Transcription | October 30, 2022 | The Book of Nehemiah | Destroy Your Enemy’s Confidence
Nehemiah Chapter six verse sixteen When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and they lost their self-confidence. Can you imagine fighting an enemy that had no confidence to fight back? That's what happened. Nehemiah was so used of the Lord that through Nehemiah as ministry, the enemy's confidence was completely broken. And the reason is because the enemy realized that the work that was being done was accomplished through the help of our God.
The enemy came to realize that God was working in, through, and for Nehemiah, and it just destroyed the enemy's confidence. And so what I want to talk to you about this morning is learning from Nehemiah and some things that God did in his life how to destroy your enemies. Confidence. Father, help me to teach. Help me to preach.
Help me to share your word. God, use this moment for your glory. Now, your Holy Spirit, provoke each of us to our next step in you, whatever that might be in Jesus name. And this church said, Amen. Confidence. I think most of us understand what the definition of that word would be. Most of us know when we have it, and most of us know when we don't have it.
Most of us are fairly aware of when we see someone with confidence and when we see someone without confidence. And so this concept of thinking through the possibility of fighting against an enemy who has lost all confidence in his ability to defeat you is something quite considerable. To give thought to, because I think most of us, when we are up against our enemy, he's quite confident because he's been victory is over and over and over again against so many lives, against so many families, against so many relationships.
And I think God wants to reverse that course. And I think the Lord is going to show us some stuff through the life of Nehemiah today on how to see that come to pass. You know, I was thinking about John Calipari, obviously the coach of the University of Kentucky, but before he came to UK, he coached the Memphis Tigers in his last year with Memphis.
They had a pretty good team. In fact, they were favored to win the national championship, but they had one problem. They couldn't shoot free throws. And so any time a game would get close, they would just people just start fouling them. And then they would wound up many times losing games. They should have won, I shouldn't say many times, but several occasions.
And so one particular instance, Calipari realized if that team was going to become as successful as it could be or should be, they were going to have to get through this free throw deal. And he kind of came to the conclusion that the reason they couldn't shoot free throws is because they didn't have any confidence when they went to the free throw line.
And one player in particular is post player, pretty good sized center played for that team. His name is Joey Dorsey. If I'm not mistaken, he was the worst free throw shooter in the nation that you shot around 40% from the free throw line. And so Calipari sets him down and he says this What you're going to do, Joey, you're going to you're going to close your eyes and you're just going to envision yourself walking up to the free throw line, and you're going to just go through the motions of shooting the free throw.
And so Joey Dorsey closes his eyes and he goes through the motions, walking up to the free throw line and taking his shot. He does that ten times, and Calipari looks at him in the conclusion the 10th time through this and says, All right, Dorsey, how do you make it six? Some of y'all are slow, but I believe you're worth waiting on.
He clearly had a confidence issue. A confidence issue. How is it that we could arrive at a place to where that our enemy loses all confidence towards his ability to defeat us? Nehemiah Chapter four, verse number ten The first thing we're going to see about how to make that come to pass. It says that. Meanwhile, the people in Judah said the strength of the laborers is giving out.
There's so much rubble that we can't rebuild the wall. So to bring everybody into the full picture. Nehemiah was a cup bearer. He worked for the king. His heritage was in the land of Israel. The land of Israel had been defeated and destroyed. The city of Jerusalem was in shambles. And Nehemiah became burdened about that. In fact, the Bible says that when Nehemiah found out about it, he started shedding tears.
And so he went to his king and he said, Could I return to my homeland and be a part of rebuilding the city of Jerusalem specifically? Could I be a part of rebuilding the walls because he understood that the only way that they could be successful in rebuilding the city was to give it some security. So he goes and is allowed permission to come back to Jerusalem and he begins this project of rebuilding the walls.
He was extremely successful at it. In fact, they say that his predecessor had tried for ten years to rebuild these walls to no avail. Nehemiah shows up and gets the job done in 52 days. He's an incredible leader, incredibly gifted at leading people forward. And yet, at the same time, this verse points out that as they're getting motivated, as they're starting to work, as they're starting to rebuild, people are getting tired.
And the reason that they're getting tired is because there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall. So envision that the wall has been torn down. The wall has been broken apart. And the pieces that remain of the rubble of the wall are called rubble. And so now they're starting to try, okay, we're motivated. We're going to make something happen.
We're going to get this wall rebuilt. But but the problem is they're getting tired because they're having to work around all of this devastation from yesterday. So their ability to work today is being negatively impacted by what went wrong yesterday. And so Nehemiah comes to the conclusion that if they're going to be successful at building this wall, they're going to need to remove the rubble.
