Summary: It may be Satan or a Saint but opposition is a certainty in ministry
Surprise! Not Everyone Is On You Side
Rodeo Road Baptist Church
September 21, 2014
Disclaimer: Each sermon in this series on Nehemiah was written with both commentary help and referencing from time to time information from sermons and illustration found on Sermon Central. In most cases I tried to be faithful in giving credit to the author but I acknowledge that I was not consistent in that endeavor. So any similarity to other older posted sermons on this web site are due in part to the quality of their work and the timelessness of the truth they shared originally. There was no intentional intent to use without credit any material in these sermons that were first delivered by other pastors.
In Rebuilding Your Broken World, Gordon MacDonald suggests twenty-six questions to help develop accountability and invite feedback. If we desire to grow, we should submit our selves to a spiritual mentor and answer these questions honestly.
1. How is your relationship with God right now?
2. What have you read in the Bible in the past week?
3. What has God said to you in this reading?
14. Are you sensing spiritual attacks from the enemy right now?
15. If Satan were to try to invalidate you as a person or as a servant of the Lord, how might he do it?
22. What would you say are your fears at this present time?
Paul Borthwick, Leading the Way, Navpress, 1989, pp. 171-172.
Why was the wall destroyed in the first place? Are there broken places in our lives that are the result of our sin and God’s judgment? That is not a very popular topic in our time. However, the walls of Jerusalem were destroyed when God allowed the armies of the Babylonians to take the city because the Jews had rebelled against God and disobey His laws and commands.
As a result the enemies of God and His people had gained a stronghold that they did not want to give up. That is exactly what happens in our lives as well. The stronghold may be certain addictions, immoral behavior, doctrinal compromise or simply indifference to the things of God. Satan himself gains footholds where there is the absence of holiness. The ground that is now under his control is something that he will not give up easily. The lessons from Chapter four is one that we need to be reminded of as we think about restoring broken places in our lives.
I. We must clearly identify those who are the enemies of the things of God and their tactics
Nehemiah 4:1-3 Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he jeered at the Jews. And he said in the presence of his brothers and of the army of Samaria, "What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore it for themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish up in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, and burned ones at that?" Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, "Yes, what they are building—if a fox goes up on it he will break down their stone wall!"
A. An enemy is anyone or anything that does not positively encourage your to carry out the work of God in your life.
James 4:4 You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.
Philippians 3:18-19 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
Matthew 16:21-23 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you." But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man."
B. One of the schemes that the enemy uses is intimidation seeking to demoralize us into fear and retreat.
Nehemiah 4:10 In Judah it was said, "The strength of those who bear the burdens is failing. There is too much rubble. By ourselves we will not be able to rebuild the wall."
C. Another one of the schemes that the enemy uses is threats to cause us to fear of even our physical safety.