Opposition: Pray—and Post a Guard

Big.

Intimidating.

Protective.

Delivery men step back when they come to my door. I bought Valor because I’m home alone. A lot. At 5’5”, I’m defenseless against the average male. Valor gives me leverage.

Jerusalem experienced defenseless too. Babylon destroyed the city. Though many Jews returned to their homeland, Jerusalem’s walls lay in ruins, leaving the city open to attack. Nehemiah’s job? Rebuild the walls. However, not everyone wanted those walls rebuilt. 

Here’s the scene:

When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, . . . But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. Nehemiah 4:1-2, 7-8 NIV [Emphasis mine.]

Nehemiah’s foes trash talked, then ratcheted up their psychological attack with fear and intimidation. Note how Nehemiah handled his enemies:

1. Nehemiah was aware of his opposition. 

 “Hear us, our God, for we are despised.” Nehemiah 4:4a

The enemy targets you, your marriage, your family, and your ministry. Have you noticed that every time you try to do something as a family, the kids act up? Or you and your spouse plan time together, but you’re constantly interrupted? Coincidence? No. 

2. Nehemiah expected an attack. 

So Nehemiah prepared. 

“But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.” Nehemiah 4:9

His people were armed, vigilant, and ready 24/7. 

3. Nehemiah had an answer for his opponents. The armor and weaponry weren’t for show. He and his men prepared to fight. 

“Therefore, I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows . . . and said . . . ‘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’ . . . Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me (Nehemiah 4:13-14, 17-18).

Nehemiah never stopped working—and he kept the guards in place until they finished the job. 

Negativity. 

Discouragement. 

Thoughts that things will never change. 

A critical spirit. 

Fear. 

I face these opponents. Too often I pray and cross my fingers that God will take care of them for me.

Instead, He tells me to get to it. To test negative thoughts and deny them access. I need to be my own spiritual guard dog. When thoughts of discouragement come to the door, they need to step back when they see me. God calls me to be vigilant, armed, and ready to fight.

How about you? What’s your mission? (Marriage and family are mission enough. Don’t discount these areas of ministry.) Have you posted a guard?  Is your family or ministry armed with God’s Word, with godly character, and with strong leadership (yours)? Are you prepared to fight? To deal with thoughts and attitudes that bring negativity and death? 

Pray—then post a guard. 

Workout of the Week: Pray and Post a Guard

Memory Verse: “But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.” Nehemiah 4:9

Meditation Passage: Nehemiah 4

Do It: Be your own guard dog.