Many believers are in a season of building, whether in their spiritual life, relationships, skills, business, or ministry. The focus is on constructing the Kingdom of God as the foundation, reflecting His character and standing apart from the world’s ways.
This shaking we’ve experienced over the last three years has displaced idols and shaken us to repentance. He continues to reveal matters of the heart that the Lord wants to deal with that are built on faulty foundations. He’s teaching us who he is and that we can trust him. He’s calling us into that intimate kingdom culture to be peculiar people who stand out from the world, where we once again look to Him and not Egypt as our source. As we say yes, we recognize our need to cry out to him and ask him to build clean hands and pure hearts in us.
I have asked the Lord, do you really want me to keep building this site? Feeling stretched in many areas, I wanted to ensure my priorities were right. I felt exhausted and started questioning whether this was of him.
He let me know I was in a time of building. It was building character in me, and even though I am tired, it will be worth it. He told me to read Nehemiah. The Lord commissioned Nehemiah to build. It started from a heart cry; the Holy Spirit moved him to intercession, and he received the Lord’s heart to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
“In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.”Nehemiah 1:1-2
The Month of Kislev is the ninth month. Nine is significant spiritually because a woman carries a child for nine months. Kislev is the darkest month of the year and has been noted by Hebrew scholars as the month of dreams. This backdrop of spiritual birthing and dreaming fits into this building story.
The city Susa means small, insignificant person. If you feel insignificant and the Lord asks you to build, you may ask why me? I’m sure Moses thought the same thing. He doesn’t require your own strength; he wants you to acknowledge and boast in his available strength. When we say yes to God’s leading to build, God’s goodness is shared, allowing His Kingdom to come and His will to be done. He created you with a purpose and wants your desires to be fulfilled.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”2 Corinthians 12:9
” So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”Zacheriah 4:6
In the Bible, the number 20 often represents significant events. For example, it could represent deliverance; after 20 years, Jacob left his father-in-law. King Jabin oppressed the Israelites for 20 years before they were freed. Troy Brewer, author of Numbers that Preach, equates 20 to expectancy.
Expectant, pregnant, birthing, Deliverance, or we could say delivery room?
I can see parallels in my own life and within the body of Christ in Nehemiah chapter one. I see similarities between Israel’s destruction and Nehemiah’s repentance that births a righteous seed. The Israelites opened the door to the devil with their sin. The devil leveled them. Only the remnant remains in poor condition.
In the same way, the body of Christ has let the world creep in and influence us. We have compromised kingdom standards for worldly standards and have lusted after the things of the flesh.
The Church has experienced a lot of changes in the past few years. There are still things that will be shaken and exposed that do not belong in God’s Kingdom. This process helps us let go of idols and trust Him more. Some believers may not realize they have strayed and become a mixture with the world. The shaking will continue, so the Church repents a pure, spotless bride who can carry his glory that touches the nations. Only what truly matters will remain and be built upon.
As we repent and seek the Lord with all our minds, hearts, and strength, he births a new desire in us. An urge to build His Kingdom in ourselves and around us. When Jerusalem’s walls were burned with fire, and the battered remnant remained, maybe they felt hopeless and defeated, but God had a plan. Nehemiah was given a bad report. He prayed and fasted, repenting for himself, his family, and all Israel’s wicked deeds. I believe the Lord moves on us to repent, as he did with Nehemiah through intercession. Destruction and repentance clear the foundation for a new thing. The new building cannot be built until the old structure is destroyed.
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”Zechariah 4:!0
A plumb line is a tool that measures that a wall is perfectly vertical so that the wall will not be built crooked. At times, I have felt like I was chomping at the bit to do what I believe the Lord has put in my heart. Although impatient, the Lord sees the small beginnings as significant. The plumb line will measure and test us to see if we need to adjust. The Lord is good at straightening us out, even if it means letting the enemy test us so we recognize what’s in us and change. The enemy’s goal is to stop and steal the work, not straighten us out, but what the enemy meant for evil, the Lord will use it for good.
Nehemiah received favor from the king to rebuild the wall but faced tests from the enemy.
Nehemiah faced mockery, insults, and slander when he started rebuilding Jerusalem; you may face similar challenges. The enemy’s voice may sound like this: “Do you think you can rebuild this wall, let alone get these weak people to rebuild it with you? You are a cupbearer, not a builder.” “Build a website, you? You don’t know how to do that! It’s not worth it?”
