The Nehemiah Project
(Blog entry by Chris Logan)
For myself, as a child I believed in God Almighty with my whole heart. Life seemed as bliss. All was well with no distractions.
Almost 40 years ago Jesus revealed Himself to me in that there is not just the “good God” I had always believed in, but that there is an enemy and his name is Satan and he is very real as well. With this new revelation I was born again; I saw the light. Again all was well. I had eternal life and I would not taste death!
Then I became an outspoken spokesman for Jesus Christ. I believed His Word to be true; I served notice that I would defend His Word. This is when opposition began to creep into my life. At times I was even unaware, if I am honest, most times I was unaware.
“When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed.”
You see when the enemy becomes aware of our plans, he springs into action. It might start as ridicule or insults. So the battle begins and we as believers say “Get thee behind me Satan.”
Hear us, our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. 5 Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders. 6 So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.
All seems well again, living our own lives (of course there are bumps along the way.) Things are going in our direction with very little resistance. I like to call this having been “Romanced to Death” by the ways of the world we live in. But when we turn things up a notch and begin to pursue God and discern His will, making disciples, equipping His people whom He has called by His name the enemy is once again incensed.
“But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. 8 They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.”
So we pray again, God does answer prayer!
“But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.”
What I am trying to establish is that we must know and be aware of our enemy and his minions.
“ Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”
11 Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”
12 Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”
13 Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. 14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
15 When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.
Again I must admit to myself that I have been “Romanced to Death” by a false security of my own abilities, my own self-righteousness and have become unaware of the enemy surrounding me. I must admit it is easier than fighting the battle.
The great Chinese General Sun Tzu put it this way:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
We must put on the full armor of God on a daily basis if we are to stand up to any and all opposition.
10” Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
Every word of God is flawless;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words,
or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
To read more about the Nehemiah Project, click HERE.
On October 2nd Pastor Jerry Ingalls will be preaching on Nehemiah 4: Overcome the Opposition!