Has anybody ever said something and you’ve gone “Oh yeah, nah-der!” because what they’ve said has turned a great big light bulb on in your head and suddenly explained everything you’ve been dealing with about an issue you didn’t realise you had?
Like the lotto people have shown up on your doorstep, with a marching band, a parade, baton twirlers and a cheque for a million dollars in your name (no conditions, tax-free) but you DIDN’T BUY A TICKET. EVER.
I was sitting in a prayer meeting several weeks ago, and this happened: (Not the lotto…)
People were talking, praying, dealing with things, writing stuff down about things which had nothing to do with anything going on in the room, and somewhere along the line someone starts talking about Nehemiah.
When Nehemiah set out to re-build the wall of Jerusalem, they had trouble from the locals. So God gave him a strategy. They were to either work with a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other, or have it close enough to grab.
Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. Nehemiah 4:17-18 (NIV)
In the areas where the builders were working and needed two hands to work on the stones, half of them watched with weapons ready so the builders could work in peace.
Remember your history?
So the bolt which came out of the blue from someone in the room, was this little gem.
‘Until the wound is healed, the wall must be defended.’
Now, this may not seem like a significant revelation. Sometimes the most significant revelations are the ones which pull the threads together from the most overlooked and ‘obvious’ position.
There are several things which impacted me in the moment.
It was an active example. They were participating in the process of repairing the breach around the city. They weren’t sitting down waiting for God to do something to them or for them, they were acting on His favour and dealing with the problem with Him.
There was opposition coming from outside the wall. The locals were in opposition to the process. They didn’t want Jerusalem rebuilt. It would mean they lost control of the area, because the nation of Israel could become a cohesive nation again.
It was a highly-charged situation inside the wall. They were a small band of people doing a big job in a place under heavy opposition. Even though they were technically in their own country, surrounded by their own people, they were in danger, and being in danger causes internal conflict: among other things fear and doubt.
God gave Nehemiah a strategy, and he implemented it in order to strengthen and protect the whole process of repairing the wall.
Similar to the rebuilding of Jerusalem, I have had a significant breach in the wall of who I am, and have been trying to deal with it for many years with little progress. There has been some, but it has never managed to go further than a step or two over many years.
I have grown significantly, but the hole has not been closed, and the situation has not been resolved.
I understood, sitting there in my friends lounge room, God had a new strategy for me in prayer to deal with the issue.
Over the next week or so, we hashed out what it was, and it turned out to be very simple.
This is the prayer we have prayed together, God and I:
“Father set your defence around the breach in my soul until you and I have had the opportunity to finish the healing process we have begun. Jesus I ask, whenever opposition comes against me, whether the opposition is a person or the enemy, it finds you and not me. I ask you wash all the cause of my wound (whether I know it or think I do) with your precious blood Jesus so it is clean, and all the memories, incidents and consequences coming from it, so we have the opportunity to deal with it all in a clean place. Holy Spirit I ask you to fill the space so it remains clean until we are able to deal with it fully.”
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:4-5 (NIV)
Nehemiah and the men with him did their work building the wall knowing they had to be ready and watchful.
They recognised the need for defence, however this need did not cause them to stop the work in front of them in order to manage the need.
It required a strategy, an important strategy which kept them safe, as well as allowing them to do the work they had been called by God to do in repairing the walls.
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. 2 Samuel 22:2-3 (NIV)
God does not leave us defenceless. He does not want us in a place where we are being battered by things without leaving us recourse and protection.
When we step into The Narrow Way, we come under His absolute protection and learning how complete His protection is, is a journey into safety and joy.
When we have a task ahead of us, when we are waiting for the fulfillment of a promise, when we are working with God towards healing, it is so important to check with God for His strategy, for His perspective. What does He see which we don’t see?
I have been living with this breach in my soul for many years. I have been working steadily through the healing process, but it was hard work and I had no idea how it was going to be resolved.
Now, something significant has shifted because there is a defence in place which will guard the wall until the healing has been completed.
If God Himself is in the place of defence, and we no longer need to watch the wall, we can concentrate on the process of healing as He brings it forward.
God Bless You Very Much