RESTORERS OF RUINS

[SW220] 02/12/2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“Restorers of Ruins”

Nehemiah’s name means, “Yahweh comforts.” Jesus Christ wants you to see that, when you are filled with the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, you will have a front row seat to watch Him work through you to restore ruins!

Texts: Nehemiah excerpts

Chapter 1 specific phrases:

v. 2 — I asked them concerning the Jews . . .

Has the Lord put it on your heart to be concerned about the state of your fellow human beings? Then He is calling you. It is a call to every Christian on the planet.

What is He calling you to?

v. 3 — The report: Great distress, broken down, burned . . .

You will hear a report that your fellow human beings are in great distress. They are in ruins — their walls and gates of protection are broken down by the enemy of our souls. Why? There are so many reasons, there were so many reasons for me, but the bottom line is sin. All have sinned and have fallen short of (lack) the glory of God (Romans 3:23). But He means to restore ruins, and put His glory in them!

v. 4 & 6 — I sat down and wept and mourned, fasting and praying, day and night;

All Israel and I and my father’s house have sinned . . .

The first step for restoration of ruins is for the restorers to weep, mourn, fast and pray day and night, and to confess the sin of those who are in ruins.

Even though Nehemiah was either born in captivity in Babylon, or just a child when captured, he confessed the sin of him and his fathers, though he had not sinned as they had. But he took upon himself their suffering, and carried his burden to the Lord, in prayer.  Sound like Anyone we know? It will be the description of you, when you become a restorer of ruins.

v. 8 — Remember the word, “If you return to Me . . .”

After weeping and mourning, fasting and praying, you may humbly remind the Lord of His promise that, if even you would repent and confess the sins of those who are in ruins, they would turn and He would gather them and bring them back to Himself.

v. 11 — Grant compassion with the king . . .

We serve a compassionate Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords. If you go to Him on behalf of those who are in ruins, you will experience His great compassion for them; you will be inwardly moved, as He is.

Chapter 2 specific phrases:

v. 3 — City lies desolate, consumed by fire . , ,

Report to the Lord that you see the desolation, the burned-out ruins.

v. 4 — What would you request? I prayed to the God of heaven . . .

Pray to the God of heaven. He asked the blind man, “What do you want Me to do?” The man said, “Restore my sight!” And Jesus did. And He will show you favor, when you ask Him. Ask Him what?

v. 5-6 — Send me, that I may rebuild it, so it pleased the king to send me . . .

Ask Him to send you. If your cry is, “Here am I. Send me,” the Lord will do it. That cry is always the cry of those who are Spirit-filled, who readily see the ruins of other lives. They are outward-focused, compelled to bless others, to let Christ use them to restore!

v. 7-8 — Letters that they may allow me to pass through, letter to Asaph for timber for beams for gates, the wall of the city, and the house to which I will go.

Tell the Lord exactly what is needed to restore the ruins. You need help to get through Satan’s territory. You need strong foundation-building material — the very Word of God and the power of God — to rebuild gates, walls, and houses.

v. 9 — The king sent me with officers of the army and horsemen . . .

The King of kings will give you more than you ask for. He is the God of more than enough. He will send protecting angels with you, the very hosts over whom He is Lord.

v. 10 — Very displeasing to enemies . . .

Satan will be upset when he hears the news that restoration is on the way.

v. 11 — Night, told no one what my God was putting into my heart . . .

Without making it known, go about the ruins of each life, take note of the damage. Let the ruined ones speak. Be still. Let them pour out their hearts to you. God has put something in your heart, but it’s not time to tell them until you compassionately listen to them tell you about their ruins.

v. 17 — You see the bad situation . . . come, let us rebuild so we are no longer a reproach . . .

Society unfailingly disapproves of and shuns people whose lives are in ruins. But you will hear a word from the Holy Spirit, “You see the ruins. Come, let us rebuild!” And when the ruins are restored, there will be no more shunning. Instead, the world will want to know how the ruined one became restored. That’s the whole plan!

v. 18 —The hand of my God had been favorable. Let us arise and rebuild!

The hand of your God is favorable, Spirit-filled Christian. You will say, with the Holy Spirit, “Let us arise and rebuild!”

Chapter 3:

All build in unity . . .

It is not a superficial, outward unity, but an inward unity of heart that only God can work IN us (John 17:21, 26).

Chapter 4 —

v. 1 & 3 Enemy furious, very angry, mocking, casting doubt . . .

When he sees the work begin, the enemy of our souls will be furious and very angry. He will mock and cast doubt. But you will listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd and continue your work. You will run from the voice of the enemy. His voice is nothing like your Good Shepherd’s voice. Spirit-filled Christian, you know Satan is a liar and the father of lies. There is no truth in him. He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1John 4:4). Rebuke Satan, in the name of Jesus.

v. 6-8 — So we built the wall to half its height. The repair (healing) of the walls, further enemy threats . . .

