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When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, God does a miraculous work of making us new. In fact, any time we repent and turn back to God, He will again bring renewal into our hearts. Isaiah 61:4 says, “They will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” This is a prophecy referring to when Nehemiah rallied a community of Israelites to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. After the walls and gates were rebuilt, there was still work to be done. Inside the walls was a desolate interior. The Scriptures call it a “waste city.” The Hebrew of this word means draught, desolation, and ruined generations. The people needed to bring new life into the city - sheep, cattle, plants to harvest, children, and adults.

The idea here is for generations, the people were affected by the invasion and destruction that happened in their past history. In the same way, we all have past histories. And we each have personally been influenced by the enemy of our souls inflicting his evil words, wounds, temptations to sin, and destruction of our hearts. This has also happened in our families for generations. But the Lord is greater than Satan and his dominion of darkness. He can bring light into the darkness, heal the brokenhearted, and set the captives free.

In Nehemiah 7:1, we see that Nehemiah appointed gatekeepers to keep out the enemies. In our context, this would mean that we should be individually involved in spiritual warfare prayers for ourselves, our families, our church, our leaders, and our nation. Nehemiah appointed singers – worshippers. We should prioritize worship in our personal daily walk with God. God is deserving of our daily worship and it helps to break down the schemes and presence of the enemy. Nehemiah appointed priests. In the same way, we need spiritual leaders in our lives. Not only should we be regularly attending worship services, but also having spiritual mentors, either one on one, or in small groups like Bible studies or community groups.

Take a moment to think about your personal life and your church community. Do you have prayer warriors (gatekeepers) and are you a prayer warrior? Do you have worshippers in your community, and do you partake in personal worship as a regular daily practice? Do you regularly attend church, and do you have a mentor individually or in a group? These steps are important to bring renewal into your heart.

- Sue Corl (Founder, Crown of Beauty International)

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