Focus Nehemiah 6:1-19
The revival of a church is not easy. That should not surprise us for some of the best things in life are not easy. You want a baby. Are you willing to put up with morning sickness, 2 AM feedings, and three-year-old temper tantrums? You want to be in business or be a lawyer or doctor. Are you ready for four to eight years of college and a large student loan? Is the dream worth it? A lot of people want a great church, but they want others to do the work. My question is how much do you want a great church? God wants it and will work miracles to have a healthy church. Nehemiah will show us how to prepare for revival with a few items from his revival boot camp.
It is about focus, not compromise v. 3 The wall is up, and all that has to be done is to get the gates in place. At this point, the enemies of Israel offer to help and want Nehemiah to stop the work and meet with them. Nehemiah sees through them. He knows they want to harm him and stop the work. Nehemiah has focus. God has called him to build the wall, and he will not let anything stop him.
You need to listen to God, not the naysayers v. 6 Slander is a favorite tactic of Satan. The enemies of the Jews slandered Nehemiah in an open letter. They accused him of building the wall for his own advancement. Nehemiah responded with the truth about his motives and with a trust in the Lord. He placed his enemies in God’s hands rather than bothering to reason with them.
You will find that faith, not fear overcomes failure v.11 One of Satan’s greatest weapons is fear. The enemies of the Jews hired a prophet to try to convince Nehemiah that his life was in danger. Nehemiah should stop the project and hide in the temple with the prophet. Nehemiah countered fear with faith and would not commit the sin of entering the Holy Place to save himself.
Never let your guard down v. 18 It is possible to fail even when you have reached your goal. The wall and gates were up, but Satan was not done. He was ready to defeat the Jews even as they were celebrating. Spies reported everything to Tobiah so that this enemy could plan his next move and intimidate Nehemiah or cause the people to stumble.
Revival is not doing right things, but being right with God v.9 It would be tempting to try and find the steps to building a church in the pages of Nehemiah. If we look for a method, we miss the point of Nehemiah’s experience. Success came from being right people not right things. Nehemiah was connected to God and knew his Bible. Nehemiah knew his God and trusted God fully to provide what he needed. If any church is going to have revival, we will need to be right people. We will need to be people of the book like we have never been before. Nehemiah succeeded because he was devoted to God, and the people saw what they were doing as important.