Starting the application process..

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the message blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study!

Over our Nehemiah study, where we’ve chatted about overcoming people approval, the importance of gates , what do do when attacked,  when you are weary on the wall, getting back to work on the wall, the enemy within and how to confront him. Nehemiah also walked us through how he led/governed (with the help of the Lord) the people, versus bossing/managing the people, which motivated them finish the work triumphantly!

While this project is complete, there are some other very important learning points (like gatekeeping from our chapter 7 lesson) in the remainder of the chapters in Nehemiah. Let’s take a look at Nehemiah 8:1-12 and explore how we want to prepare, take in and apply God’s Word.

Scene: After the wall was up,  the enemies were out of sight and now the people were gathered together at the water gate to hear the Word of God. If you recall in our Nehemiah 3 study, we talked about how the water gate represented the Word of God and how it’s reflected in our lives. We should continue to wash ourselves in the Word to stay clean.  Psalm 119:9 backs this up by asking the question “How do we cleanse our way? by taking heed to thy word.”

v2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men, women and all who could hear with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month.

v3 Then he read from it, in front of the open square which was in front of the Water Gate, from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and women, those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.

Application point 1: There were no comfy chairs, air conditioning, kids church, lounge area or anything to make hearing the Word more comfortable, yet they listened with understanding and were attentive (there is NOTHING wrong with any of these things, mind you). The point is, since we have these things, are they helping us pay attention to the Word?

If we had to recall the entire message we hear on Sunday, would we be able to? What about what we just read? What Word did you read three days ago? How many times were you distracted from the Word? A hunger pang, wondering about dinner, the ironing you forgot, the call you need to make, how tired you are, the look you just got? A phone call? Typically when we get distracted God is speaking directly to us and we miss what He said. It’s like God gives the answers to the test, but we were so consumed with the test environment (we have the terrible too’s–too hot, too cold, too tired, too long) we miss the answers to the test. 

v6 Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands; and they knelt down and worshiped the Lord with their faces toward the ground.

v7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the Law and people remained in their places.

v8 So they read from the Book of the Law of God, translating and explaining it so that the people understood the reading.

This is why we need called and anointed, word-steeped preachers, teachers, exhorters, and bold saints—who  rightly divide the Word of truth. There are SO many using the Word to profit themselves, so we should BE the laborers God is calling us to be AND hold one another up in prayer as we co-labor for souls we interact with, so we know to explain the Word of God to them, as they come to repentance and strive to live holy.

v9 Then Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the Law.

Application point 2: The people realized how far they were from applying the Word. When God convicts us, do we shrug and say, “well, Lord, I hear you, but…”,  “I just can’t do it because she…” “The Lord knows we’re dust…”  Yes, our frame is dust, not our souls. They live on forever. And what/how we decide to apply the Word can effect our lives here and after we leave here.

We may not weep after every sermon, but our hearts should ache with the desire to WANT to do better, to strive for perfection, to please God in ALL our ways, rather than excusing our actions because it’s easier to stay in the flesh. It takes EFFORT to walk in the Spirit, to NOT tell someone else, to NOT give into the anger, bitterness, wrath, unforgiveness—that’s what God wants us to do, as we strive for perfection.

Also, the reason the leaders were trying to tell the people not to mourn was this was a celebration–the festival of booths/Tabernacles. This symbolized the time they were in Egypt and wondered in the wilderness, reflecting on God’s provision, mercy and protection (see Leviticus 23:43).

v10) Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

So even if you’ve messed up, repent, wash your face, dry your tears, eat, drink, bless someone else and allow the joy of the Lord to stregthen you. Obviously, these people did not have the Holy Ghost as we know it, but God allowed them to have joy, cause He’s consistent like that.

