Summary: Nehemiah saw right thru the devil's attempt at distraction and compromise. He said, the valley of Ono? O No! Aren't you glad he said no no to Ono? Link inc. to formatted text, audio/video, PowerPoint.
So far the devil has tried to use these tools to keep them from rebuilding the wall:
Ridicule-we will be laughed at but we shouldn't back up or back down.
Discouragement-We sometimes get tired IN the work, but never OF the work.
Bodily harm-threats came but they battled and builded w/ a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other.
Debt-financial bondage won't keep us down if we follow God's money principles.
TOP 10 SIGNS YOU ARE BROKE
10. American Express calls and says: "Please, Leave home without it!"
9. You’re formulating a plan to rob the church food pantry.
8. Long distance companies don’t want you to switch.
7. You rob Peter...and then rob Paul.
6. You clean your house just for the purpose of finding change.
5. You think of a lottery ticket as your best investment.
4. Your bologna has no first name.
3. At communion you go back for seconds.
2. You can’t even pay attention!
1. McDonalds is your source for all your condiments.
In chapter 6 the devil tries 4 more things, we'll just look the first now:
1. The tool of distraction.
v. 2 The enemy wants to talk to Nehemiah, or so they say. 'Maybe we can work out a compromise.' Nehemiah knew they were not sincere. And when the devil can't defeat us as a roaring lion, he will try to approach us as an angel of light. 'Let's have a retreat together down in the valley.' Let's cozy up. Then he tries to distract us to compromise.
ill.--a man was bear hunting up in Alaska. He was so cold, he would really like to have a fur coat, it consumed his mind. He just wanted to bag his game and get out of there. Then he saw his prey in the distance, coming right towards him. He got the bear in his sights, and was about to pull the trigger when the bear said, "Wait, can't we talk about this?" "I guess it can't hurt." the man said. The bear said, "All I want is a nice meal, and all you want is a fur coat...thanks for talking with me, because now we're both gonna get our way!"
First the devil tries to cozy up to us in order to devour us. But once we are saved, he fails at that. Next, he tries to neutralize us thru entangling alliances. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, and then take over!
Very subtle-why the valley of Ono?
35 Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen.
Nehemiah is a craftsman, so he is especially tempted w/ this offer. Maybe he could get some ideas or tools to help w/ the wall. But it wasn't God's way...to join w/ the enemy to get ideas.
And we shouldn't go to the world for our ideas in building the church. Many churches are using worldly marketing strategies, and trying to attract people using worldly ways. Have you been to some of these nightclubbish style churches? Our goal should not be to get the crowd rocking, but to get them established on the Rock.
Nor should our goal be just to have a big attendance. Show me Jesus talking about high attendance? The churches He commended in Revelation were congratulated on the basis of values such as love, faith, patience, endurance, etc. Never once did He commend their attendance. But in American churches today, attendance is everything! It's the measure of success! Go to any pastor's conference. Everyone is asking each other about attendance, and immediately the pecking order is established. The guy w/ the big church is asked to speak and the guy w/ a small crowd, who may be in a tough area, and may have more wisdom and holiness, is disrespected...because our values have been warped.
We love our growth, but if we have to compromise to do it than forget it. Having a big crowd is not necessarily having a church.
ill.--our online community is large, but that means very little. Interestingly, most of them think we are huge, based on our following. And based on our content and what they see and hear online. They are shocked when they hear the truth. Some relate to it and like it, and some seem disappointed like, "I knew it was too good to be true. I had the impression you were one of the greatest churches out there, but evidently not!" This proves the point pretty well now doesn't it?!
Nehemiah saw right thru the devil's attempt at distraction and compromise. He said, the valley of Ono? O No! Aren't you glad he said no no to Ono?
Nehemiah said no because he had:
• Spiritual discernment not to join w/ the enemy and use the world's ways and water down the message.