I am just finishing a series in my Church on the Gates of Jerusalem, looking at Nehemiah 3 and seeing how Nehemiah's restoration of the walls and gates mirrors the Holy Spirit's restoration of our lives. Nehemiah's name means "The Comforter", which is a name of the Holy Spirit.
Individually and corporately we need a spiritual restoration. At the time of Nehemiah the Temple and Temple worship had been restored and Ezra had somewhat restored the reading and preaching of God's Word in the land. However, over a hundred years since returning to the land, the people were still in great distress and the walls and gates were still burnt ruins! This is often a picture of the church today - the Church buildings and worship programmes are going well, there's effective and powerful preaching of God's Word, but individaul lives are broken down and need a restoration.
As the walls and gates are restored in our lives we will rise up as mighty warriors for the Lord (see the picture - a rendering of a vision I had whilst preparing this series).
Over the next few weeks I will recap what I have preached about each Gate Nehemiah restored and how it all fits together. We need a Holy Spirit restoration so we will rise up as the army of the Lord.
Watch this space.