“A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses. I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died, the face of a forgiven sinner.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community.
We are not the first people to stand before a challenge and wonder if it can be done. The building of the wall is a very clear example of a daunting task after years of complacency and indifference. Now, Nehemiah could have never fulfilled his dream of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem by himself alone. It would have never happened. In fact, every phase of the dream that God gave Nehemiah would require assistance. In chapter 2 King Artaxerxes not only gave permission but provided resources and help for the project. Nehemiah goes to Jerusalem, surveys the broken down walls, calls the people together, and says, “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work.” (Nehemiah 2:18)
And on it goes from there. There are lots of interesting human elements. We won’t likely remember all the names, but the description as a whole is filled with evidence that there is tremendous solidarity and unity of purpose among God’s people. God didn’t build the wall; the people did. Imagine if the list of names was far shorter or if those involved did far less. Is Nehemiah even a book in the Bible? Probably not. Why? Likely the wall would never have been built. The opposition and the threats and the size of the project would have eventually overwhelmed them. It took all the people working with all their might for the entire wall to be done. It’s amazing what can be done when everyone is committed.
The alternative is dealing with your dreams by yourself. Just like a building needs support, your dream needs support. True success is never a one-man show. Anything significant that’s done in your life, any great dream will require help from others. Your dream requires the support of others because you can’t do it by yourself. You don’t know everything you need to know. You don’t have enough time or energy to do everything by yourself. And you don’t have every talent that you’re going to need to get your dream done. You see, God intentionally wired us to need each other so we learn how to work together.
We were not created to go about this life apart from relationships with fellow children of God. Without our brothers and sisters, we will never experience the fullness of life God intends for us. In community, we discover our place in the body of Christ. In community, we learn what it is to serve out of love, honor, and respect. And in community, we receive the healing and love that can only come from those who share in the same Spirit.
- Why do we need support from others to fulfill our dreams? Why is it wise to prepare for opposition?
- What advice does Ecclesiastes 8:6 give about building your dream team? How can you apply that to your situation?