Nehemiah 2013: Day

Building with one hand and bracing with the other

by

Today's Text: Nehemiah 4:1-14, 1 Chronicles 29:11

Text: Nehemiah 4:1-14, 1 Chronicles 29:11

We’ve seen that Nehemiah faced his share of opposition from early on when he set out to rebuild the wall.

Even before he started building, there were the naysayers, the doubters and the discouragers.  Those of us who have stepped out in faith to do something a little less than popular can no doubt relate.  Sometimes it is a startling task or sometimes it’s simply walking in Truth that has others coming out of the woodwork to stand in our way.

Regardless of what the Lord is asking you to do in obedience, how are you responding to the opposition?  Knowing His power to make His will happen is not an invitation to rest.  In fact, it is in these times we need to keep on building with one hand and bracing ourselves for the attacks with the other.  Because when we step out in His name, the attacks will come.

We must guard our hearts, day and night.  (Nehemiah 4:9, NIV)

We must post our defenses in our weakest points, ready to defend, with other followers, with the strength of His word, with the power of the Holy Spirit. (Nehemiah 4:13, NIV)

We continue with our work, defending not out of fear, but out of love.  For as followers, we know we can be secure in His greatness, crying out to Him, “The power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.”  (1 Chronicles 29:11, NIV)

So how will you respond to the opposition in your walk today?  Will you drop your trowel and walk away from the task?  Or will you defend what God has put on your heart to do and brace yourself with Truth?

We’re praying for you, sisters, and we’re by your side, step-by-step and brick-by-brick.  Let’s let no one put an end to the work we are doing for His kingdom.

 

  • shassmom3

    After reading this devotional today I became very frustrated… I have been praying for some time that God would reveal my purpose. Side note (I have also been praying that God would put true Christians into my teen children’s lives…People that would encourage them to have a deeper relationship with God.)

    How can I be obedient if he won’t tell me what I am supposed to be doing. For just a brief second my children needing more God in their lives popped into my head. Thinking that can't possibly be it, they don't listen to me, there friends are more important to them, I wouldn't even know how to go about teaching them….My list of reasons why God wouldn't want me to be the one quickly went through my mind , then I pushed them away!

    I continued to pray and rack my brain about what God wants me to be doing. Thinking it must be something big. Something exciting, maybe even fun! Then I started reading everyone's comments. I came across Sue’s :) entry and realized that he has been telling me all along what he wants me to be doing. Unfortunately, I am the naysayer and doubter in my story :-( Why would God choose me to accomplish this job?

    If this is what God wants me to do then I need to be strong and courageous, and do the work. As David tells Solomon in (1 Chron 28:20) "Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work is finished"

    I have no idea where to start, so I'm going to need all the help I can get from my fellow sisters in Christ. Please pray for me, that God will open my eyes and show me the best way to approach the task he has given me.

  • What a great devotion today (I got a little behind over the weekend:)) I am really enjoying reading Nehemiah with you.

  • Stacy, great points you made. I feel those obstacles in a situation at work. I know i am there to help this one young lady be a better employee, use more discretion in her work and become more mature. But when an issue arises I know I have to say something, it is my moment, and satan makes me weak, and at a loss for words or direction. An hour later, I come up with what would have been the perfect thing to say. At least now I have the clarity to understand why I have been so "speechless" about it. Thanks for your comment.

  • Ellen MR

    Yes! Thank you Sue!!
    What an excellent point! I HAVE been battling Satan for my son, and as you said Stacy- what better way then to raise my girls and son to be good solid Christians?!
    Thanks Ladies!

  • Before I entered into this plan of Nehemiah, I felt God calling me to be his vessel in my small community of family. I had been hoping that it would be bigger plan than ??my family??? But, oh our God surely knows what He is about, and my family truly needs to find their true walk in His grace.

    Imagine my surprise when Nehemiah started pointing to the working on of community,(my family)…I saw God only reinforcing this direct call to me. And greater yet was my surprise when quite literally, in verse 14, Nehemiah states "…Fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes". My heart literally skipped a beat.