You will reach the halfway point in completion of the restoration of the one who is in ruins. The report of the repair (I love that the Hebrew word means “healing”) reaches the enemy’s ears, and he threatens to attack and kill.

v. 9 & 14—  But we prayed to our God, remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight . . .

But you pray and fight! You are equipped with God’s own armor that He has tailored to fit you perfectly! You fight with the sword of Spirit which is the Word of God, and with prayer.

Chapter 6

v. 8 — The enemy spreads lies. But now, O God, strengthen my hands . . .

Satan will try to spread lies about you. But you will pray, and the Lord will strengthen you.

v. 10 — Enemy temptation to sin, I perceived God had not sent him

The enemy will tempt you to sin in order to escape enemy capture, but you will perceive that the one tempting you is really a mouthpiece for Satan (knowingly or unknowingly). So you will not sin.

v. 15 — The wall was completed in fifty-two days . . .

You, the restorer of ruins, will complete the rebuilding in a miraculously short period of time!

How wonderful! How exciting! Hear the promise from the Lord in Isaiah, for Christians who cease their inward focus and look outward, because they have asked the Lord to fill them with His Spirit and God’s actual love —

Isaiah 58:12  “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins;

You will raise up the age-old foundations;

And you will be called the repairer of the breach,

The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.

Christian, put away your outward piety. The Lord is not impressed by it. Ask Him to clean you up on the inside, to fill you with His Spirit, and then your eyes will be opened to see the ruins around you. And you will have a front-row seat to watch Him use you to restore them!

I know about ruins, beloved. First I was in ruins from drugs, and God graciously restored me after I cried out in the middle of the night. Then, many years later, I was in ruins from MS — feet paralyzed, legs partially paralyzed, bladder paralyzing, knotted muscles no muscle relaxant could ease, severe tremors in my head, eyesight ever decreasing, and cognitive dysfunction — I could not think.

Are you in ruins? Pastor Doc was the restorer God used for my ruins. He asked about me, so the Lord gave him the report of my ruins. Then Jesus gave him a vision of me healed. Pastor Doc wept and prayed and fasted, He asked the King for all he needed to pass through enemy territory and rebuild me, and it was done in a miraculously short period of time!

Those in ruins, I have seen you. I have heard the bad report. I am always weeping, praying and fasting for you. And I will pray with you now.

π

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PRAY WITHOUT CEASING

May this truth go deeply into your spirit today!

Oh, pray without ceasing! 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!  It’s easy — like breathing — when the kingdom of God is set up in your heart!

[SW076] 01/20/2013 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2013
“Pray Without Ceasing”

My great desire is that you would know the Beloved deeply — deeper than you can think or imagine1

The Lord asked me to explain what it’s like to be with Him. I do that in the video of this sermon, but here, I’ll share the words to a new song He gave me. I pray it will help you understand:

1. Fill my heart with Your love, overflow it,
Send Your light so it shines from within me,
Spin this clay on Your wheel, mold and shape it,
Make me like You, for I love You . . .

2. Take my hand. lead me where You want me,
Light my path, I will walk in Your footprints,
Call me, Lord, to Your depths, I will dive in,
Make me like You, for I love You . . .

3. Teach Your ways to my heart, for I’m listening,
Guide my gaze to Your Word, Your reflection,
Lead me from glory into glory,
Make me like You, for I love You . . .

I live for You alone, Jesus —
I want nothing of this world —
To know You is far better, and
“The best is yet to come,” You say,
“The best is yet to come!”

As wonderful as all the molding and shaping and overflowing and leading and lighting and guiding and teaching really IS, it will just get better and better, and the best is yet to come! The best is being with Him fully and unhindered by my body!
I used to think prayer was boring and a duty,
and so I never prayed.

If you see prayer that way
and you have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying in this message,
God will change your heart today,
just like He did mine!

1 Thessalonians 5:16  Rejoice always;  17  pray without ceasing;  18 in everything  give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

PRAY

proseuchomai, pros-yoo´-khom-ahee; to pray to God, i.e. supplicate, worship.

Prayer is supplication (entreating God, earnestly asking Him) AND worship.

I think we have the supplication part down. We ask God for many things!

But it is WORSHIP!

proskuneo, pros-koo-neh´-o; to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand; to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore): — worship.

And it is to be unceasing, constant, and uninterrupted.
That is God’s will for us,
just as it is His will
that we be filled with the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 5:18).

PRAY HOW? WITHOUT CEASING:

adialeiptos, ad-ee-al-ipe´-toce; uninterruptedly, without omission: incessantly: —constantly

Pray without ceasing.
It’s a command, by God, through the Spirit-inspired Paul!