Don’t give up; remember, the Lord put it on your heart to start—the details of “how” will be worked out in time. Go to the Lord in prayer; let him strengthen you, and he will turn the enemy’s words back on his head.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”James 4:7
The Greek word for resist is anthistémi. Anthistémi was a military word meaning “to strongly resist an opponent.” An opponent doesn’t back down after one attempt. They keep fighting, and he will do it when you’re tired, vulnerable, and think you have run out of resources.
7 But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. 8 They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. 9 But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
10 Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”
11 Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”
12 Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”
13 Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. 14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
15 When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.
16 From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah 17 who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 18 and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.”
Sometimes, when the Lord gives us a task, there is a sense of urgency to complete it. It may be physically exhausting, as there can be obstacles that try to stop or delay the work. Stay determined and seek the Lord’s guidance through prayer and worship. Don’t be discouraged if you face challenges; view them as opportunities for personal growth. Trust in the Lord’s plan and ask Him for any lessons He wants to teach you. Allow these experiences to shape you to be perfect and complete lacking nothing.
“19 Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”Nehemiah 4:19-20
If you haven’t read my blog on Trumpets, you can read about how our worship signals the Lord to fight on our behalf. The Lord promised the Israelites when they sounded the trumpet, he would fight for them. When we worship God, we trust Him and acknowledge His goodness, even in difficult times. He will strengthen us and provide what we need. His provision may look like a word of wisdom, instruction, or provisions coming from another source. His provision may look like peace filling your soul.
It seems wild to build with one hand and hold a weapon with the other if they have to battle, but this is a picture of what we are doing in the spirit. Attacks will come from the enemy as we build, and we must be prepared to fight.
1 Peter 1:13 talks about the loins of our minds being girded. This means alerting our minds to be ready to take authority over the enemy. Don’t dismiss bad circumstances as “It’s just life” or negative thought processes as your own thoughts, but get up and fight in the spirit of the attacks coming against your life and mind.
“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”Luke 10:19
In Nehemiah 5, the enemy is not the Israelites’ problem but their own brethren. The poor had mortgaged their homes, land, and vineyards to be able to buy food during a famine. They sold their children into slavery so they could pay taxes. Nehemiah was outraged upon hearing this because they had bought back their fellow Israelites from other nations and freed them from slavery. Also, God’s law stated that there were to be no poor people among them, and if there were, they were supposed to open their hands and freely loan them whatever they needed (Deuteronomy 15).
They are rebuilding, but an idol in their hearts needs to be removed. I believe we have a similar problem in the Body of Christ today. The God of mammon and the spirit of greed have infiltrated our thinking so deeply we don’t recognize it. Many will be shocked at what the Lord shakes to the ground that has become widely accepted in Christian culture.
12 “We will give it back,” they said. “And we will not demand anything more from them. We will do as you say.”
Then I summoned the priests and made the nobles and officials take an oath to do what they had promised. 13 I also shook out the folds of my robe and said, “In this way may God shake out of their house and possessions anyone who does not keep this promise. So may such a person be shaken out and emptied!”Nehemiah 5:12-13
There is that word shake again…
The enemy pops up again in chapter six. Acting deceptively civil didn’t pull Nehemiah away from his work, so the enemy returned to his old, faithful, venomous tongue. They accuse Nehemiah, so he will run to defend his character. Discern the bait and switch. Don’t let the enemy poke at your pride and ego; you have more important things to do than to be lured into a distracting fight.
When slandering their character didn’t work, the enemy tried to intimidate Nehemiah with threats. But Nehemiah doesn’t let threats stop him. He knows what the Lord called him to do and discerned that people were falsely hired to prophesy evil against him.
It seems like Nehemiah handled all these attacks so calmly. He seemed to discern and understand what was truly going on and moved forward with peace and wisdom. These attacks might not seem obvious because they are waged in the spirit realm, but manifest in the physical through people or situations. If you are in a season of building and everything seems to come up or go wrong, get before the Lord and seek him about what is happening around you. Draw wisdom and strength from Him on how to move forward.
This reminds me of Sean Feucht’s mission to bring worship to each state’s capital. He’s been slandered in the headlines, his guitar was stolen, and the satanic church responded with a let us burn capital tour to discourage the work God has set before him, but he has not let any of the attacks stop him. People have been delivered from demons on the streets as they worship; the enemy’s camp is being plundered as people are being set free from spiritual darkness. This is one example of how the Lord commissioned someone to build God’s Kingdom, and satan tried to stop it.