Joy is the second fruit of the Spirit love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control–Galatians 5:22-23), and it’s an inside job. Whatever spirit is planted on the inside, the fruit of that comes out. So carnal plants yield carnal fruit and when the Spirit is planted on the inside, good fruit comes out. Unless we poison it with the weed killer–“Round-up” (aka un-Christlike behavior the the enemy brings by). When the Spirit is on the inside and activated, regardless of what’s going on outside the joy remains on the inside and comes out.

v11) So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.

v12) And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

What about you, BCU Family? Once the Lord calls us out on something, after repenting, so we allow ourselves to walk in the forgiveness and rejoice because we are being chastened  by our good Father, so we can live, or do we “mourn” (Hebrews 12:5-12).  It’s needful to hear the Word of God–Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, and even more critical that we DO what the Word of God says ( James 1:25). Our [eternal] lives depend on it.

We’ll take a look at how Nehemiah and his people reacted in hearing the Law (Word of God) in an upcoming podcast, as we continue to spotlight scriptures to close out our Nehemiah study.  In the meantime, we’d love hear what YOU took away from what we talked about today, so please leave a comment in the designated section below!

As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and now YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

Gateways, gatekeeping and you!

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the message blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study!

Last time we were together, God blessed Nehemiah to complete the wall, in spite of the last-minute attempts from Team Tobiah to thwart his efforts. When God commissions you to do something, it will be completed, enemy or not! (that’s another post, though). 🙂

Over our Nehemiah study, where we’ve chatted about overcoming people approval, the importance of gates , what do do when attacked,  when you are weary on the wall, getting back to work on the wall, the enemy within and how to confront him. Nehemiah also walked us through how he led/governed (with the help of the Lord) the people, versus bossing/managing the people, which motivated them finish the work triumphantly!

For the remainder of the chapters in Nehemiah, we’ll highlight some of the Scriptures that I’m sure will bless, encourage and challenge you. Let’s look at Nehemiah 7:1-3.

v1)Now it came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed,

v2) That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many.

v3) And I said unto them, Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun be hot; and while they stand by, let them shut the doors, and bar them: and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, every one in his watch, and every one to be over against his house.

Recall that in biblical times, cities were surrounded by HUGE, thick walls that represented strength, beauty and protection. Gates were needful to let/keep allowable things in and  kick bad things out, so it needed to be manned. Nehemiah assigned porters or gatekeepers to keep watch on the wall.  Gatekeepers were an integral part of the city. They had to be alert, faithful and trustworthy, as they decided who was allowed and denied access.

As a backdrop to verse 3, typically gates were opened before sunrise to allow the shopkeepers to set up tents and such. Because Tobiah, Sanballat and other enemies were likely still lurking, rather than give them a chance to attack in the darkness, Nehemiah gave specific instructions to the gatekeepers to prevent it from happening. God has appointed us gatekeepers as well, along with specific precautionary instructions to help us avoid being ambushed by the enemy. Let’s break down the four directions given in Nehemiah 7:3.

1) Wait until the sun was hot (it was good and light out), so no unfamiliar or threatening person could creep up unaware.

  • We are to walk in the light of Christ and allow The Holy Spirit to spotlight any potential and actual areas of darkness, so we can avoid being attacked unaware. While God does allow certain things to happen to us for a reason, other times our “surprise” attacks are the result of an irregular prayer life, lack of reading/studying the Word of God, attending your local church services, Bible study and Sunday School. Additionally, if we are doing all these things,  we need to apply what we’ve heard. If not, we miss God’s  voice, instructions and the enemy’s sneak attacks come and overtake us–to places of despair, dissatisfaction and discouragement. Let’s check to “no” box on that! Go toward The Light!

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am The Light of the world: he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12).

2) Until then, the doors were to be shut AND barred to keep the enemy from entering.

  • With God’s help, we need to practice shutting and barring the doors that lead to darkness. Ancient Greeks believed that the heart and mind were linked and work in tandem, thus the saying “I know it by heart”. That said, the gateway of your mind is where things originate, they grow in your heart and come out in our words and deeds. Therefore, it’s vital to proactively protect the mind and heart.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philppians 4:8).

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).

3) The gatekeepers were appointed to watch over the people in Jerusalem at their assigned time/post on the wall.

