Saturday, August 30, 2014
August 30 – Building + fighting
The work is demanding and extensive, and we are spread out on the wall, far removed from one another. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, gather there with us. Our God will fight for us. (Nehemiah 4:19,20 NET)
After 70 years in exile, the Israelites finally found favor with the king of Persia to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple that had been mercilessly destroyed by the Babylonians. These Israelites were a humbled people. They learned the hard way that God’s presence was not something to be treated lightly. What they longed for more than anything was to rebuild the House of God. If they could worship and sacrifice to Him again, they knew that everything else would come together.
But the time of persecution was not yet over. Though they were free to return home and rebuild, the surrounding nations that had settled in the abandoned land of Israel were now jealous that they were taking back their homeland. They ridiculed the small band of Jews that had straggled in from Persia. The Jews had to trust that God was with them despite their enemies’ threats and contempt. The men that set to work on reconstructing the walls had a double job. They had to stand watch with weapons strapped to their sides in case their enemies staged an ambush. It was stressful, and at times they almost despaired that rebuilding would be impossible, but God was faithful to keep their enemies at bay, and the temple was rebuilt to His glory.
This story mirrors our own lives spiritually speaking. Many come to church like those Jews who were hungry and thirsty to find refuge in God’s House. But they have enemies that want to discourage, ridicule and ultimately destroy them. Our enemies are the negative thoughts in our heads that we’ll never be free, the old sins and temptations of addictions, the unkind words of family and friends, the fears that we are too weak, that we have no right to claim freedom when we’ve made so many mistakes in the past. The devil and his demons know just how to push the right emotional buttons to make us feel unable to rebuild, and the temptation to give up and go back to the way things were, can feel so compelling. But just like Nehemiah and his men, we have to gather together, to be in one accord and one faith, and God’s promise is that He will fight for us!
Friday deliverance services in church combine perfectly with Wednesday and Sunday services to seek the presence of God, two actions that we continually need to encourage if we want to enjoy a life of success. Is the life you’re trying to build up always getting knocked down? Are your life plans always getting ambushed by problems? Jesus said, “Watch and pray.” Stand guard against attacks, and seek God’s presence at the same time. Fight ruthlessly against Satan, and surrender thoroughly to God. God is sounding the trumpet to gather with others in the same faith and in the same fight. Don’t ignore His call, you can’t fight this fight alone, let Him fight for you!