Monday, October 18, 2010

Fight! But be sure to fight "for" and not "against"...

A note to a friend:

These were MY "hope" Scriptures that I pondered on yesterday. God IS our Hope!!!! Nothing or nobody else is worth hoping in!!! Especially not ourselves."Guide me in Your truth and teach me,
for You are God
my Savior,
and my hope is in You
all day long."
Psalm 25:5

"May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope is in You."
Psalm 25:21

"Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the LORD."
Psalm 31:24

"We wait in hope for the LORD;
He is our help and our shield."
Psalm 33:20

"But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in You."
Psalm 39:7
"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from Him."

Psalm 62:5

Psalm 130:5
"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in His word I put my hope."

    What do people do ... the ones whose hope is not in Him?  In God?  Don't forget the battle that rages around you in your marriage is Satan's attempt to deture you.  Shall I remind you of Satan's schemes ... and where he often chooses to wield and slash his sword? The thing that is often his biggest aim at destroying? Marriages!  For with it, he takes families!  Peace.  Happiness. Security.  Our Homes was held in love and united now torn in two.

    Shall I share with you a story in Scripture that I feel relates to what is happening in your world, and add my insights along the way?   I'll put God's Words in blue, and my feeble thoughts will be colored in pink.

Nehemiah 4

"1 When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, 2 and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, "What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?""

     He ridicules us in his fury at our attempts to overcome evil with good. And in the presence of his evil men and his army he makes fun of us as he says, "What is this feeble man doing? Will he restore his walls? Will he offer sacrifices? Will he finish in a day? Can he really think that he can bring the stones back to life from the heaps of rubble in his home?" .... And he tries to weary us and overwhelm us and defeat us in our work! He makes fun of our efforts to break us, and he mocks us to crush us and to devastate all that we had hoped and planned to do.  He magnifies to us the "rubble" that we've not yet been able to clean-up ..... so that we'll give up defeated at the magnitude of all there is to do.

    So here in these Scriptures, Nehemiah hears Sanballat and what he is saying and he cries out to the LORD [who IS his HOPE and our Help!!!!]. And he continues in the rebuilding of the walls that had previously been torn down to its rubble.  Yet, do we dare think that Sanballat [or Satan] would give up so easily?  Listen to his next move ...
after he's gathered all of his "associates" and his "army" around him to work against Nehemiah with him:
    When God works so many mighty miracles in our lives ... to help us out of the pits that we've lived in for so long, to help us bring order to the chaos that we've made our lives into, to woo us closer to Him to listen for and to hear His voice ... and to change our want to His will over our own. When He helps us in "rebuilding the walls," so to speak, Satan becomes very angry and greatly incensed. The KJV says, "he was wroth and took great indignation," ... and so he "mocked!"  

"7 But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem's walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed,
they were very angry.
8 They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem [me/you]
and stir up trouble against it.
But we prayed to our God
and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat."

    The enemy has gather his forces .... and has become VERY ANGRY at the gaps that were being closed!!!!  Can't you see Satan's fury at the gaps you've closed in your own life?  Can't you see his fury in your remarrying your ex-wife after his victory in your first breakup? Can't you see his rage!!!! ... He is "very angry" ... so "they all plotted together to come and fight against ______ and stir up trouble against it."  Do you see his schemes?

    But Nehemiah?  Again, what did he do?  "But [he] prayed to his God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat."  Day and night!  Day and night, did you notice?  It's a WAR!  In the daytime and the nightime!   It's a day and night, and night and day, and day and night kind of battle!!!!! Because Satan doesn't stop in a day.  Satan doesn't doesn't stop because it's bedtime! 

10 Meanwhile, the people in Judah said,
"The strength of the laborers is giving out,
and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall."

    Do you often feel that your strength giving out????  Totally giving up????   Do you ever feel that there is SO MUCH rubble [debris, ruin, wreckage] that you can't rebuild the wall?  Do you ever think that there's no way?!!!!   Does the rubble ever paralyze you because of it's overwhelming mess - that looks impossible to clean up and heal and repair?  Does it ever seem so overwhelming that it appears that it cannot be done? ... so you want to leave it's mess, and move from it's chaos ..... And while we are in our despair, our enemy continues:

11 Also our enemies said, "Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work."

    In our overwhelming state ... our enemies continue to connive: "Before they know it ... or see us ... we will be right there among them ... and will kill them ... and put an end to the work." ......... Can you see his ugliness?!!!! and his relentless evil to kill us ... and our marriages, and our families, and the walls we mean to repair and rebuild?!!!~~ before we even recognize it or see it coming?   Before we even recognize who our enemy really is?   He says: before they even know it!! ... before they even see me!!!! ... i'll be right there!!!! ... and i'll kill 'em!!!!! ... and i'll put an end to their work!!!!!  Have you had "a work" going on for years, been working on your marriage for years(!), and now he's so close, and his plan is to put AN END TO IT (!!!), once and for all?