  • At first glance, yes, this directive is for the leaders that God has chosen–bishops, pastors, elders, teachers, etc. When we are blessed to be under good, godly leadership, what they tell us is ALWAYS rightly divided and ALWAYS be in line with the Word of God.  We can also  glean wisdom from our leaders’ painful, difficult experiences they share, so we do not have to go through the same experience, or if we are going through, our leaders are a source of encouragement.

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you (Hebrews 13:17).

  • We also need to gatekeeper for our young people. The music, movies, lifestyles and activities that were once considered risquĂ© and taboo to see, hear, talk about and do, have become the norm and our babies are intentionally  exposed to darkness, in the hopes it becomes normal to them. While restricting access and explaining why (with love and the words God gives you to say), may not make your popular with your child now, prayerfully, they will thank you for saving them from a world of trouble later. And if not, God will certainly reward you.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (Galatians 6:9).

4) And keep watch in front of their own home.

  • Finally, we are the gatekeepers over our houses (our souls). What are we allowing in that the Lord expressly deny access to? What gateway is most vulnerable to you? The programming you watch, the music you hear, the company you keep? We often dismiss away things that God is nudging us to give up as a form of entertainment. If that “entertainment” is causing you to think on and act in ways that are contrary to the what God says, we need to get our amusement from a wholesome place. Additionally, we want to practice yielding to Christ, thereby, lessening our desire to do anything that jeopardizes our soul.

And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire (Matthew 18:9).

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would (Galatians 5:16-17).

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners (I Corinthians 15:33).

This is a call to action, BCU Family! How are our gatekeeping skills?  Where are the places we are opening our shops while the sun is still down? Are we intentional in ensuring the gates of darkness are shut and barred? While it may be a challenge, with God all things are  possible! We can do all things through Christ that strengthens us! (Philippians 4:13)

Once again, we’ll continue to spotlight certain passages of scripture to close out our Nehemiah study,  so please stay tuned for our next post/podcast. In the meantime, we’d love hear what YOU took away from what we talked about today, so please leave a comment in the designated section below!

As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and now YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

 

BCU

 

 

 

The enemy strikes back!

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the post blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

We’re back with our Nehemiah series where we’ve chatted about overcoming people approval, the importance of gates , what do do when attacked,  when you are weary on the wall, getting back to work on the wall, the enemy within and how to confront him. Nehemiah also walked us through how he led/governed (with the help of the Lord) the people, versus bossing/managing the people, as the former and very corrupt leadership had done in the past. Now the wall is nearly completed and Nehemiah has been confronted and successfully overcame his arch enemies, Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem… until now. Let’s dig in!

Scene: Sanballat and Tobiah tried to lure Nehemiah off the wall under the “auspice” of having a meet-up in a desolate place. Nehemiah cited he was doing a great work and he would not come down. The wicked duo tried to wear Nehemiah down by coming after him FOUR times. And all four times, Nehemiah answered the same way and kept working. 

Before we begin, in Luke 4:13, after Jesus had been tempted by the enemy, Luke writes, “and when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from Him [Jesus] for a season.” Apparently it was open season on Nehemiah, because the duo came back for a fifth time!

v5Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand;

v6 Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words.

v7 And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.

So they say Nehemiah, I have this letter—a public accusation here, with a report backed up by a leader, that you and your team are rebelling and wanting to be king. Further, you have appointed prophets to pump you up as the new king and you do not want that to get back to the current king. We need to talk.

For most of us, it’s one thing when we are accused privately like Nehemiah was in the beginning of chapter 6. It’s quite another when your name is being dragged through the mud and named as the leader of a plot to overthrow the king. At that time, any governmental coup was punishable by death–all this was based on a LIE!!! How many of us would have marched off that wall to answer these charges so that these accusations would not get back to the king? Me, too. Nehemiah kept cool, though and walked out Matthew 10:16 that says, “behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” His response:

v8Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest [making]them out of thine own heart.

Nehemiah could have gotten into his feelings and explained how he consulted the Lord, had the king’s permission, he prayed, well, look at all that was done, he never took money, etc. Rather, he simply said, “you’re making this up, liar, then talked to the Lord  to get some extra strength. 

v9For they all made us afraid, saying, their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.

