Summary: Message 7 in our exposition of Nehemiah. This message observes how the Jews learned to battle the enemy while continuing to build.
Chico Alliance Church
Dual Duty: Battle & Build
I. REBUILDING THE WALLS
A. Recognizing the needs through inquiry
B. Responding to needs through passion and prayer
C. Resolving needs through perseverance
D. Resisting opposition through perseverance
1. Scheme #1 Devalue Authority
Declare your position in Christ
Deny participation by the enemy
2. Scheme #2 Interference by ridicule
Pray in the will of God
Press on in the work of God
Look at some principles that must be applied if we are to experience genuine growth.
1--Be alert to the needs of others
2--Develp a passion to bear the burden of others
3--Wait upon God with intense intercession
4--Remain Faithful in the present while waiting upon God to move mightily in the future
5--Enlist full participation of the body around the wall
6--Maintain a heart for the work
7--Pray and press on through opposition
Because the people had a heart to work, there was full participation all along the wall and the wall was completed to half its height all the way around. There were no breaches.
Some of you this morning have given up pressing on because every time you reach for the stars you get slapped. Every time you get close to God something happens that causes pain. It is much easier to live out a life mediocrity. Why is it that whenever a church seems to just get to growing and things begin to happen that something happens to tear it all apart? Why can't we keep consistent in our walk with God? Is there anything that we can do to press on through the intimidation of the enemy to experience the inspiration to keep on building our spiritual walls. Nehemiah has been providing some practical insight for how to deal with Satan's attacks on our life. We will discover some addition insight here that is also just as relevant today.
3. Scheme #3 Interference by conspiracy
a) Problem 4:7--8
Because Nehemiah and God's people had a heart to work they were not dissuaded by Sanballat's tactics and continued to and repair the breaches. The gaps were being closed to outside persecution and pollution.
You have not gone up to the breaks in the wall to repair it for the house of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the Lord. Ezekiel 13:5
Was protect, purity and unity those within. Walls are the principles of Scripture. When we walk in obedience to the ways of God we experience the security of strong walls. As we violate His word and ignore His clear precepts, our walls of protection crumble and we become subject to invasion and capture by the enemy. Psalm 1 pictures the principle in a graphic word picture. The people have seen the seriousness of their unguarded position and have a heart to work until the walls and gates are restored. Sanballat, the enemy of the Jews however is not a happy camper.
(1) Extreme Anger
The anger experienced by Sanballat is due to his core selfish motivation. He desires and is about to be denied and thus is angry. His perceived rights to persecute and pollute are being thwarted and he is not happy. Most all sinful anger is due the blocking of a selfish goal or denied selfish expectation.
Sanballat conspires to fight against the Jews. Usually when someone is angry they with you they must find some support system to help them. Satan has his fellow conspirators to plot against us and cause fear. They conspire here to "come fight against Jerusalem and cause a disturbance in it." If direct conflict fails there is always causing a disturbance. What didn't work directly in chapter four almost worked indirectly in chapter five.
We often have a harder time dealing with anticipated conflict than the actual encounter. It is much more devastating because we can imagine so many more things than could actually come about in real life.
(1) Pray to God
Of course Nehemiah's initial response to trouble is to pray. In Psalm 64 David rushed into prayer in light of conspiracy against him.
(2) Post a guard
There are many picture in Scripture denoting protection from outside influence. Tend the garden, watch the flock, guard the house, keep the gate, put watchmen on the wall.
Again and again we are warned to be alert to spiritual danger.
Nehemiah not only sent up prayers but he set up guards.
4. Scheme #4 Interference by intimidation and threats 10-23
As we are in the middle of hard work and intense battle, there is a tremendous tendency toward discouragement coupled with fear. The Jews began to buckle.
First, discouragement sets in. Negative attitudes and defeating thoughts discourages the workers and threaten the work.