Restoration brings opposition. At the very onset of a vision to rebuild, to heal, to bridge gaps, to forgive, the enemy brings opposition. We must fight for victory.
The enemy is not creative in his attacks but he is particular to each individual. Fortunately, we can see his methods and strategies in the Word and then have a defense against him. In order to have a defense against the enemy, we must accept the truth that there is an enemy to fight. The truth is, if the enemy has a strategy against us then we can form a strategy against him. I'm not good at watering things down, so I'll just tell you that this enemy isn't merciful. He wants to kill you before he runs out of time. This is why community is so vital in our walk with God. Joining arms with believers forms a wall of prayer--a shield of faith--that the enemy can't just walk through.
The first form of opposition Nehemiah faced was ridicule. We often experience this through other people who say we can't do what our hearts are set on. Sometimes the enemy ridicules us through our own insecurities and thoughts. Nehemiah immediately prayed. He knew that this dream came from God and God would make it possible. So the Jews prayed and then they built the wall, divinely moving in God's grace and strength.
Having a mind to work, a mind to build, gave the Jews divine grace to continue in the way God was leading them. No ridicule could dishearten them because they had confidence in their God.
Then the enemy threatened to attack and confuse Jerusalem. Confusion is a deadly virus that starts small and then spreads out, doing most of the work for the enemy. Often when confusion breeds, if believers aren't grounded, it attacks weak spots and turns people on each other. Again, the first thing Nehemiah did was pray! He and the people got on their knees and prayed. Getting rooted in God's word is the best thing you can do because He never lies and He is not the author of confusion. If you're in a confusing season, you're probably not connected to the heart and mind of God. Take a step back and ask Him for truth and clarity.
He brings clarity, exposes the lies, extinguishes fear, cuts out pride, gives us endurance. It's amazing how clearly we see when He brings us above the chaos of the storm and onto the mountaintop.
Then Nehemiah set up a watch day and night. Don't just leave it all up to your prayers--take action! Be vigilant, be watchful; because in a moment of discouragement the enemy will try to take opportunity.
The people were growing weary and tired. The wall was such a mess that they felt unable to build. Ever feel like you're sifting through layers and layers of junk? It can be overwhelming. Sometimes we start strong and feel like nothing can stop us. Then after digging down a few feet we realize we've barely scratched the surface. This is where you must lean on God and lean on your fellow comrades. Stay with it. Take a deep breath and keep at it.
Do not grow weary in doing good, because at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not lose heart [Galatians 6:9].
But if you give up, that harvest will never come and the enemy will knock you out. Let God finish what He's started--what you have started. The harvest will be so worth it when you look back at all the fruit that's come from it; and you will have no regrets for digging in your heels and staying with it.
The people took action against the enemy and Nehemiah reminded them how great and awesome our God is! He reminded them that they had something to fight for. This dream, this wall, this city, this temple wasn't just for them. It was for their families, for future generations. Because the people took action, the enemy didn't get to advance. The enemy's plan was thwarted. God reveals plans of the enemy and thwarts them when we come to Him. Even so, the Jews didn't lower their guard. They kept their weapons on them as they built. They continued faithfully, knowing this:
Our God will fight for us.
Our enemy is very real. He does prowl about like a roaring lion. But remember that God is greater, He has all power, all dominion, all authority, and He fights for us. If He tells us to do something, He will provide the grace and strength to do it. It's our responsibility to be alert, watchful and prayerful. We get to build the dream. If we endure and don't give up, it will be greater than we ever imagined. Fight for victory and watch God take you to greater lengths than you thought possible.