    Ladies, there is sooo much wealth in this book of the OT. Our families are under attack. Are we focusing enough on our families? Are we building them within the walls of God, protecting them with His full armour? What a call to arms and prayer.

    Thank you #Srt for this. God is moving within my family, and I know He is great and awesome.

    • Stacy

      This really hit home. I SO want to lead a Bible study in my church or neighborhood. Shhh…that's one of those things I've been trying to keep quiet about (Neh. 2:12). :-)

      But, your comment has really convicted me that I need to make sure I'm fighting for those that God has entrusted to me right within these walls (4 little girls!) That doesn't mean that I will not do something else but that something else will never be "bigger" than raising these girls to be godly, Christ following women of faith.

      Thank you, Sue!

    • shassmom3

      God sent me to your comments to show me that I have been avoiding the task that he has given me. I posted a longer comment explaining my walk with God this morning. Thank you for sharing!

  • "Because when you step out in his name the attacks will come" that right there!!! Last night I shared with a friend I was celibate and she told me how crazy I was and tried to put doubt into my mind but I'm going to keep on because I know what god told me about my further and the plans he has for me! I needed this today it's encouragement!

  • Ellen MR

    Peggy, Thanx too, for all the extra digging and research – it helps! ;)

    • Peggy

      Bless you Ellen! No digging today just yesterday. Today's was just something I enjoyed that God laid before me. It's really all about Him! So you already got the main part. Stand firm sis…you're walking on a Solid Foundation! The Cornerstone is Jesus!

      EnJOY a wonderful SONday!!!
      Peggy

  • Ellen MR

    Diana, I also like your suggestion! And to STAND FIRM!! No matter what. Yay! :)

  • Ellen MR

    Cynthia, love, love, LOVE what you posted!! Gave me goose bumps even! You got it right Sister- it’s not about me, I’m a vessel that hopefully He sees fit to use for HIS glory. And I really need to protect myself from myself! Satan planting those doubts and thoughts of inability or impossibility have got to GO!! I’m like JuneBug and beat myself up better than anyone! And the enemy knows this! I make his job soo easy…
    As Stacy laid it out so clearly- I’ve got to engrave that in my memory and remember that God has this! As always…
    Praying for you Becks. Walk strong forward in faith Sister!
    Thanks Ladies for all the insights . I’m thankful for this community and all the walls being built in it! It’s so wonderful seeing everyone walking in faith, working for His glory!
    Have a beautiful and blessed weekend! :)

  • Julie V.

    I am loving this study. I plan to memorize verse 14 as a type of ‘battle cry’ to remind me during the tough times.

    Thankful for such a great group of women, you guys have the best comments and insights. You made my Saturday so much brighter! ((hugs)))

  • jesusgirl71

    I first read this and thought that I coiuldn't think of a big specific task that was causing me this issue. then, I realized it's not just about that. it is about the little things, the everyday things. Every day, I get at least one customer who drives me nuts and wants to make me lose patience. There is always something the enemy is trying to do to trip me up. and this applies even to those seemingly small situations. We are to focus on God, for he is the all-sufficient one, the One who can give me the strength to perservere, to gain the victory!

  • Opposition, naysayers, doubters and discouragers. No one is better at exposing my weak, hole-y, mangled parts than me. If there is something that I'm especially good at, it's beating myself up before anyone else can. So my first thought after reading today's portion is, shoot!…Why am I not defending my heart and my mind? Why am I not guarding the Word that God has sealed in me? Am I ready to fight for it?

    Thank you for the reminder Cynthia about putting on the armor of God. I have been walking with the Lord for many, many years (despite a few angry years in between) and keep forgetting that I am to wear some armor here on earth. When a little opposition comes my way, I often sow that seed of doubt instead of flicking it away.

    Yes, trouble will come. It's my job to find those weak, breached "walls" of my heart and my mind with an intended purpose. To ask God to help me stand guard and FIGHT to turn those breaches into strong fortresses for His glory. Blessings sisters!

