READ Nehemiah 4:11-23
Now that the rubble was removed, Nehemiah had to face another threat. He had received warnings on 10 separate occasions that the enemy was preparing to take Jerusalem, and kill those inside the city. The people could no longer bury their heads in the sand. In the middle of a massive building project, they now had to prepare for battle. You see building and battling are not 2 separate entities. When it comes to God’s kingdom, the 2 go hand in hand. Just like Nehemiah’s day we must learn to build with one hand and hold a weapon in the other. The enemy is never content to see us take ground, so he will fight to take it back. We cannot rest on our laurels but must enter each day prepared to fight to maintain the ground God has given us. If we have conquered fear, we must fight to keep it at bay, if the battle with addiction has been won we must be on our guard not to lose that ground again, if our family is being pieced back together we must arm ourselves to defend it. We must build with one hand and fight with the other.
But Nehemiah had another problem; the workers on the wall were spread out. The enemy could attack anywhere around the perimeter and if the people there didn’t have reinforcements they would be swallowed up. So Nehemiah employed a trumpeter. Everyone knew a trumpet sound meant an enemy attack. Everyone would run to the alarm to fight alongside their brothers. Nehemiah knew that no one wins the battle against the enemy alone. We need to know that too. That is why Satan works so hard to isolate us, to get us offended in church so we walk away from the fold. He knows that alone we are easy pickings. If we want to keep the ground Jesus has helped us take we must dedicate ourselves to community, because while the church family is not perfect, it is vital to our survival. Hear the trumpet call? It’s time to gather.
Lord help me to hold the ground you have given me and teach me to follow your call to community regardless of the enemy’s tactics. Amen.