? Do you fear admitting to them? Have you believed that they have disqualified you from fulfilling that for which He created you? Many will tell you that this so. As one who knows something about being a broken and burnt stone, who has had more than a few tell me that the burns and brokenness disqualified me from living out that which He'd called me to, I tell you it is not so. If we dare to come to Him, broken, scarred and burnt, He will receive the offering, and shape with loving hands, our lives, and fit them into His Kingdom, His Body, as He has always intended. Beauty from ashes....and brokenness, scars, and burns. We behold what He can do with a broken life when we will bring all the pieces to Him. It's the doorway to His heart. Will you enter in?

Blessings,
Pastor O

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