    • Peggy

      Our own worse critic! Yeah…me too JuneBug! Really wonderful personal application! … Thanks for sharing them aloud! Praying that God help you stand and fight as you turn those "breaches" in the walls of your heart and mind "into strong fortresses for His glory" as you daily put on your full armor, stand and be courageous, block those personal thoughts that attack as opposition, naysayer, doubter or discourager as you walk victoriously into where He has purposed and called you. No holding back. No more negative chatter. You are more than able!!! (Eph. 3:20) You are more than a conqueror! (Romans 8:37) Take heart! as Jesus tells us in John 16:33; "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

      Peace in Christ, press on! (Phil. 4:13)
      Peggy

  • scripturesque

    1 Chronicles 29:11 on it's own is amazing but keep reading! Check out the next verse. Together they read like this:

    Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.

    If you ever wonder who is in all, over all, under all, and in control of all, read these words from King David. No matter how we fight and struggle we can't win or lose. It is ALL the LORD

    Much Grace Ladies

  • When we are about our Father's business, the enemy does not like it. Satan is clever, but he isn't creative. He uses the same tactics over and over and we need to be able to recognize them.

    vs. 1 – He will cause people to be angry about what we are doing.
    vs. 1 – He will cause people to jeer. This is a Hebrew word that means to mock, laugh at or ridicule.
    vs. 8 – He will put obstacles in our way in an attempt to make us quit.
    vs. 8 – He is the author of confusion. He will make us question our task, our motives, our abilities, etc.
    vs.10 – He wants us to feel overwhelmed, weak, ill equipped to bear the burden.

    We must recognize Satan and remember the Lord. Satan does not have a single trick in his bag that God has not already defeated.

    • Peggy

      Oh AMEN Stacy! Good insights in each verse! Great combat/tactic words of advice! Thanks for the fantastic reminders that the enemy is defeated! Jesus conquered our foe once and for all now we just need to accept, believe and confess the Truth …Hallelujah! Thanks Stacy!

      • Stacy

        Thanks, Peggy. I have done several of the studies with this group but have never participated in the blog posts/discussions. I am so glad I am this time. What great comments and I so appreciate your spirit and love for the Word. :)

    • Amanda

      Thank you, Stacy. It's always a good time to remember Satan is a defeated foe: that what seems like such large opposition at the time (and maybe it is) can be taken care of by an Almighty God that is immeasurable.

    • Sue:)

      Wow Stacy! This really hit home because when I turned my life over to God last year, I was hit by every single tactic that you have pointed out above. I knew it was all from Satan, but I did not catch the correlation to Nehemiah until you reflected on this now. I am so glad that I kept turning to God who protected me. I really see the connection to the spiritual battleground that Cynthis spoke of, and how it is always being fought.

      Eye opening for me. Thank you, and to our most Holy God who rescued me.

      • Stacy

        I love how you say that Satan kept attacking and you kept turning to God. Too often, we try to fight evil on our own and we fail miserably. We just need to keep turning to God for protection and strength for the day. Love this, my friend.

        So thankful that you turned your life over to Him. I hope you have a great day!

  • Blessed morning to you all,

    God is so timely, and He gave me a God-incidence last night as I searched to listen to "Father, I want You to hold me" by Brian Doerksen and "Refiner's Fire" being that tomorrow is Pentecost SONday! I love both of these songs. But in the following links, Brian is doing and intro to a song and he directs and speaks on (you guessed it) Nehemiah 4:

    Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvd37KZWpVk (3:44 minutes)
    Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26pBfhuVDQ0 (4:00 minutes)

    and a new song from him: TODAY I CHOOSE

    Today I choose to follow You
    Today I choose to give my yes to You
    Today I choose to hear your voice and live
    Today I choose to follow You

    As for me and my house we will serve You
    As for me and my house we will spend our lives on You
    today

    Wonderful counselor, everlasting Father
    Eternal King, Lord of Hosts, willingly we fol low (today)

    Today I choose to follow You
    Today I choose to give my yes to You
    Today I choose to hear your voice and live
    Today I choose to follow You

    LOVE the previous great reflections! Carolynmimi and Cynthia's stood out but everyone is so inspiring and thought provoking.

