Let Us Rise & Rebuild: Pastor Ray Loo
Compiled by Margot Bass
Photo by Christian Rodriguez
The Calvary Chapel Association held its 2021 Los Angeles (L.A.) Regional Pastors and Leadership Conference March 5-6 at Calvary Chapel Downey, CA, close to L.A. The theme of the conference was Let Us Rise and Rebuild, from Nehemiah 2:18: And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to this good work.
“Even though there’s resistance, we’re going to continue to move forward,” declared Ray Loo, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Santa Fe Springs, CA, Friday night. He spoke on Nehemiah 2:19-4:9, focusing on the themes of where resistance to rebuilding comes from and what to do when that resistance arrives.
Desire, Decision, & Determination
The enemy [Satan] begins to resist in our desire to rebuild, he advised. Nehemiah faced resistance from local government officials and groups of people when starting to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. “You and I have enemies as well: the world, the flesh, and the devil. We’ve got these challenges before us. … We’ve got to get used to dealing with these enemies.”
A man worships during the Los Angeles Regional Pastors and Leaders Conference, held March 5-6 at Calvary Chapel Downey, CA. Its theme was Let Us Rise & Rebuild, based on Nehemiah 2:18.
Secondly, the enemy resists in the decision to rebuild. Ray elaborated, “They set their hands to the good work. … Half the battle of doing a good work is just making the decision to do it, turning good intentions into real actions. It’s saying, ‘Lord, here I am. Send me.’” On the heels of Nehemiah’s decision to rebuild the wall surrounding Jerusalem, his enemies laughed at us and despised us (2:19) “[Our enemy] resorts to mockery, saying, ‘You can’t do that.’ Some of you have been scorned, … made to feel foolish … You just hear the voice of the enemy.”
However, Nehemiah responded directly to his enemies in Nehemiah 2:20: “’Number 1, it’s God’s work. Number 2: We don’t have a choice. Number 3: You don’t matter.’ I just wonder as I look over the last year, have we given the enemy more authority and say-so than he’s due in our fellowships?”
Chapter 3 describes people with a vision, united and effective, successfully reconstructing the wall. Ray observed, “They all started at ground level and started building up. Each day … they were less and less vulnerable. As God continues to work in our ministries, in our churches, we become less and less vulnerable.”
Often during the Calvary Chapel Association regional conference, men asked for—and received—much-needed prayer, as these two men are doing.
Chapter 4:1-9 focuses on Nehemiah’s enemies as they became more serious in their attacks and conspire to create confusion to thwart the good work of the people, Ray revealed. “The enemy waits to see if God’s people are really going to follow through with things that started as a desire. … When that decision turns into determination, that’s when the enemy starts to bump it up again. … Your failures and weaknesses will be brought back to you. The devil will bring it all to you when [good] things start happening.”
Nehemiah responded to these attacks with prayers to God in 4:9, Ray continued: Nevertheless we made our prayer to God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night. “You can literally say Nehemiah is a book on prayer. The man had a prayer life, and that’s why the Lord used him in such a powerful way.” Because the battle is spiritual, Ray urged the pastors and leaders to pray and to attend their fellowships’ prayer meetings. “Prayer doesn’t mean ‘do nothing.’ Prayer doesn’t replace our actions. It strengthens, bolsters, and directs our actions.”
Conference attendees encourage each other in a special moment.
Pastor Ray concluded with truths from Mark 13-14, where twice Jesus tells his disciples to “watch and pray” (Mark 13:33 and 14:38). “We don’t know when Jesus is returning … the enemy is resisting you, so watch and pray.” These are the Last Days, he warned. “The temptation in these days of becoming spiritually apathetic and lethargic, to become dull, to fall asleep spiritually is more prevalent than ever.”
Finally, he encouraged the pastors, “It’s time to rebuild. Decisions are being made here, but a world that is full of fear needs a church that is full of faith.”
Between teaching sessions, a representative shares about his ministry. More than 40 vendors attended the conference.
Ray Loo (left), senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Santa Fe Springs, CA, enjoys an outdoor conversation with another man. Ray was one of the conference speakers, urging the leaders to resist Satan’s attempts to stop them from “rebuilding” their “walls.”
All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
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