My friends, thank you for taking this journey with me through the book of Nehemiah and praying through these valuable Scriptures that God wants us to see and understand. I wish I could completely explain what I sense from God's heart for us, the SUMites. The way this community has grown and come together is no accident. God has been intentionally moving here to bring us forward in His plan for the Great Harvest.
I want to clarify about the walls in this series, because a couple people have asked for clarification and that's important. I so appreciate their willingness to ask as it helps me see if I've not explained something as well as I'd hoped. There so much going on and around us, I can barely keep up let alone get it down to words!
In the book of Nehemiah, the walls were for protection, to bring unity and restore the purpose and place of the Israelites as God's people. The walls were to establish boundaries and for protection. Good walls! God wants us to be ready and strong, my friends. Lynn and I have both written in recent weeks how we have sense that God is going to use us in crucial ways to bring many to Christ. As the SUMites we have a unique skill set and God is going to use it, but we have to be ready first. We have to repair, rebuild and "shore up" those broken and weak places in our faith, our beliefs and our marriages.
I kind of think of it as something like this. The enemy has hit us hard, especially recently. There are cracks and breaks in our faith walls and our armor. We can't just toss a prayer here and there and hope it fills the gaps as if we were just tossing handfuls of cement at a broken wall, hoping they would land where they needed to and create a new structure. God wants us to be intentional as we stand strong and firm, and rebuild and repair. Then we are strong in Him and protected as He calls us to where He wants us to serve. It's hard to serve Him confidently when we are vulnerable to the enemies attacks, and one way I have found that enemy works is to bring such chaos into our lives that we even our prayer lives begin to feel chaotic and ineffective. THAT is what we are re-establishing!
So let's continue shoring up our walls, SUMites! If you haven't read part one yet, scroll down and then come back and read part two.
then I stationed men in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, the exposed places, and I stationed the people in families with their swords, spears and bows. — Nehemiah 4:13
When our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work. From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows and the breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah. Nehemiah 4:15-16Lord, thank you for frustrating the plans of the enemy. Show us the exposed places in our marriages, in our lives and in our hearts. Holy Spirit, help us don our armor—belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, sword of the spirit, helmet of salvation, and establish our feet in the Truth. Lord, we will stand firm in You. Restore and establish the territory of our marriages and family. And we boldly ask for the new territories you have waiting for us.
At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” — Nehemiah 4:20
For all of them were trying to frighten us, thinking, “ They will become discouraged with the work and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands. — Nehemiah 6:9Abba, thank You that the enemy's attempts to make us fearful and discouraged will fail. Strengthen our hands, our hearts and our spirits for the work to be done. Thank You for fighting for us! We claim every victory now and praise You for each and every one.
Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” — Nehemiah 8:10Great joy, great strength! Pour out Your Spirit over us for this is the time of the Lord's victory. King Jesus, You are our joy! Such powerful and amazing joy! All praise and glory go to You!
The entire assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in them. The sons of Israel had indeed not done so from the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day. And there was great rejoicing. — Nehemiah 8:17Abba, we declare and claim our time of rejoicing, because You are good and faithful. All that You have promised and said You will do, we believe, Lord, we believe! Your are good, faithful and true to all Your promises.
While they stood in their place, they read from the book of the law of the Lord their God for a fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God. — Nehemiah 9:3
Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah, said, “Arise, bless the Lord your God forever and ever! O may Your glorious name be blessed and exalted above all blessing and praise! — Nehemiah 9:5Your name be praised, Lord! Forever and ever. For You are holy and glorious and worthy of all our praise and blessings. We bless You, Lord! This is our great honor and blessing—to love and worship You!
“You provided bread from heaven for them for their hunger, You brought forth water from a rock for them for their thirst, And You told them to enter in order to possess The land which You swore to give them." — Nehemiah 9:15Lord, You are faithful and You keep Your promises. Thank You for Your provision for us, thank You for taking care of us. You see our needs, every one of them. You are righteous and so faithful. We are overwhelmed by Your passion for us! Overwhelming passion, a holy and righteous anger for us, Your children. We are not forgotten! You see us, everyone of us! We step forward in trust and faith into the places You have promised us. Abba, continue to grow a hunger in us for You. Help us to understand where You are asking us to go and help us to be faithful and obedient.
My friends, I hope you are seeing the promises here. Yes, we are in a battle but God is fighting for us! He is giving us such joy for strength. He intends for us to rejoice in our victory because He has ordained that we will succeed wherever He is calling us. And we will be fully equipped as we intentionally do our part to pray and stand firm.
I will stop here and finish this on Monday (be sure to come back tomorrow for weekend worship though!). Oh my friends, God’s mercies are new each morning and His promises are forever and for us!
Lord, we claim every promise You are giving us! Thank you for your great faithfulness. We love you!
I love you all so much, my dear friends! So very, very much! And I am praying and rooting for you! Let's share our prayers and hearts in the comments.