This week, I’ve challenged us to consider our purpose, our passion, and our wall. We’ve used the rebuilding of Jerusalem in the book of Nehemiah as an example for us to follow as we are involved in repairing the ailing condition of the Church. The Church is comprised of you, me, our families, and friends.
Every day we have opportunity to “build” and fortify the Church in our interactions with others by: passing on truth, serving, interceding in prayer, using our gifts for God’s glory.
Today, the Church is facing real challenges. We have enemies from without and within. We are hated by the “prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). We can be overwhelmed by seeing the rising tide of opposition and hostility against God’s ways and His people, but never fear . . . God will be exalted. He is the I Am, the Almighty God.
When Nehemiah was faced with threats from hostile enemies, his response was to point the people to the One who will fight for us. This was his charge to the wall builders:
[box]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.” And our enemies said, “They will not know or see till we come among them and kill them and stop the work.”
And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.” (Neh. 4:10 –11, 14)[/box]
This was not an empty charge, but behind Nehemiah’s exhortation was the reality of an Almighty God who is at work to accomplish His good purposes. The people were invited to the battle by Him.
God will fight for us and we are called to serve Him in the battle.
He’s given us the Sword of the Spirit—the Word of God as our weapon of defense. He places us within a body of believers who will come alongside as fellow soldiers in battle. He provides leaders who care for our souls and proclaim God’s truth when our hearts grow fearful.
In Nehemiah’s day, the threat was so real that the people had to carry literal swords for protection as they fulfilled their purpose:
[box]When our enemies heard that it was known to us and that God had frustrated their plan, we all returned to the wall, each to his work. From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. And the leaders stood behind the whole house of Judah, who were building on the wall.
Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other. And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built. The man who sounded the trumpet was beside me.
And I said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “The work is great and widely spread, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” (Neh. 4:15–20)[/box]
Nehemiah had no doubt that as they served God, as they were fulfilling His purpose—although they faced great opposition—He knew that God would fight for them.
Do you live with the confidence that you are following God’s warrior charge?
Are you serving Him by fulfilling His purpose for your life? Are you using your gifts to fortify His Church? Are you on the area of the wall where He’s placed you to glorify Himself?
Do you know that God will fight for you?