Does that mean we’ll need to squat to birth rain
on a drought-ridden land,
like Elijah,
until someone sees a cloud the size of a man’s hand
(1 Kings 18:41-44)?

He may command us to do that, from time to time.

But we are to pray without ceasing!

Elijah was a prophet, prompted by the Holy Spirit,
who came upon him,
to enable him to pray and there was drought,
and then pray and there was rain.

Today, the Holy Spirit is able to possess and dwell within
those who belong to Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

By God’s grace, expressed in the giving of His Son
as a sacrifice for OUR sin,
we have direct access to the Father, continually.
So it should be easy for us to pray without ceasing, right?

When Paul tells us  that we are to war against the dark spiritual forces of this world     — but not with natural weapons —
he gives us a clue as to what keeps the church’s prayers
from being powerful and effective:

2 Corinthians 10:4 for the  weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but  divinely powerful  for the destruction of fortresses.  5 We are destroying speculations and every  lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the  obedience of Christ,  6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever  your obedience is complete.

Ah! There’s the rub — “whenever your obedience is complete.”

God does not hear the prayers of sinners:

John 9:31 “We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.”

Thus said the man born blind but healed by Jesus,
during his interrogation by the religious elite
who were sinning greatly against God,
trusting in their own works to get them to heaven.

How can you make your obedience complete,
so you can pray unceasingly,
constantly being prompted by the Holy Spirit?

You must cease from sin — that is, willful disobedience against God.

How? We find the answer when Jesus answered His disciples request –“Teach us to pray” —

Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly . . .

“Enter into your closet, and shut your door.”
Jesus doesn’t mean a literal closet,
or we’d never be able to obey His Great Commission (Matthew 28:19).

Don’t be like the Jews of the days He walked the earth
who prayed loudly in public so everyone would know how holy they were.

Pray so no one can detect that you are praying.
May I say it?
In the Lord’s Prayer,
you ask God to make YOU the prayer closet.

Listen:

Matthew 6:9   After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. . . (KJV)

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, in earth, as it is in heaven.”

In other words, “Father, set up Your kingdom in my heart,”
for the kingdom of God is within us (Luke 17:26).
Then you BECOME the prayer closet.

Jesus knows the kingdom of God must be established
in all who follow Him.
So He commands His followers to pray for it.

He commands them to pray that in them,
God’s will is done as quickly and completely as in heaven,
with no ifs, ands, or buts.

He commands them to pray that way
because God’s kingdom isn’t set up within them yet,
though they have left everything to follow Him.
Their obedience is not yet complete (again, 2 Corinthians 10:6).

And their prayer is answered in Acts 2,
the promise of the Father was fulfilled,
and they were filled full of the Holy Spirit!

When that happens to you, dear Christian,
every command of God is a joy to obey,
and sin no longer separates you from your God.

Then you are continuously in the presence of God
and the presence of God is WITHIN you, full-time, 24/7.

You are continually in communion with Him.

You have continual koinonia with Him —
holy, intimate contact in which He shares
His thoughts and
His feelings and
His heart.

You are in a continual dialogue with God.
You worship Him day and night, ministering to Him continually.
You live a life of worship.

You do this as you walk about on the earth
AND when you are alone with Him.

And your prayers become powerful and effective (James 5:16),
because you are clean inside,
by the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

Here’s what I strive for —
to have every breath I breathe be prayer,
every thought I think to be prayer,
every word I say to be prayer.

I strive for it. I’m not there yet, but I’m on my way to it.

But where is the church-at-large?

The Lord says she is mostly prayerless.

That’s like me, before I drew near to God.

I was saved.
But I never prayed on my own.
Just when required.
It seemed like a chore,
and I was awkward when I tried to pray.
My heart wasn’t in it.
So I didn’t pray.

So it is with most of the church today.
That is, until she draws near and is filled.

Until then, like I did, she offers up words
at the appropriate times,
but they are meaningless, rote, tradition.

Continual prayer and worship
kissing toward the Lord, in holy communion
is not on her radar.

And so when she occasionally prays,
her prayers are not powerful and effective.
But if you will turn to Him today,
as I turned to Him 11 years ago,
you, too, will pray without ceasing, and rejoice in it!

And your Father will hear and answer.

Pray, “Your kingdom, come, in my heart!
Your will be done, in me.
just as promptly and with as great joy as in heaven!”

He has great compassion for you today, O church!
If you pray the Lord’s Prayer to be done in you,
He says,

Joel 2:28   “  It will come about after this
That I will  pour out My Spirit on all   mankind;
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions.”

It is His will for you.
But will you?
Will you confess that you’re crooked,
so He can straighten you?
Rough, so He can smooth you?
Twisted, so He can untwist you?

He will, if you will.