Summary: Nehemiah had a heart that cared, knees that bent, a mind that prepared and feet that went. This week, a mind that prepared.
A Mind That Prepared
PPT 1 Series intro slide
Today I want to talk to you about biblical strategies for sucess. We are using the life of biblical man by the name of Nehemiah for an example.
We have already talked about Nehemiah as a man who had a heart that cared, and
Knees that bent. I tried to explain that prayer sometimes is a very difficult thing. Prayer is often like revival, revival is not just the top blowing off, it is also the bottom falling out.
What do I mean by that? It is just as much a move of God when you feel miserable, as when you feel happy. Nehemiah wept and mourned and fasted and confessed many days.
In Daniel 9 we read:
Da 9:24 "Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy [place.]
Da 9:25 "So you are to know and discern [that] from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince [there will be] seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.
Daniel was told that after 69 groups of 7, which we understand to 7 years, even the Jews accept and teach this, after that period of time the Messiah would come and make atonement for sin. He is further told, that the clock would start ticking for this 483 years with the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. So if you are the devil then you have been just told when the guy is coming who is going to clean your clock. You will do everything in your power to prevent the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, I think Nehemiah felt spiritual opposition when he prayed for his nation to be rebuilt. The heavens may have seemed as brass, and his prayers may have felt like they were getting no where. The truth, he was at the forefront of a battle much larger than he ever could have imagined.
Now the devil isn't the smartest guy on the block, but he also isn't the dumbest.
1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
In other words the devil didn't realize that killing Jesus would in fact be the key that provided for the forgiveness of our sins. If he had realized that he never would have helped organize Jesus' death. So he was dumb on that one.
But on this prophecy of 69 7's, I believe he clearly understood that as soon as a decree is issued to rebuild the city of Jerusalem his doomsday clock started ticking. So I believe he put out a decree to all his minions don't let them rebuild that city! The temple had a decree to be rebuilt 180 years before Nehemiah comes on the scene, but not the city. Jeremiah had prophesied they would only be in captivity for 70 years, yet 180 had gone by and the city was still not rebuilt. I think the answer at least for me is pretty obvious, demonic interference.
I think the devil did everything in his power to keep that from happening, because like I said, once it happened his doomsday clock started ticking. I believe that everyone, and everything that might have moved in the direction of rebuilding Jerusalem was seriously hampered and discouraged.
I think Nehemiah ran into a thunderstorm of spiritual harassment when he started to pray for the rebuilding of the city. I don't think he was aware of the cosmic significance of what he was doing. But the devil did. None of Nehemiah's prayers seem to indicate he understood the full significance of what was going on. He never prayed, lets get this wall built so the Messiah can come. But I really and truly believe his prayer time was hard sowing. When he prayed the heavens felt as brass, and I don't think he had the least idea of how important what he was doing was.
You may be praying for just a little neighbor boy, or girl. But their destiny may be to bring significant change to this world, and advancment of the kingdom of God.
Prayer in that kind of an atmosphere is such difficult plowing many fail to take up the cause.
Whatever is the hardest thing for you to pray for, pray for it, it is most likely the most important.