The theme for consideration this year is “I will Rise and Build”. The scriptural focus is on Nehemiah 2:1-7. Nehemiah personally answered the call and made the determination that he would rise and build and then was able to challenge the remnant of Israel in verse 18 to let us rise and build.
Often times it is easier to answer a call to action when others are joining or have answer a similar call. Others will act alone if there is something in it for them.
However, the challenge this year is a personal one. Who will answer that call that Bill Haybels call, “Holy Discontent”? This he said is when something wrecks you from the inside, when your spirit will not rest until you respond to the call.
During this year’s convention we are focusing on the individual call to build. Nehemiah was in a secure job that carries certain risk but it was a prestigious position. Upon hearing the news of the destruction of the old city he was moved to act. It is this initial conviction that placed him in a position to be able to encourage others to act. As Christians, we have to first accept the challenge and then act on the challenge, if we are going to be effective at encouraging others to act.
This was not a hasty action, one that was not properly informed. Nehemiah counted the cost. Ultimately, the decision he made could have cost him his life, but he was willing to take the chance. This move was not for selfish motive but to accomplish the mission of God (redemption-restoration of a broken relationship). Answering the call of God is worth the risk all the time.
I believe we are living in a time when the motivation to stand alone, on principles, seemed to be abnormal. However, I have a strong feeling that many are standing alone but are not in the limelight. It will take a conviction of the Holy Spirit to motivate us to abandon our individual pursuits in order to fulfill God’s call on our lives. What is holding you back from answering that “Holy Discontent”?
Ten years ago I felt this “Nehemiah Unction”. I could not resist and I could not rest until I answered that call. The result of that call is this church and this ninth year celebration. Those who are members and regular attendees have also answered that unction and today we reflect and celebrate God’s goodness together.
Many lives have been changed and have experienced that call to come up higher. Yes, it is because others answered the call why we celebrate today. Lives have been changed because you and I answered the call to “Rise and Build”. Like Nehemiah you have left something or someone to follow God and today we rejoice together.
My prayer this year, is that we all look with ourselves and respond to the challenge of the Holy Spirit. There is a lot of work to be completed and the challenge ahead is great but God can use a committed heart to do extraordinary feats. I am praying that the power of the Holy Spirit will cause a “Holy Discontent” within our souls until we get up and act on the call of God on our lives.
What will stir our hearts right now to action? Right where you are what do you see and hear that will cause you to move? What does God has to do to get you to move?
Individually, we have to see the need and make up our minds that we are not going to delay anymore, even if we are the only one-we will act. We will not wait on anyone else to act but we will sacrifice everything to be where God wants us to be and to do what God wants us to do.
After Nehemiah answered the call he was able to challenge others to build. If together we are going to build, then individually we have to rise and build.
This year, this is an individual challenge.