When the Exposed is Opposed
“But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves.” -- Nehemiah 4:9
When your heart is exposed, the work to rebuild it will often be opposed. That area the Lord revealed to you that He wants to change? That part of your heart that He wants to restore? Oh, and that sin He desires to eradicate? Expect confrontation from the Enemy.
Similar threats emerged against Nehemiah and his team as they rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem. A wall created identity and provided security from potential invaders. No wall, no protection. Thus, the mission was straightforward: rebuild the wall. The team was focused and “worked with enthusiasm” (Nehemiah 4:6). Momentum amounted as the wall reached half its height.
Then the enemies’ shouts rushed in. The taunts instilled fear and doubt: “What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day by just offering a few sacrifices? Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap—and charred ones at that?” -- (Nehemiah 4:2)
In the most critical moment, here’s what we learn as competitors, teammates in Christ from Nehemiah's response:
Close the Gap
Rebuilding required closed gaps. No breaches, no holes, no cracks. Whole and fortified. Nehemiah needed to identify exposed areas because the wall’s lowest points were most susceptible to ambush. To defend those areas, he stationed specific people to be on high alert.
The same is true for your heart. God desires integrated hearts that are whole and holy, for this is the journey of transformation to look more like Him. Exposure will come–but it’s a good thing. God longs to build these areas stronger. He wants to close the gaps. When we set our heart on God, our mental game and drive for victory follows.
Clear the Rubble
The enemies’ smack-talk caused the workers to question whether the project was worth it. Here’s the complaint: “’The workers are getting tired, and there is so much rubble to be moved. We will never be able to build the wall by ourselves,’” (Neh. 4:9). Rubble ruined momentum. The wonder of the new wall–and all that God was doing–was thwarted because eyes shifted from the future wall to the past rubble. Discouragement and doubt paralyzed progress.
Where do you stare? Does God’s work in your life come to a halt because of past losses, regret and shame? You can never out-sin His grace. He wants to clear the rubble. Think of God as a re-do play, when a distinct call can't be determined. He gives us a second chance.
Carry the Weapon
Nehemiah wasn’t naïve. His builders carried materials in one hand and swords in the other. They carried weapons to guard against sudden attack and resolved to stay prepared so that their enemies could not interfere with the rebuild.
Whatever you face today, know that God gives you access and authority to a spiritual arsenal for your fight against the Enemy. He wants to equip you.
Let Nehemiah’s commission to his team be your rally cry to close the gap, clear the rubble and carry the weapon: “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!” (Neh. 4:14).
Build and be ready to fight. Be ready to compete by leaning and learning from the Best Coach.
- Which lies hinder God’s work in your heart?
- Which area do you often neglect–closing the gap, clearing the rubble or carrying the weapon?
“Father, I give you my battles. Above all, I give you my heart. Show me how to close the gaps, clear the rubble, and carry the weapons that You provide.”