Build and Battle Sermon Blog Day 2 Nehemiah 4:4-12
There is Faith Building:4:4-6,9
Hear, O our God, for we are despised; turn their reproach on their own heads, and give them as plunder to a land of captivity! Do not cover their iniquity, and do not let their sin be blotted out from before You; for they have provoked You to anger before the builders. So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.
Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.
Nehemiah’s first response to these outward attacks was crying out to God. He saw his faith in God grow as the opposition increased. The effort of Nehemiah involved crying out in appeal to the God of the universe. It is in these moments that our faith is made stronger. The more we depend on Christ, then the greater our faith becomes. We do not need bigger faith to win. We need to place all of our faith on a bigger God!
In Matthew 17:20 Jesus declares to his twelve, ‘Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.’” The weakness of the disciples was not the size of their faith, but their understanding of the greatness and size of God. If you feel that your faith is too little, it is actually because your view of God is not big enough.
There is Inward Battling:4:10-12
Then Judah said, ‘The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.’ And our adversaries said, ‘They will neither know nor see anything, till we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease.’ So it was, when the Jews who dwelt near them came, that they told us ten times, From whatever place you turn, they will be upon us.
The issues arising in these verses were from Jews living in the city and some living outside the city. From complaining about failing strength and the difficulty of removing the rubble, to fear from potential enemy attacks, some of God’s people were causing the grumbling and trouble in this case.
This battling is so often the work of the enemy to increase a false sense of anxiety. We battle within, and expend energy agonizing over these things that zap our energy but do nothing to advance God’s purposes.
A recent science journal spoke of the anxiety of the average American. The average American experiences anxiety proportionate to the following percentages.
- 40% -- things that will never happen
- 30% -- things about the past thatcan’t be changed
- 12% -- things about criticism by others, mostly untrue
- 10% -- about health, which gets worse with stress
- 8% -- about real problems that will be faced
Too often, the greatest opponents we experience are within. Battling and building often means overcoming those attacks that we make against our own selves in our own minds. Jesus Himself, in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His death, agonized and fought attacks on His own mind. If our Savior faced this opposition, why would we not also. And, if we walk in the power of Christ, we might overcome insider attacks as He did.