12 Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, "Wherever you turn, they will attack us."

    "Wherever you turn ... they will attack us."  Everywhere we look:  at each avenue, at each curve, at each turn, at each stop, at each go .. with every step, in every word, when we get up in the morning, when we leave for work, when we come home, when we lay down, when we sit up, ... while I'm eating, while I'm brushing my teeth, while I'm watching TV, when I'm mowing the lawn .... every move we make, every breath we take ... the enemy seems to be attacking us!!!!!! ... and we get tired!!!! ... and he means for us to!

13 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. 14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "Don't be afraid of them.  Remember the Lord,  Who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."

    So Nehemiah did what you did on Sunday as you requested for the prayers from your brothers for their help in the battle that you find yourself in.  He "stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall ... at the exposed places" ..... "with their swords," and their spears and their bows!!!!  And as he himself looked things over,  and he stood up and said ... "Don't be afraid of them!!!!  REMEMBER the LORD, WHO IS Great and Awesome!!! ... and FIGHT FOR : your brothers ... and your sons ... and your daughters ... and your wives ... and your homes!!!!"  For these things are worth fighting for!!!!!!!!!!! ... and it's what the enemy has his sights on to kill, and to steal and to destroy!!!!  We must fight for our brothers, and our sons, and our daughters, and our wives, and our homes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  For if we don't fight, we won't win,  but he will.... and it's his hope to.

15 When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work.

 I like this verse, for it gives me the "hope" that I need to continue when I think that I can't. Because it comes a time will the enemy will be "frustrated" at God's plan, and the work He has in it ... and he'll "leave us for a more opportune time," as he did Jesus after His temptation in the desert.  And it's our job to "return to the work on the wall" that we're suppose to do!

16 From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah 17 who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 18 and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked."

  And we continue our "work" ... with our weapon in one hand and our swords at our sides as we do! The Hebrew's definition of 'labor' here is: "properly deputyship, that is, ministry;  generally employment (never servile) or work; also property (as the result of labor)."  Ministry!!! It's our ministry!!  the work we're called to do!!!!  And "properly as the result of labor" .... that's an interesting definition.  We must work for OUR PROPERTY!!!!!'s the result of our labor.  Indeed, we must work for our property,  as Satan attempts to steal what belongs to us!!!  Need I remind you what that property is that belongs to us that we are laboring for: "your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."  You've gotta fight, because Satan also fights for them!

19 Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!"

21 So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. 22 At that time I also said to the people, "Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and workmen by day." 23 Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water."

    And isn't that what you email so often in your Scripture for the day? .... warning for us to never leave home without our armor!!!!  Never start the day without clothing ourselves with the protection that God has provided for us!!!!  Never going out without our weapon! ... "even when we go for water." ....... Even when drinking from the well of the Living Water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We must never be unequipped!!!  We must never let our guard down, day or night ... for the enemy watches and rages and seeks to tear down our walls ... or keep us from rebuilding them.  But "Our God will fight for us!!!!!!!!" ... and our HOPE is in Him!!!!!!!!! I love Him so!!!!!!!

    I'll close with that second verse in Jeremiah 2 that has Sanballat mockingly asking:  "Will they restore their wall?  Will they offer sacrifices?" ... And today I ask in all sincerity and hopefulness:  Will you?  And note the costly part,  restoring the wall will take SACRIFICES!  Are you willing to sacrifice??? And if you're not,  what will it cost you?  What will it cost your wife?  What will it cost your brothers?  What will it cost your children?  What will it cost theirs?   ""Will they restore their wall?  Will they offer sacrifices?  Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble?""  Sure you can!  God is the giver of life,  Jesus the carpenter!  YOU the sacrifice!!!!!!!!!
    We'll still have the "work" to do.  Work as in labor [employment, job, vocation, occupation] that uses all of our energy!  Still others around us helping us, equipped with their spears and shield and bows and armor! 

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