It’s that time again. The weekend comes to a close, the grind of the week begins again. For many of us the autumn activities are back in full swing and life is beginning to pick up speed. I want to encourage you to find some margin in your life where you can be in the presence of God. As the week gears up, make sure you find some time of peace in which to reflect.
I confess that I preached on Nehemiah 4 today. Our church has been working through the book of Nehemiah together. Ruth has taken chapters 1 and 3 while I have taken 2 and 4. The book of Nehemiah is an opportunity to learn how we can trust that God is in the business of working through his people to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks. Chapter 4 is no different.
The chapter starts off with a man named Sanballat who is the acting governor of the region of Samaria. He teams up with a few other people and they oppose the building of the wall that Nehemiah and the Jews are working on. Nehemiah and the Jews turn to God and ultimately are able to remain faithful and continue working on the wall until its completion.
Sanballat opposed the Jews in their quest to serve God. God allowed for the opposition because it allowed the Jews an opportunity to remain faithful to Him in times of difficulty. Fortunately for the Jews, God had already defeated the opposition before it began. And fortunately for us, when we live in the redemption that is the blood of Christ we are able to share in the victory. In fact we learn in John 17:20-23 that Jesus is fighting for us. Jesus is praying for us:
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Praise God that our wonderful conquerer has come and won the battle! No opposition can stand before God. Today, lets practice the art of celebration and live joyfully for the Conquering King!
We were blessed to go see Rend Collective play live in Bangor last night and I think this song captures the celebration of joy we can find in our Father. Take a few minutes and listen.