"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!"
Reading: Nehemiah Chapter 4.
Ask the Lord to unite the churches in building a citywide church; to stand together against the enemy and run to one another's aid. Pray for One Way Ministries as they work toward unity across the denominational lines.
Pray for our government leaders and Parliament, and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. - 1 Timothy 2:2.
Ask the Lord to restore the Church, to teach and disciple holiness and faithfulness. Confess where we have turned away from biblical values and embraced the world's values.
Pray for those outside the walls who love Jesus but hate the church. Pray that the Lord will lead them to repentance for holding on to offence and will reconcile them to the local body.
Pray for those that are tired and discouraged, that God will bring refreshing to their spirit.
Stand and fight against the attack of the enemy against Garth. Bind fear, drive ALS out, don't give up!
Reflection on Nehemiah 4.
Chapter 4 reads like a spiritual warfare playbook. The rebuilding has been going enthusiastically and the walls are at half height. It looks like God's favour is really with them. The work of God always stirs up the anger and opposition of the enemy. Sanballat, one of their own countrymen that escaped the exile, is furious that the walls of Jerusalem are being rebuilt. He gathers some like-minded people and begins to mock the work and the people working on the walls; "Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap - and charred ones at that?"
Have you ever heard the voice of Sanballat in your head, mocking your attempts to follow Christ? "You are worthless, you'll never amount to anything. You are too broken and blackened from your past to ever be of use to the Lord. There's no point in trying you'll only fail like you do every time."
Take courage, do what Nehemiah did talk to the Lord about it. Remind the enemy about his defeat at the cross, and yourself that Jesus knows just how to fashion you for good works. "You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house." - 1 Peter 2:5.
When the taunting and mocking fail to discourage the work, Sanballat ups the ante. He plans to amass a fighting force to swoop down on them and kill them. As fear discourages them, they lose heart and lose sight of what they have achieved. All they can see is a mountain of rubble and what is left to be done. Instead of enthusiastically building, they take their eyes off the vision and focus on how tired they are.
The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy - John 10:10. If the enemy cannot throw you off by taunts and mocking, he will try to take you out another way.
Nehemiah gathers the people; "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!" He posts guards on the walls and gives each person a sword to strap to their side. The watchman is set to blow the trumpet at the enemy's attack. "When you hear the blast of the trumpet, rush to wherever it is sounding. Then our God will fight for us."
Nehemiah then warned those living outside of the city walls to move into the city where they will be protected. Christians living outside the boundaries of God's will are in an unprotected place that leaves them prey to the enemy. When the Church departs from holiness, there are breaches in the walls.
We are called to build the kingdom by building the spiritual walls and gates that surround and protect our city. We also have an enemy that is enraged by the work of the Lord. He even uses our own countrymen to breath threats against the Church to discourage us from building the kingdom. God has placed a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other. We must be prepared to build and fight as one people and come to the aid of our brothers and sisters when we hear the sound of the trumpet.
We have heard the sound of the trumpet in our own church family. The enemy is attacking Garth and threatening his life with ALS. This is a blatant attack of the enemy designed to throw us into confusion and fear. But do not be afraid of the enemy, take up your swords and fight for our brother. - "Then our God will fight for us."