Nehemiah survives that attack to come up against another sneaky one.

v10Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee.

BCU Family!! This man, Shemaiah, was on the “sick and shut-in list” and Nehemiah goes by to see about him, only to hear that they BOTH needed to run to the temple, because there was a hit out for them [insert confused face]. Nehemiah recognized the shut-in was hired to frighten him into fleeing into the temple to save his life. Only priests were allowed in the temple, if word got out about Nehemiah running into a holy place because of fear (really, an empty threat), Nehemiah’s stellar reputation and all he had done on the wall, would have gone up in smoke. Obviously this wall was a real threat, because Team Tobiah got other prophets to scare Nehemiah as well.

v11And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.

v12And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
V13 Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me.

V14My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.

“Would have” did not win, though!  Nehemiah trusted God and now victory is coming up!


THE WALL IS FINISHED!!!!!!

v15So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.

v16And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.”

v17Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters unto Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came unto them.

v18For there were many in Judah sworn unto him, because he was the son in law of Shechaniah the son of Arah; and his son Jehohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah.

V19 Also they reported his good deeds before me, and uttered my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.

 

As this chapter comes to a glorious close, what can we apply to our lives?

  1. The enemy only goes away for a season. Be prepared by staying tuned to God in prayer, fasting, memorizing the Word of God, recognizing and listening to HIS voice on how to best deal with an attack, so we live and walk in the Spirit versus the flesh (See Galatians 5:16-26).
  2. Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might when it comes to your assignment, so you are not easily swayed, hurt, worried or act in haste when an accusation or attack comes. Also, we do not need to justify in any detail what God has called us to do unless He says otherwise (See Ephesians 6:10 and Nehemiah 6:3). 
  3. Fear, whether real or perceived, is a tactic that the enemy uses to neutralize, distract and eventually stop us from our divine assignment. Since God does not give us a spirit of fear, (2 Timothy 1:7) we need to ask God to rebuke it and carry it to completion in Jesus name (See Philippians 1:6).  Amen? Amen!

Well, BCU Family, through it all, the assignment God gave Nehemiah is complete!  Are you encouraged?! Me, too! For the remaining chapters, there are some details to attend to, so please stay tuned for our next post/podcast. In the meantime, we’d love hear what YOU took away from the study, so please leave a comment in the designated section below!

As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and now YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

 

BCU

 

“Ono”… “I am doing a great work!

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the post blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

We’re back with our Nehemiah series where we’ve chatted about overcoming people approval, the importance of gates , what do do when attacked,  when you are weary on the wall, getting back to work on the wall, the enemy within and how to confront him. Nehemiah also walked us through how he led/governed (with the help of the Lord) the people, versus bossing/managing the people, as the former and very corrupt leadership had done in the past. Because of Nehemiah’s outstanding leadership, everyone was blessed! Now Nehemiah faces another tough battle with his arch enemies, Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem. Let’s dig in!

Nehemiah 6.

v1)“Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;)

v2) Sanballat and Geshem sent a messenger saying, lets meet up in the village in the in plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.

So the wall is almost finished and the Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem have cooked up a scheme to try and get Nehemiah to stop. Two of the ringleaders requested Nehemiah’s presence in the one of the villages in the plain of Ono, under the pretense of a “meet-up.” Because Nehemiah had a relationship and prayer life with God, he was able to discern this enemy wanted to get him alone to harm him.

As people of God, we will have enemies. 1 Peter 5:8 reminds to be sober and vigilant because our adversary, the devil is as a roaring lion seeking who he may devour. That tells us we should know who they are and realize with disernenment when they (or rather that evil spirit working though the person) are trying to trick us. Many times, we call foul when we get yoked up by a spirit working through someone, and I don’t deny it’s foul. Do we have enough of a prayer life and applied wisdom, (James 1 says it’s free for the asking) to avoid getting okie-doked in the first place?