And I believe that that's something that God would speak to every single one of us, because all of us, at some point in our life have taken a defeat. At some point in our lives, something got broken down, something got torn apart. At some point, we experienced some rubble being left behind from a fight. Maybe it happened when you were in a relationship and somebody betrayed you.
And now there is rubble and you want to build a new relationship. You want to build a successful relationship. But the rubble of yesterday's betrayal keeps tripping you up. Maybe you've felt like you had a vision or a purpose or a calling to establish something. But things went financially wrong. And now, as you've tried to start over, there's just a lot of rubble from that financial failing that is preventing you from being able to build what you have in your heart.
Maybe you've been in a scenario where you've been abused and somebody took advantage of you, somebody victimized you. And and the result of that is that now there's just a lot of rubble from the attack that you came under and you want to build something. But you just can't seem to get past the stuff that's going on in your mind.
Some of you have been through divorces and, you know, the kind of rubble that that can leave behind. And you really want to build a new relationship. But it's the rubble. And so the thing that Nehemiah teaches us is that we have to be willing to remove the rubble. And for us as Christians, the way that that is accomplished is that we must understand that you will never be able to come to an altar and give God your best until you come to an altar and give God your worst.
When you make the decision to bow before Jesus Christ of Nazareth and you admit I need help dealing with the rubble, I can't get rid of this vindictiveness. I can't get rid of this offense. I can't get rid of this addiction. I can't got I need assistance, Lord. And the Bible has promised us that Jesus is ready to assist.
He says, Hey, I'll give you the ability to throw off every thing that hinders you and the sin that so easily entangles you. And I will let you run with perseverance, the race. Because what you're going to get to do is to fix your eyes on Jesus, who is the pioneer and the perfector of your faith. So consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
It tells us that when you try to get rid of the rubble, sometimes you can get weary because the enemy's going to make you think that there's so much trash, you'll never be able to get rid of it all. I don't know who I'm trying to help this morning. I see some of us who are our spiritual lives look the way our house looks.
When my son is in charge of taking out the trash. He's 15 years old. And that's like the one chore that he has. And yet he has selective memory. And so sometimes trying to make a point, I'm like, we're just going to let leave this here. We're going to let this pile up. It does not seem to bother him the way it bothers me.
And I think that some of us, the rebel that we've got in our life, it bothers the Heavenly Father far more than it bothers us, because the Lord wants us to realize He paid the price of his son's blood to get that mess out of your life, remove the rubble. Remove the rubble. Anybody that's ever tried to do a remodel understands if you're going to take the sheetrock down and the two before you don't just leave it laying under your feet, you got to clear the area.
And yet some of us are trying to remodel our lives without removing the rubble. I think about how, David, we talked about this a few weeks ago as a church, how David, the Bible says he grew great. But there's this really interesting section of scripture that talks about how he grew great. It says he went to Jerusalem. He became the first builder of the city of Jerusalem.
And as he was growing great, the first thing he ever did is he built a land field. And it was as if to understand if we're going to grow, great, we're going to need a place to put the trash. We're going to need a place to put the rubble. We're going to need a place to get the rubble out.
And so I feel like that's an encouragement to somebody this morning of that the Holy Spirit wants to help excavate the rubble in your life, whatever it is that's been a stumbling block from the sins, the failures or even the attacks of the past. And can I just parenthetically insert something right here? The Lord actually dealt with me about this this morning as I was traveling from the first location to the 6/2 location.
I noticed there was this just I this place in Scripture that I didn't intend to talk about. But when you read commentary on this passage, one of the things that scholars believe is that when they began to remove the rubble, they actually set up an inspection site. And what they wanted to make sure is that when they were throwing stuff away, that they didn't throw away the good with the bad.
They wanted to make sure that what was being tossed was the rubble, not the workable stuff. So get rid of the stomach, but keep a stepping stone and I began to think about the confusion that is in our world. And I'm kind of amazed by the confusion, even though I suppose I shouldn't be, because we know that God is not the author of confusion, but that teaches us that there must be an author of confusion, and that is our enemy.
And he comes to steal, he comes to kill, he comes to destroy. And one of the ways he does that is he gets our minds twisted. And I started thinking about how that that sometimes when something is not went the way we planned or something is not went the way that we expected, we can actually wind up calling something rubble that was meant to remain.
It's interesting to me that our nation has made a decision that the greatest court in this land has decided that abortion is something that will no longer be legalized. So that's a it's an encouraging thing. And it just blows my mind that there's confusion over what is rubble and what is not, of how that we could contemplate that a baby in a mother's womb could actually be rubble that needs to be removed.
You know, the Bible gives us a really strong text in the book of Jeremiah. It says that before you were formed in your mother's womb, God knew you. But he says it this way. Before I formed you in your mother's womb, I knew you, your mom and dad. He didn't form you. God formed you. And even if somebody thinks you're an accident or you've been told your whole life you're an accident, God formed you.
