This blog series is the overflow from our Unruined series at Awaken Church – a study through the book of Nehemiah.
You can read the other Overflow blog posts HERE.
You can watch or listen to the Unruined series on the Awaken teaching archive.
Nehemiah 4 details some of the opposition the Jews faced as they built. As the wall goes up, the enemy throws down. Sanballat and his posse are relentless in their pressure and posture against Nehemiah and the Jews. Nehemiah doesn’t even waste a breath on Sanballat though – he prays, equips the Jews with weapons in addition to their construction tools, and they keep working.
Stack the bricks and slash the enemies!
Halfway through the chapter though, you can tell the pressure is getting to the Jews. They’re starting to question if they can keep going (vs. 10), the enemy is pressing in harder (vs. 11), and even the nearby Jews are telling them to abandon the work (vs. 12). When we obey, opposition will come from every angle.
So, Nehemiah rallied the troops. Literally.
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. – Nehemiah 4:13
Here are a couple key things to do when it comes to battling the enemy…
Identify your weaknesses.
The necessary starting place for finding victory in a spiritual battle is identifying your “lowest parts” and your “open places.” Those are the spots where you are most prone to attack. The areas that are the weakest are often the areas that are breached first. So, you have to work hard to make sure those areas are reinforced.
The challenge with identifying these areas is mainly our pride. We don’t like to admit weakness – to ourselves or anyone else. It turns out, however, that your ego is not your amigo. The first thing you need to do is humbly admit your weakness so you can set up a guard.
Craft a battle plan.
Identifying your lowest parts and open places is a good start, but who cares about that if you don’t guard them? The next important part is crafting a battle plan. You have to put a plan into place so that you’re ready when attack comes (as it will). Don’t wait to plan until you’re in the middle of the battle and the pressure is on.
If you haven’t developed a plan for sexual purity, if you end up in the backseat of a car with your girlfriend on your lap, it’s going to be very challenging to get out of there without regrets.
When someone hands you a drink at a party, it’s a little late to form a productive battle plan. At that point, you should just run!
Don’t fight alone.
Nehemiah kept the guy with the trumpet near him. He wanted control of the brass section so he could rally everyone together.
In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us. – Nehemiah 4:20
Fighting a battle alone never worked well for anyone, and it won’t work well for you either. Be strategic in the timing and way you will call others to help in the battle. Whether it’s a phone call, text message, internet accountability, or a group where you meet with others, you need a rally point. It’s in those times and places where we allow ourselves to be vulnerable with others and open to accountability that “Our God will fight for us!” We are better together. Don’t fight alone.