Joshua 9 tells the story of this mighty warrior. Joshua was going around defeating people left and right—the Hittites, Amorites, Cannanites, Perizzities, Hivites, Jebisute, left and right, out of sight!  :-)And the Gibeonites  (who lived less than 100 kilometers from Joshua), were likely the next group to feel the wrath of Joshua.

The Gibeonites got crafty and and got some old sacks, old wins skins, and dry and moldy bread, and came riding in on these donkeys into Joshua’s camp (v6) saying they were ambassadors from a far country and  asked Joshua and his team to make a promise not to hurt them.

Now, Joshua’s men were suspicious and said so, but the Gibeonites countered saying , we are your servants. Joshua asked for more identification and information as well, but the fake plenipotentiaries never named the country–just  said they came in the name of the Lord, spoke of Joshua’s fame and asked again for Joshua to promise not to hurt them. ON TOP of that, the Gibonites made it a point to show Joshua and his team their old food, tattered clothes and worn out shoes to convince the crew that the Gibonites were really from a far place (There is SO much wrong here, but, alas, that’s another post).

Because Joshua did not seek counsel at the mouth of the Lord (v12), he and the team took  the bait and ended up protecting a group of people that were enemies, disguised as friends/admirers. Eventually Joshua found out and was plenty angry about being beguiled, but because Joshua gave his word, he could not hurt them. 

We have two very powerful men of God here. Joshua was a mighty man a valor, took the place of Moses, fought battles and won–yet did not ask God what to do. Nehemiah, a cupbearer, turned wall-builder/governor, had enough of a prayer life and relationship with God to see this trick coming and by-passed it. In fact, he cut off any possibility of a meeting in the next verse (Nehemiah 6).

v3)And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?

Very simply put, I am busy for God and the work should not stop. What great work has God called you to that requires your full attention? What talent, task or gift are have you come off the wall to do something else? Did you get distracted by something shiny, less involved or “more fun?” Did you get tricked into coming off the wall? In any case, BCU Family, it’s NOT TOO late to get back on the wall! Yes, God can still use you! Just repent and come  back! Glorayyyyy!!!!

Now that’s were back on the wall, know that the enemy will come back with you. When we recognize the enemy, this time, rather than reasoning with him or explaining your position, close the conversation like Nehemiah did  and continue working. Notice what happens next.

v4 “Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.”

Now while Team Sanballat kept coming for Nehemiah, take note that Nehemiah stayed persistent and consistent–using the same answer he gave in verse 3–nothing more, nothing less.  They back off, but only for a season, as we’ll see in an upcoming post/podcast.

Application: Why do we continue to go into the desolate plains named Ono with people, places and things which have clearly do not have or want God’s best for you?  Matthew 7:16 says, “you will know them by their fruits”. While God gives us free will to make choices, He is not interested in us being tricked by, making treaties with or devoured by the enemy. Let’s  seek counsel at the mouth of the Lord and ask for wisdom, knowledge, understanding and instruction on how to plainly  identify  the”rotten” fruit and stay out of the plain of Ono. Amen? Amen!

Well, BCU Family, there is SO much more coming in Nehemiah 6, so stay tuned for our next post/podcast. In the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts, so, please post them in the comment section below!

As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and now YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

 

BCU

#RealTalk-When you have NO strength to complete your assignment..

Hey there BCU Family!

As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study!

I trust our Nehemiah study has been a blessing and a call to action for you–it has been for me!  Last time, we started digging into Nehemiah chapter 4, and left off with where Sanballat and his posse were threatening the work on the wall, but Nehemiah set up a watch and prayed, so the work would go on.  Now, though, Nehemiah faces more challenges with his own work crew! Let’s dig right in!

v10And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.

What the Lord pointed out to me here was Judah saying “the strength of THE bearers of burdens”. Notice in chapter 3, Nehemiah took the time to NAME the individual builders, the priests, merchants, Tekoites, sons of so-and-so.  Here it says THE bearers of burdens--in other words, the strength of ALL the workers, the priests, merchants, Tekoites, sons of so-and-so was decayed.  Initially, everyone was willing to work even in the midst of the earlier threats. Now for some reason, the crew started to notice all the work ahead of them and things started to look impossible. Can you relate to that?