    LOVE the devo and the chosen verses of Nehemiah 4:9 and 4:13! I too had those highlighted before coming here to read!

    It's hard enough moving forward, stepping out in faith without "the naysayers, the doubters and the discouragers."

    "Don’t think that your enemies are going to stand back and watch you progress. Whenever you do anything to further God’s kingdom, the devil will be waiting for an opportunity to attack you at the point at which you are most vulnerable. Building a wall for the city of Jerusalem was a formidable task. Nehemiah knew it, the people knew it, and his enemies knew it. As the workers laid stone upon stone, their enemies hurled insults at them." ~ from Restart's Nehemiah study Day 9 "Make a concerted effort to focus on the tasks you have at hand and ask God to let you not become distracted by those who are against the work you do for God’s kingdom. Pray: Lord, guard my lips that I will not become embroiled in petty arguments even though my feelings may be hurt. Keep me steadfast in the work You have called me to do.

    Yet we know that we can do all things through Him who strengthens us and they are possible for those who are in Christ Jesus. Let us walk hand in hand. Let us work side by side. Let us encourage one another to press on. For now is the time! for each of us to make a difference!

    Brick by brick … side by side … day by day … step by step. Moment by moment! I choose … (as Brian's song says) and I so needed this and that for the work ahead in God's Kingdom … with you sisters… praying and sending blessings in Christ's love and peace for a wonderful weekend. Put on your full armor and step out in faith!
    Peggy

  • “Keep pressing on, Baby!” <~~~~~~ This is what my Dad says to me every time I'm faced with opposition. And that's what God says to us when the enemy is at our face, throwing his best opposition at us. God tells us to keep pressing on! Because the work of God is filled with so much power and joy that we can't just give up!

    I loved it when Nehemiah in said in the Message version "Don't be afraid of them. Put your minds on the Master". How often do we (I) need to be reminded on this? Don't worry about those other folk who don't believe in you. Keep your mind on God! A situation happened in my life recently in which I was passed up for a promotion at my organization. It hurt me soooo badly! I would be at work miserable and unhappy because I couldn't understand why anyone at my job couldn't see my worth. But through much prayer and quiet times with God, I began to fully see my worth! How magnificent I am! And from reading Nehemiah with SRT, I'm now understanding that my work isn't about me, how much is my salary and benefits package, or how much recognition I receive from my superiors and colleagues. My work is centered in Christ! I put action to my faith, walk in his will and ignore the opposition!

    Have a great Saturday ladies!

    • anngoerz

      Way to go Bianca! I'm sorry for how you felt after not getting the promotion but so glad you are seeing the bigger picture!:)

  • God, please use me to do Your good work, for Your glory + honor.. that i may 'guard my heart and keep on building'.

  • Carolynmimi

    Hear us, our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” (Nehemiah 4:4, 5, 14 NIV)

    First the insults at the very IDEA the people of Jerusalem would even think they could rebuild the wall.  Then, threats of violence as their taunts were rebuffed and there was actual progress and worse than that actual community effort. It is hard to keep a reign of terror over a united front.

    Nehemiah prayed two prayers and I really have to contemplate these a little more to know how and when to incorporate these into my prayer life.

     He prayed that the enemies, naysayers would be punished according to their deeds

    He prayed that their sin would be exposed for what it was.

    And then, posting guards and then families as guards (sort of an early neighborhood watch), the work went on AND he reminded them that weak though they were individually the LORD would fight for them.

    The rubble became a wall and the people became united under God.  The insulters got their just due as their taunts were turned back on them with every section of the wall that was completed.

