All month-long in our children’s ministry I have had the privilege of teaching on Nehemiah. Our focus was on his example of initiative, but I knew God was reminding my heart of his incredible testimony of how to respond to opposition. Sandwiched in the middle of the all the action to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem as the book of Nehemiah describes, there is an AWESOME passage that has been foundational in my life in ministry as a pastor’s wife. And this has never been more true than in these last weeks. In countless areas in too many lives to count, our church family is hurting and heart-broken. Our walls are crumbling, and we feel broken down. Certainly low places are visible. But we must press through and continue our work, and God’s word encourages us as to how.
In Chapter 4, the builders are facing some major discouragement and opposition to their work from their enemies. Verse 10 describes the situation as this: “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.” Can you relate? Are the burdens you carry or the ones those around you carry too much? What about your pastors? I see this scenario in me, I see it in my family, and I see it in my church. We CANNOT fight this battle ALONE.
Nehemiah 4:13 & 14 “So in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in open places, I stationed the people by their clans, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 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.”
Family of God, we must see those low places in our walls and gather there with OUR weapon, which is the Word of God. (“the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God” Ephesians 6:17) As we gather we must remember that our Lord is great and awesome, and then we must boldly and tenaciously fight for our families and our homes. This is the Biblical “Freedom” Braveheart call. And I beg of you to let it rip from the top of your lungs. Our church is counting on it, and our city is desperate for it.
And just so you know, the workers did exactly as Nehemiah ordered… verse 16, “From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows and coats of mail. verse 17, “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.” verse 18, “And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built.”…and the wall around the city of Jerusalem was rebuilt in 52 days! I am fully convinced that if we will do the same- while one works, another prays, as we build, we cling to the Word of God as our only supply- He will rebuild our walls too, the low places will be filled in, and our city will be forever changed.