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What Has God Stirred Your Heart About? What matters to you? What do you really want to do with this life? Family, Marriage, Ministry, Community, Your Town, Your Country. It’s okay for you to have these passions and desires. It’s good. BUT, it’s a longer process than you think. BUT, you have enemies you don’t recognize. And, you have obstacles that you don’t yet see.
God Stirred Nehemiah’s Heart. Nehemiah Wanted A “Promised Land”. Ezra had led 50,000 Jews home 15 years before. The temple was built, but Jerusalem was a dangerous slum. Drinking wine with the King was a good job. He decided Protecting His Hometown. …that He had never lived in. …that was the home of His worship and faith. Was worth the fight. Nehemiah began the work and this is what happened.
Nehemiah 4:1-3 (NLT) Sanballat was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and mocked the Jews, 2 saying in front of his friends and the Samarian army officers, “What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day by just offering a few sacrifices? Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap—and charred ones at that?” 3 Tobiah the Ammonite, who was standing beside him, remarked, “That stone wall would collapse if even a fox walked along the top of it!”
(What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing?)
Your Identity. Who do you think you are? Why should you have a better marriage than others? Or one at all? You don’t DESERVE a better job. A Ministry. A Reputation of Helper or Healer.
Goliath mocked a shepherd boy, so the voices, your enemies, your past will mock you. You are a son of God. You are the Bride of Christ. Whatever God stirs you to do, the Enemy will stand against with his boisterous lies.
(Do they think they can build the wall)
Your Motives. What are you doing and why? Who are you to dare rise up from the herd to do something that matters. It must be your PRIDE. You must be greedy. You must be self serving. Your motivations must be wrong. Why else would you try and make a difference? You WANT something out of this.
(by just offering a few sacrifices?)
Your Relationship. Are you sure this is God? Who are you to have a word from God? You’re not that great of a Christian. You’re not worthy of God speaking to you. Gifting you. Helping You. There so much wrong with you and with your faith. You haven’t earned it. You’re not special.
(Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap—and charred ones at that?”)
Your Ability. You can’t. You are incompetent. You don’t know what you are doing. You don’t have the resources and you don’t have the skill. You are just not up to the task. Shepherd boys can’t beat giants. Slaves can’t win wars with giants. And, wine connoisseurs can’t build cities.
(That stone wall would collapse if even a fox walked along the top of it!)
Your Work. It will stink. Whatever you do, it will fail. Your marriage will fall into mediocrity, or ruin. Your business will lose money and bankrupt you. Your dreams are out of your reach. Your hope will be disappointed. Your ministry will accomplish nothing. In fact, it will do more harm than good.
What can you do? How can you fight back!
Four Ways to FIGHT BACK!!!
Nehemiah 4:4 (NLT) Then I prayed…
Call Your Attorney. Nehemiah’s first reaction was to go to God with it.
1 John 2:1 (NLT) …we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the One who is truly righteous.
You have an advocate. A defense attorney. Don’t talk to the Devil without your attorney present.
War Is A Family Affair. Nehemiah didn’t fight his battles alone. Nor did he ask the people to.
Nehemiah 4:14 (NLT) …“Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, Who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!”
Are you in a small group of some kind? Do you float from church to church trying NOT to get your feelings hurt? Are you trying to grow alone? Have you bought a bunch of books to tell you how? This isn’t the Rambo movies you are living. This is Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan, or Seal Team Six. In war, loners die. Even snipers have support.
Nehemiah 4:14 (NLT) …“Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord…”
Remember To NOT Fear! Fear … Twists and corrupts our perspective of God. Fear makes God small and your enemy huge. Fear is Faith in the Wrong God. Remember God. Recount His Kindness, Power, and Glory. And your perspective of God will be REstored. Your confidence in God will explode. Remember your way out of your panic.
Nehemiah 6:3 (NLT) “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?”
The Weapon Of Significance. Sanballat invited Nehemiah into His stronghold. Ono – “Strong”. We don’t battle the enemy in the place of His strength. Accomplishing God’s Work defeats the enemy. We don’t fight the enemy for the sake of fighting the enemy.
Know your purpose. Know your calling. And don’t get tricked into taking “not your purpose”.
Romans 12:3 (NLT) …Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.
God has given each of us a sphere of influence. That is where your ministry begins. Where God wants you is the Safest place to be. Where God wants you is the Greatest place to be. That is your significance.
Are you ready to Fight Back? We can overcome Satan’s lies through prayer, community, praise, and significance.
Talk About It…
- Have 3 people read Nehemiah 4:1-3 from different translations. Have 2 people explain the passage in their own words. Highlight or underline any words or phrases that you find interesting in Nehemiah 4:1-3. Discuss your selections with the group.
- Describe a time that you believed you were being spiritually attacked? Of the five attacks mentioned, which affects you the most?
- Of the four responses mentioned, which is the most comfortable way to deal with the enemy? Which is the most uncomfortable?
- How could other believers help us when we are under attack?
- What are some things you could “remember” about God that would help when under attack? How could we embrace our significance when under attack?
- If you really believe this is from God, what should you do?
- What did you discover that you would be excited to share with a friend?