    Like JuneBug often says, I need to "dig deeper"

  • Ditto what Cynthia and Ingrid said! Thank you so much for your insight and wisdom into these verses! So good today!!! Becks, I am praying for you. Everyone have a great Saturday!

  • The battle is not ours; it belongs to The Lord! DON’T TAKE IT PERSONAL…

    I cannot tell you how many times I have heard these words echoed during these past thirty days (which by the way seems like months). It is easy to get wrapped up in the feelings and emotions of it all and miss the big picture. THIS IS A SPIRITUAL BATTLE AND SOULS ARE AT STAKE!

    Even when it appears physical…it is spiritual. BUT…when we know in our hearts we have heard from God, at all cost we must move forward and trust Him at His Word. That means yes, we are to put on His Armor (for our protection); we are no good for battle if we are defenseless and wounded (or dead). We must also PRAY…if we are not talking to or with God and most importantly listening, where are our orders (voices) coming from?

    How arrogant of me to think for a moment that this was ALL ABOUT ME! Vessels don’t have ideas or plans; they are just available. We are here to be used by God for His glory and His honor. If we are focus on ourselves, we miss the BIG picture!

  • When I first started reading this passage this morning, I wasn't quite sure what it was God was calling me to do and therefore I wasn't sure what the opposition might be. Then, as I was praying – it hit me. There is something He has called me to do, something I really don't want to do and something I know is going to be hard. And there's LOTS of opposition — and my own fear is the biggest. So I ask you for your prayers in my endeavor – pray that God give me the courage and the strength that I need to do what God is calling me to do, and that He give me the strength to carry on in the face of opposition. Lord, help me to remember Nehemiah today. Help me remember that You are behind me no matter what, and together we will get through this.

    Have a blessed Saturday everybody!

    • Carolynmimi

      Praying for you Becks. He will enable and equip you…Guard your heart and keep on building. Pray for others to to make their support known.

    • Diana

      Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13,14.
      Instead of Egyptians I put in there whatever the obstacle is. When the enemy or opposition comes we must STAND FIRM. God bless you in what he's called you to do.

    • Brandi

      "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, Who is great and awesome, and fight . . .". Becks, we, your sisters are standing here beside you, working with one hand and our weapon of prayer in the other. And most importantly, our Father is fighting the battle! I admire you for your obedience! Stand strong sister! Will be praying for you, that the Father will strengthen you for the steps He has asked You to take in faith and that He will magnify and bless your efforts!

    • anngoerz

      Lord Jesus, we pray that you fill Becks with peace in knowing she is following Your will and there is nothing more important. God we pray that you surround her with fellow builders to help her accomplish whatever it is You ask of her and to support her and encourage her. May she be strong and filled with Your Holy Spirit and hedge of protection.

    • Peggy

      Father, We come before You humbly with Becks request for courage and strength from You to carry out what You have placed on her heart to do. We cast off all fear in the Name of Jesus and place Your peace and the Holy Spirit's power around Beck that she may stand strong and do what You are calling her to do. Let this Word from Nehemiah be an encouragement to her. If You are for us, who can be against us. Let Becks have a peace about this calling and be with her in every detail. We come against any opposition knowing that You are her Defender and Advocate when we move out according to Your will and Your purpose for us! Thank You for hearing Becks heart and standing with her no matter what … You are Emmanuel, God with us and she will get through in Jesus Name …

    • LeahTvt

      Praying for you, Becks! God, give Becks the courage and fortitude to do what You’ve called her to do. I pray that You would cover her with Your power and protection. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

    • jesusgirl71

      Praying for you Becks.

  • In this walk with God we will always face opposition, but never forget this he promises he will never leave us neither forsake us.

    Everyday living for Christ is a fight the enemy will whisper sweet lies to you to tell you that you can’t do anything or you are no good, but this i know the God of angels army is always by our sides sisters we are not quiters we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus who strengthens us.

    Nehemiah is a great example he prayed. Prayer is the key for unlocking the door that is before us so the great work and task that is before us can be complete.

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