But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night.
13 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. 14 When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.”
17 Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon.
Examine / Explain
The opposition hated what was happening in Jerusalem. The local power did not want the walls rebuilt and ridiculed the builders. Then, to stop the rebuilding, they would attack the workers. But the workers prayed and set up defenses against attacks. Those who bore the burden of guarding also had the burden of building. So they built while holding weapons. And listen for a rally of support while doing it.
How do I apply this to my life?
Pray and action! When I pray about opposition in my life, do I wait for God to get me out of the discomfort? Or do I have plans that fall within His nature? The people rebuilding the wall prayed for protection from the attackers but took steps to protect themselves. Even in the protection, there was still fear, and they had to be reminded that God answers prayers. Keep fighting! Keep building! We are in a fight to protect our countrymen, our history, our people, and our families. Lastly, they worried about the physical side of their homes. Do I pray for my countrymen? Do I pray for my brothers in Christ? Am I building up relational equity while holding the sword of the spirit in my hand? How are we handling the opposition of the fight to be a Godly man in our culture? Are we seeking God for protection or to get out of the discomfort? Are we bearing the burden to build for our brothers and our families while fighting the enemy? Am I being passive on my watch to protect my brothers? Am I being passive in protecting my spouse? Am I being passive in protecting my children, hoping that the “church” will teach them how to live a Godly life? We must take action and pray. Is God capable of removing all opposition and keeping us safe? But then, what are we doing here? Those are the days of eternity. We have a part in play in the fight. We love others! Seek and save the lost. Build and encourage the found. What am I doing? Am I completing my assignment in this battle? Have I gotten distracted or off course?
What is my response?
Father, help me with my passivity. Help me with the battle for my brothers, family, wife, and home. Teach me to use what you have equipped me with in this world. Let me make decisions that are God-centered and bring you glory. Cut off the pieces of me that lead me away from You. Teach my flesh to obey You! Help me surrender to Your calling and let me thrive in my assignment! Let me reach those who I can reach for You. Allow me to stir the souls of men that the Holy Spirit has prompted for stirring. Allow me to be in the lives of those who need to become self-aware. And give me the strength and endurance to sit with those who need you but run from You. Life is messy, and some think they have a relationship with You and are really playing pretend. My heart is broken for these. I pray that I reach some of these men and let them know that Jesus is more significant than anything we think we need for comfort on this earth. Allow me to work on my assignment. Amen.