Rise up and build

Smoke pours off one of the towers of the World Trade Center as flames explode from the second one as it is struck by a plane Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, after terrorists crashed planes into the buildings.  The attack collapsed both buildings. (AP Photo/Chao Soi Cheong)MANDATORY CREDIT

Smoke pours off one of the towers of the World Trade Center as flames explode from the second one as it is struck by a plane Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, after terrorists crashed planes into the buildings. The attack collapsed both buildings. (AP Photo/Chao Soi Cheong)

In the wake of the 12th anniversary of 9/11, I often wondered, what really took down the buildings?  Those things were massive structures built upon the most secure foundations.  Was it to the fault of the foundation?  Was it the impact of the planes?  The fire?  Did the structures themselves simply appear impenetrable and unmovable, but in reality were not as strong as they appeared?  According to one particular source (Why did the World Trade Center Collapse?), it was a combination of things that eventually caused the buildings to collapse.  However, there is one in particular that caught my attention.

“Of equal or even greater significance during this initial impact was the explosion when 90,000 L gallons of jet fuel, comprising nearly 1/3 of the aircraft’s weight, ignited. The ensuing fire was clearly the principal cause of the collapse.”

In conjunction with the above, another article stated:

“Most fires start in one area and then spread. The fire from the aircraft’s impact covered the area of an entire floor almost instantly. As the weakened floors began to bow and then collapse, they pancaked. This means that upper floors crashed down on lower floors with increasing weight and momentum, crushing each successive floor below.” (Engineers Explain the Twin Towers Collapse)

Here’s how this non-engineer sees it.  The attack penetrated the inner core of the structure, not causing it to immediately collapse.  But with enough time and increased heat, the structure became weaker and weaker until it collapsed upon itself.

If you read through the articles above, or any other article on 9/11, not one of them will blame the foundation of the buildings.  Their foundation was strong.  In our Christian life, we sit upon our firm foundation, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11).  Though He is our solid rock and unmovable, we are not.  We have to remain vigilant in how we continue to build upon the foundation that has already been laid.  We need to view ourselves as a “work in progress”.  Our structure should never be considered “complete”.  The moment we feel we’ve got it together, is the exact moment the attacks will come from the enemy.  You will get hit.  However, as long as you do not allow the attack to reach your core, you will not be destroyed.

In the book of Nehemiah, the charge is given by the Lord to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.  Take note, the walls needed to be rebuilt.  They were damaged and burnt out.  Just like the sin that we allow in to our lives, it will damage us, burn us, and cause our structure to become weak.  Yet it does not mean that we are destroyed and conquered.  Nehemiah proclaims to the people, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision” (Nehemiah 2:17).  The one thing he understood was that this rebuilding would not come without opposition.  There were some who wanted to see Jerusalem in ruins.  It gave them no greater joy than to see God’s people susceptible to attack. Yet in the face of potential attack and danger, the people declare, “Let us rise up and build” (Nehemiah 2:18).

Spiritual warfare is an everyday battle.  Not a day goes by that the enemy will not strive to separate you from your foundation.  Not a day will go by that you will not be under attack (Ephesians 6:16).  There are multiple keys to victory over the spiritual attacks you will face on a daily basis.  Nehemiah points out two specific weapons of warfare that we need to strive for every day.  First and foremost is prayer.  We must be in a constant state of prayer before our Almighty God for strength and protection against the schemes of the enemy.  “And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it.  And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night” (Nehemiah 4:8,9).  Prayer is our preparation and protection for battle.  We must be in a constant state of prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Secondly, we can not fight the battle alone.  We need to rely upon our brothers and sisters in the Lord to help keep us accountable.  There is true strength in numbers.   “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes” (Nehemiah 4:14).  Watch each other’s back.  Be the “watchman on the wall” (Ezekiel 33:7).  Keep each other accountable to the words you speak and the actions you take on a daily basis, as we are to be representatives of our Lord 24/7/365.  If you see your brother getting attacked, will you not come to his aid?  Will you not fight on his behalf if he can not defend himself (1 Corinthians 16:13)?

“From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. And the leaders stood behind the whole house of Judah, who were building on the wall.  Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other.  And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built. The man who sounded the trumpet was beside me.” (Nehemiah 4:16-18)

IMG_1164Some say that the World Trade Center was not destroyed.  It was damaged, but not destroyed.  It is currently rising up from the ashes, stronger than before.  Be watchful.  Stand ready.  Be prepared to withstand the attack of the enemy.  It is not a matter of if, but when.  The attacks will come.  In battle, you will be hit.  You will fall down.  You may even carry the scars of war with you for the rest of your life.  However, by the grace of God, can we rise up and build.  Stand firm upon the Rock, our foundation, Jesus Christ.  You have everything you need to find victory every day.  Like those who rebuilt the Jerusalem wall, go about your day with joy, peace, and love in one hand, and the sword of the Spirit, ready to battle, in the other.

Rak Chazak, and may the Lord bless you!!

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