Summary: The Church is God’s preferred dwelling place on the earth. He’s building for Himself a glorious temple. What sort of building materials is He looking for?
And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, "What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish--stones that are burned?" Nehemiah 4:2
The enemy was taunting Nehemiah, questioning the Jews’ ability to restore the once magnificent temple in Jerusalem that now lie in ruin and desolation. There is a sense of hopelessness in the atmosphere.
God is building us, as living stones into His temple (1 Peter 2:5). The problem is instead of being alive – proactive, passionate, and powerful, we now become burnt stones that are lost in the rubbish of our lost dreams and visions. We are no longer useful. A burnt stone is a prophetic picture of the believer who has gone through certain circumstances that have caused the person to burn out, become offended, spiritually wounded, hurt, disappointed or to fail in some way. A burnt stone is the Christian who has fallen out of his or her place in the wall of destiny.
You’re a burnt stone if you dread coming to the house of God. You’re a burnt stone if the things of God that used to excite you are no longer exciting to you. You’re a burnt stone if you are lethargic and complacent in your pursuit of the glory of God. And just in case you’re feeling all beaten up and depressed, I’ve got good news today. God can restore a burnt stone and set it back in its place in the wall of His plan and purpose!
Burnt stones may not look pretty on the outside, but because they have been through the fire, they have been tested. It takes great faith to persevere through a tragedy and then to rise again with a holy determination to keep pursuing a vision. If you have not been through the grinder where all your attitudes are exposed and all your convictions are challenged, you may be too idealistic to understand what the Lord can do with burnt stones.
The prophet Isaiah said the Lord will lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation (Isaiah 28:16). Trials are necessary to prove that we are worthy materials for God’s chosen house. Every saint was tested beyond what they could humanly handle and yet Paul said the Lord’s grace was sufficient for him. In spite of the rut that Job was in, he declared ‘I know my redeemer lives!’
There are 3 restoration principles from the life of Job that I want to leave with you as I conclude:
1. Acknowledge God’s Absolute Power and Our Impotence (Job 42:1 – 2)
2. Bless Your Accusers and You Will Receive Double (Job 42:8 – 10)
3. The Rest of Your Life Shall Be the Best of Your Life (Job 42:12 – 17)