Summary: We should always be people who care to look around us and keep the watch against the enemy
Be On Guard
Griffith Baptist Church – 9/28/08
Text: Nehemiah 4:7-9
Key verse: Nehemiah 4:9 - Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.
Waiting to be interviewed for a job as a wireless operator, a group of applicants paid little attention to the sound of the dots and dashes which began coming over a loudspeaker. Suddenly one of them rushed into the employer’s office. Soon he returned smiling. "I got it!" he exclaimed. "How did you get ahead of us?" they asked. "You might have been considered if you hadn’t been so busy talking that you didn’t hear the manager’s coded message," he replied. "It said, ‘The man I need must always be on the alert. The first one who interprets this and comes directly into my private office will be hired.’"
Being alert has its advantages and no disadvantages
We should always be people who care to look around us and keep the watch against the enemy
Here, we have Sanballat back again
• This guy has anger management issues
• Here again, the forces of evil convene against those doing God’s work
• God’s work is never without it’s detractors
• Their attack was three-fold:
o Conspire – scheming together
o Attack – physical, spiritual and verbal
o Hinder - do everything to keep from succeeding
Sounds a lot like the enemy today.
Nehemiah and the workers determined to finish the job and keep going
To do this, they had to keep alert, to stay guarded
It is no different today for us.
Transition Statement: First, what are we to guard?
1. What Are We To Guard?
A. Our Heart
i. Proverbs 4:23 – Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
a. It is where your true motivations and loyalties lie
b. It eventually comes to the surface in actions and attitudes (Matt. 12:34-35)
ii. We are not as strong as we think we are - Mark 14:38 – Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.
iii. It is all downhill when the heart goes astray - James 1:14-15 - 14But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16Do not err, my beloved brethren.
B. Our Conscience
i. One comic strip character said of his conscience: “Every time I listen to that thing, I end up ruinin’ my relaxin’!”
ii. This is the part of our spirit that speaks to us over right and wrong
a. It gives the green light when all is safe
b. It gives the red light when there is danger
c. It gives the yellow light to proceed with caution
d. It is the indispensable tool that God uses to speak to us when we sin (guilt, shame, etc)
iii. 1 Peter 3:16, 21 – 16Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 17For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. 18For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
iv. Your conscience can be corrupted and unresponsive (1 Tim. 4:2; Titus 1:15)
C. Our Testimony
i. Satan would love nothing better than to have us ruin our testimony before others
a. Cause us to sin openly
b. Reacting in the flesh instead of the spirit
c. Thinking carnally instead of spiritually
ii. Psalms 51:10-13 - 10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
iii. There is nothing more precious to you before the world than a clear testimony