Summary: An unlikely hero teaches us that, as ordinary as we are, our wall can and must be built!
Pt. 4 – Wall Weapons
Nehemiah a captive, a slave has risen to status of cup bearer for the king. He gets a bad report about his hometown and responds. He has taught us that we must be moved beyond tears. That God keeps His Word . . . both curses and promises. That God uses those who are available and that have prayerability. Nehemiah reveals that we must practice countenance, conversation, and complaint control! Then last week he taught us that when we take our place on the wall we should expect enemies. We should know that the enemy will underestimate us and try to get us to do the same. We found out that to win we must guard our vulnerable areas, be willing to work, keep our mind focused on Christ, and fight for others. So let me now take you into a few more lessons that we can learn from The Wall.
Nehemiah 6:1-9, 10-13, 15-16
1-2 When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall and that there were no more breaks in it—even though I hadn't yet installed the gates— Sanballat and Geshem sent this message: "Come and meet with us at Kephirim in the valley of Ono."
2-3 I knew they were scheming to hurt me so I sent messengers back with this: "I'm doing a great work; I can't come down. Why should the work come to a standstill just so I can come down to see you?" 4Four times they sent this message and four times I gave them my answer. 5-6 The fifth time—same messenger, same message (this speaks once again to the fact that if we aren't careful we fall prey to the same tricks over and over again) —Sanballat sent an unsealed letter with this message: 6-7 "The word is out among the nations—and Geshem says it's true— that you and the Jews are planning to rebel. That's why you are rebuilding the wall. The word is that you want to be king and that you have appointed prophets to announce in Jerusalem, 'There's a king in Judah!' The king is going to be told all this—don't you think we should sit down and have a talk?"
8 I sent him back this: "There's nothing to what you're saying. You've made it all up." 9 They were trying to intimidate us into quitting. They thought, "They'll give up; they'll never finish it."
A. We Must Face the Weapon of Distraction!
We can learn so much from Nehemiah and how he handled his enemies! His adversaries once again attempt to get Nehemiah to stop. They send repeated messages trying to get him to take time away from the construction process to have meetings with them. I love his response! "I am doing a great work and can't come down. Why should I let good work come to a stop to meet you?" What I have put my hands to is so important I will not be distracted by something you make seem important, but really isn't! Nehemiah reveals one of the greatest weapons our enemy utilizes against us . . . distraction.
Distractions are deadly! The enemy uses this against us commonly. You are about to finally breakthrough and chaos breaks out around you. You are about to get disciplined in an area and something "more" important comes along and takes you a different direction. You are about to focus on your marriage and out of nowhere extra assignments at work hit your desk. Most of us are missing one key component in our lives that would insure victory . . . focus! We are so distracted that we fail to accomplish a great work!
Some of you need to evaluate the task you have at hand and come to the realization that Nehemiah came to . . . I am doing a great work and I refuse to start on or give my attention to anything else right now.
I am busy working on my marriage the promotion at work will just have to wait. I am trying to finish my degree that relationship will just have to wait. I am called to serve with kids the exciting position I see in that other area will have to wait. The enemy will use good and godly things to distract us from the one thing God has assigned to us!
There’s a story about Bill Mazzoroski from the Pirates and the famous and quotable catcher for the Yankees Yogi Berra. During a World Series game Mazzoroski stepped up to the plate and Berra said, "Hey, you’re holding your bat wrong. You’ve got the label turned down. You can’t hit the ball with the label turned down. You need to turn the bat so you can read the label." Without taking his eye off the pitcher, Mazzoroski said to Berra, "I didn’t come here to read; I came here to hit."