When you submit yourself to God and what he wants to build, don’t be surprised when there is pushback. Use your weapons of warfare, and don’t forsake the fellowship of the believers so you have spiritual support in your fight against the enemy.
At the end of Chapter 6, they finally finish rebuilding. It was completed in 52 days. All their enemies were afraid because they knew the Lord was with them to accomplish so much in so little time while defending themselves. They finished in the month of Elul. Elul is the sixth month of the Hebrew calendar.
“An acronym of Elul is Ani L’dodi, V’dodi Li (Song of Songs 6:3) with each starting letter of the words in the Hebrew phrase spelling E-L-U-L. Translated as “I am to my beloved, and my beloved is to me,” traditional commentary describes the relationship between Jews and G-d during this month as that between two beloveds, with a yearning to connect. It is said that the King is in the field during Elul; G-d makes Himself approachable to all His people in Elul.”JewishIdianapolis.org
This is the same month Gabriel appeared to Mary, saying she would bear a son Named Jesus. God so yearns to connect with us; it’s found all over the Bible; he’s always making moves towards us. Jesus came in the form of a man so that He could connect with us.
Upon finishing, Ezra, the High Priest, read God’s word, the law. There was a great mourning over their sins. The Bible says Jesus is our High Priest because he was the ultimate sacrifice. No other sacrifice has to be made. He is our mediator. Whenever we get close to the Lord, there is always a mourning of our sinful nature. This repentance allows him to appropriate his sacrifice for our sins.
“Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”Hebrews 2:17
I believe Nehemiah is also a foreshadowing of Christ. He is the cupbearer to the king. Jesus said to the “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” Luke 22:42. The King on the throne is like a picture of Father God sending his son to earth to build the new temple. The Bible says Jesus is our intercessor; just as Nehemiah interceded to the king for Jeruselum, Jesus intercedes on our behalf. Jesus was given the Father’s favor to go to his people and rebuild the spiritual walls. We would no longer have to go to a certain place to worship God, but he would build in us a new spirit where we could worship in God spirit and truth.
In Chapters 7-10, the exiles return, and Ezra, the priest, reads the word of God. The People are convicted and realize they have not kept God’s commands. They mourn their sins but then celebrate as they read accounts of God’s forgiving nature and how he rescued them every time they repented and returned to the Lord. As we behold him and listen to his word, it changes us from glory to glory. The Lord has us continually building his nature in us and driving out the enemy.
It’s important to take note of Nehemiah 10-13. If the enemy can’t stop you from rebuilding, he will try to gain a foothold and take up a share in your house so intimacy with the Lord is neglected. Nehemiah dwelt with the enemy violently and kicked him out. When the enemy tries to return and get space in your life, use your authority and force him out. Ask the Lord for direction and wisdom to close any doors to the enemy.
Kicking the enemy out starts with a personal relationship with Jesus.
“22 Then one possessed with a demon was brought to Him, blind and mute, and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. 23 All the people were amazed and said, “Is He not the Son of David?”
24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “This Man does not cast out demons, except by Beelzebub the ruler of the demons.”
25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation. And every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. Then how will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore, they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
29 “Or else how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.”Matthew 12:22-29
“that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth”Phillipians 2:10
Click here to learn more about accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior and building a personal relationship with Him.
I will end with this. Upon accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, when we follow after Him, He leads us through a continual process of rebuilding faulty foundations. These faulty foundations can be a lie the enemy has instilled in us since childhood or beliefs we have accepted over time that keep us bound to the enemy instead of free in Christ. The Lord does a continual process of personal healing and cleaning the new temple He built. Because He lives within us, this new temple is within us when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Sometimes, He shakes foundations that are not built straight in Him or entirely on Him. He may walk us through a personal deconstruction process of the lies and put His truth in us so the enemy cannot live within that fortified lie and continue to affect our lives in a negative way from within us. When the Lord does this, we must be prepared for the enemy to want to come in again and make room within us. When he does this, rebuke him with the truth of God’s word and command him to leave.
“17The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Lord’s Spirit is, there is freedom. 18All of us are looking with unveiled faces at the glory of the Lord as if we were looking in a mirror. We are being transformed into that same image from one degree of glory to the next degree of glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”2 Corinthians 3:17-18