Rebuilding the Wall (Surveying the Wall)
Handout: Rebuilding the Wall
Teacher's Guide: Rebuilding the Wall
This week we continue in our series study in the book of Nehemiah. We have been looking at the life of God’s servant Nehemiah and the purpose and plan God had for his life to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. As we look at this event in history, we have been seeing the spiritual parallel for rebuilding a fortress wall around our lives because we who have been born into the family of God through Christ, we are the temple of God’s indwelling Holy Spirit. We must have these walls to keep Satan from overtaking us and to prevent this opposition from becoming oppression. We are no longer slaves to sin, but we must keep our walls of faith strong so that we can live in victory. The book of Nehemiah is a wonderful guideline in showing us just how we should go about rebuilding these walls and keeping them strong. Come with me as we venture in further and take the next steps in building or rebuilding the wall.
In the first part of our series, we learned that God has placed it upon Nehemiah’s heart to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem that had been burned when the city was overtaken many years before and the people of Israel were taken captive to Babylon. The exiles had returned to Jerusalem many years prior, but they had not rebuilt the walls around the city that would protect them against their enemies. Nehemiah, who was living in Babylon and working for the King there, heard of this and God impressed upon his heart to do something about it. We learned that Nehemiah began to cry out to God about this matter and seek Him about the steps he needed to take to complete this task. For four months this was on Nehemiah’s heart as he prayed to God and fasted about this burden for rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls. Finally the time came and God began opening the doors for Nehemiah to being his work.
4Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.6And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
7Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;8And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.9Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.
We learned that when we seek God, He will begin to move in a mighty way and open the doors and give us the tools we need to begin to step into the plan and purpose He has for our lives. The same steps Nehemiah took in Rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls, we can take in rebuilding our spiritual walls.
Step 1 was: Recognizing the Need
Step 2 was: Facing the Challenge
Now we will look at the next step in this process and that is,
Step 3: Surveying the Wall
11So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.12And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.13And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.14Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king's pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.15Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.16And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.
Nehemiah knew that if they were going to rebuild the wall, they would first have to survey the damage to see just how much work needed to be done and the condition of the wall that had been there before. Nehemiah was very wise. He did not shout out his plans to everyone around him in hopes to gain a name for himself. Instead he kept it in his heart what God was calling him to do for Jerusalem until the time was right for him to tell of his plan. He went by night and began to survey the damage so that he would know what steps he would need to take and come up with a wise strategy before he talked with the people that lived in Jerusalem about the task at hand. He knew that God was with him and that God was calling him for this purpose and that God would show him what to do next. He knew that he must first survey the wall and then God would help him come up with a plan of action in order to complete the work.
Just as God was with Nehemiah, guiding his steps in rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls, He is with each one of us as His children. He has called every one who belongs to Him through Christ to rise up and be wise and to have Spiritual walls around this temple.
He has called us to build these strong walls so that we can live a life of victory against Satan, our adversary, the thief that comes to destroy. It is not the will of God that we be oppressed by sin and death! He has called us into new life, eternal life, an abundant life!
John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundtantly.”
We cannot live an abundant life for Christ if we allow Satan to come in and take over our minds and make us slaves to sin. We can have a life of victory by walking in the Spirit. We learned in the first lesson of this series that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”
Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
We cannot do this alone! We must allow God to do this in us. He has begun a work in each and every child of God that will be completed. We must be a faithful and willing servant and surrender to His hand and allow Him to create in us a pure heart and a heart to serve Him and obey His ways.
Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O GOD; and renew a right Spirit within me.”
Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of JESUS CHRIST.”
Like Nehemiah we must survey the walls. We must begin to take a very close and honest look at our own lives and see the weak areas in which the enemy continues to attack. Those are the area where he can get us every time if we do not take surveillance and allow God to build up strong walls around those areas so that we are not vulnerable to oppression and strongholds of sin in those areas. We must not ignore these weak places for fear that will seem bad. We must look closely at those weak areas and know that Satan WILL NOT IGNORE THEM! In fact, he surveys our walls very closely so that he knows what areas he can sneak in and attack!
Revelation 3:2 “2Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.”
The exiles in Nehemiah’s day had come back to Jerusalem and met with opposition and had just stopped the rebuilding. They risked everyday attacks from enemies and that meant risking being enslaved once again at any time.
We risk the same things when we do not have spiritual strong walls. We must survey the walls so that we can strengthen the things that remain, so that we can make strong those weak places so that the opposition cannot enslave us into oppression. Notice with me Luke 14.
“27And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?”
In doing this series, God is teaching me to survey my own wall and seek those areas in which the enemy attacks in my life. I urge each and every one of you reading this now, and those who may be listening to a teacher who is teaching this very lesson, seek those weak areas, know that God already sees our weaknesses and that He can strengthen them if we will ask Him to reveal them to us and if we will allow Him to shed light on those places. Do not be afraid or ashamed to allow God to know all those secret places that you feel guilty about, because if you do not allow Him to shed light on those areas because you are ashamed, then you are giving the devil something to use against you and he will gladly use those things to hurt you. Let God heal and forgive all of those hidden places in your heart and mind. When we see what is lacking, we can begin to cry out to God to strengthen those things which lie in ruins and to build up those weak things so that we can be strong against the attacks of Satan. Strengthen the things that remain. We will always have this fleshly nature as long as we are living on the planet earth as we know it today, but we can through the power of Christ in us, crucify this flesh and walk in the Spirit and live a life victorious just as He planned it for us.
I encourage you to take time starting now, take several days to just reflect on the areas of your life in which you are having the most struggle in your own flesh, and know that God wants to strengthen you. Ask Him to help you to survey your wall and to show you the areas that need to be rebuilt. God will be with you and you will be blessed and His heart will be blessed and you can continue living for His glory so that you can bring others to Him through Christ!
Dear Righteous, Holy Father,
Thank You for Your love and mercy that is always there for us. Lord today I come to You asking You to help us survey our walls and asking You to shed light on the weak areas that we have so that we can seek You and allow You to strengthen those things that satan desires to use against us. Lord help us to be courageous and wise so that we can live a life abundant for Your glory and Honor. Thank You for all the blessings You give to us everyday. We will always love and praise You, In Jesus Name we pray, Amen. Thank You LORD.
GOD Bless you all…Happy New Year!
June 8, 2014