Anytime you are into an assignment, especially the middle and end, you start to get tired.
The result? You are NOW fearful, cowering, stressed, thinking this is too much of a trial, too much work, too dangerous, too difficult, you play the song over and over (notice how the enemy gave you the track free of charge) and you start think it, say it, act it and SPREAD it! So now ALL the workers are infected with this poison called fear!

It happens all the time! In the news, the police force, the Zika virus, the shortage of food, the contamination of chicken parts, the plastic we consume in a burger, the pesticides you get, is it organic or not? What is this President going to do? Will I lose my job? What if? Fear will have you DO NOTHING, GAIN NOTHING, and GET NOTHING! God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a power, love, power and a sound mind! (2 Timothy 1:7). GLORY to God!

Back to Nehemiah–on top of these threats, bluffs, ridicule and tiredness, here comes another attack!

v11And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.

They learned the enemy is planning a sneak attack to wipe them out–and THEN the wall will cease. Obviously the enemy was VERY threatened by what was going on, otherwise, he wouldn’t be plotting so hard. Did you catch that BCU Family?

v 12And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, from all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you.

Now the Jews who neighbored by the wall project heard what the adversaries were planning, and told Nehemiah and the crew all about it. At first, I thought about them being lazy and not helping, BUT God had a purpose for them being in place to report back to Nehemiah. This teaches us that sometimes God has people on the wall to watch and warn.

Think about the assignments God has called you to. What have we abandoned because we felt weary? Fearful? It was too much work? Who threatened you? Ridiculed you? Told you so and so was out to stop you? Why did you let it stop you? While threats and ridicule is real and HURTS, it does not negate is from staying on the wall. God gave us the assignment and we must complete it with His help!

We may need to come down and get healed up, but the work should not cease. John 9:4 says: I must works the works of Him that sent me while it is day. The night comes when no man can work. Get your work done NOW while it is day and you are able. Once our night comes (death) we cease from working and we want to be sure we are caught up with the Lord in the rapture–or if we die ahead of that, we hear well done, thou good and faithful servant. We can’t walk off the job now, Family!!!  Now, let’s take a look at what Nehemiah did about the workers concerns.

v13Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.

Notice how he took their concerns seriously and acted on them. He didn’t tell them, “oh just trust God and keep working!” He set up a WATCH. He organized them with weapons and then was able to speak encouraging words to their hearts.

v14And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.

He reminded them of God’s word, as well as who they were fighting for. Notice how Nehemiah’s faith was backed up by works. Faith without works is DEAD (James 2:17).

Is what we have worth fighting for? Is what God gave us, put in our hearts to do, the task, the assignment, the talent, the gift, the marriage HE ordained, the relationship HE blessed you with, the family member, the friend, even the STRANGER you are witnessing to worth fighting/staying on the wall/staying on duty for?  YES!!!!!

v15And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.

Nehemiah’s crew kept working and the enemy stopped. Sanballat and his team KNEW they were defeated. The enemy KNOWS he is defeated and we do as well. It’s a fixed fight, BCU Fam! We are not to just lay down and give the enemy the victory claiming he stole it! We watch and pray (Nehemiah 4:9), we fight in the spirit RATHER than the flesh and we stay in our full armour (Ephesians 6:10-18).

We ALL get tired in the battle, myself included! In addition to the above Scriptures to encourages us, we can also wait on the Lord to renew our strength, so that we will mount of with wings of an eagle, run and not be weary, and walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).  Amen? Amen!

Well, BCU family we have to get ready to wrap things up, but Nehemiah has plenty more challenges for us to explore and apply to our lives in the remainder of chapter 4, so please stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, there are additional podcasts for you to enjoy–you are welcome to peruse the BlenCouragesU.com site 24-7!  You can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes.

Before you go, please comment below and tell us what are your favorite Scriptures to encourage you?

Until we are together again,  thank you for stopping by and may God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you! #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

 

BCU