And that changes everything. It means He made you with a purpose and he made you with the plan. And he made you with intentions to see things come to pass in your life. In fact, the same book Jeremiah says that God knows the plans that he has for you, plans to prosper you, and plans to give you a hope.
And he decided all of that before he put you in your mother's womb. So it's it's really intriguing for me to consider this concept of rubble towards a mother's womb, how confused we must be to arrive at that kind of a thought process, because the Bible actually talks also about this. You may remember the story of Cain and Abel and Cain killed Abel and Abel didn't deserve to be killed.
In fact, he was innocent and God showed up and he's going to Judge Cain for killing Abel. And he asked Cain, excuse me? Cain asked God, how do you know I killed him? And God said, the voice of innocent blood cries out from the ground for judgment. And so any time that we shed innocent blood, that principle of Scripture has not changed.
It will still seep down into the earth, and it will begin to spiritually cry out for God to bring judgment for that blood having been shed innocently. And so one of the things that none of us want is to live in a nation that's under the judgment of the Lord. Can I get a witness from somebody? We want to live under grace.
We want to live under mercy. We want to live under the overflow of heaven. And one of the things that needs to transpire is we need to make the decision to see to it that Kentucky is not only a place where that hill is plundered and heaven is populated, but where that every child has a right to life.
We need to make that decision and understand that a mother's womb will never be a place where rubble resides. And so I just I want to encourage you with that this morning to understand that there is rubble you're going to get rid of. But don't make the mistake of throwing away some building blocks, because some of the things in your past, you actually learned something from and God's going to use it and he's going to take it.
He's going to build on it, and he's going to ultimately do something that causes the enemy to lose all confidence of his ability to win against you. You know, I was looking also give you one more thing that I see about Nehemiah and how the enemy ultimately loses confidence against him. So Nehemiah was willing to do what nobody else was do.
He was willing to say, I'm will get the rubble out. And that became a very effective strategy for being able to build effectively. But the next thing that he does is he sets a standard of watch and work. That's one of the reasons he was really successful is because he set a standard of watch and work. Now, you may understand, it may not make sense to you.
So let me give you a verse the amount, chapter four over 22. It says, At that time, I also said to the people, have every man in his help or stay inside Jerusalem at night so that they can serve us as guards by night and as workers by day. So Nehemiah understood. We are called to work. We are called to build.
We're going to be effective at working and we're going to be effective at building. But at night, when it gets dark, the enemy is going to try to infiltrate us. The enemy is going to try to sabotage us. He said, So what we got to do is we got to make sure that there are some people who keep their eyes open at night and watch to make sure that the enemy doesn't infiltrate what God's trying to build here.
Nehemiah, Chapter four August 23 continues and says Neither honor my brothers or my men or the guards with me even took off our clothes each kept his weapon even as we went for water. Nehemiah saying, We took this so serious that at night we didn't even disrobe because we were thankful that God was allowing us to work by day.
But we knew we had to watch by night. Can I say to you that the spiritual implication there is that the darker it gets, the more likely it is that the enemy is going to try to sneak in. And so in your life, you're going to have to make a decision that you're not just working to build something, but you're also watching out for the sabotage because the enemy will try to bring people into your life.
You'll try to bring relationships in your life. In fact, in Scripture, when you look at it, almost every time that the enemy got ready to do something, he chose a personality to work through. Well, the good news is, in Scripture, almost every time God got ready to do something, he chose a personality to work through. So so God's going to be trying to put good stuff in your life and good people in your life.
And the enemy is going to be trying to put bad people in your life and do bad things during your life. Well, the good news is, is that first John, chapter four, verse one says that we get the ability. Dear friends do not believe every spirit, but you can test the spirits to see whether they are from God.
So God's going to send some stuff and you're going to want to let that in. But the enemy is going to send some stuff and you're going to want to keep that at the gate. Don't let that in first Corinthians. Paul's not done talking about it. He goes on, he says, Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. So in other words, when you're considering partnership, when you're considering long term relationship, you need to make sure that you are testing the spirits to make sure that this person that you're about to do life with is actually sent to you by God and not by the enemy.
For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common, or what fellowship does light have with darkness? What's this? Or What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? So if you are a believer, you are most certainly called to reach the unbeliever. But what happens does more often than not is the unbeliever winds up influencing the believer.
And so the believer wind up an influence in the unbeliever. Why? Because we're allowing the darkness to overpower the light. So the light overpower the darkness. And if that's happening, there's some messed up, something, it's been corrupted. And somebody needs to understand that all the enemy really wants to do is to bring bad company so he can corrupt your good character.
So pray that God would allow you to test the spirits and pray that God would give you the discerning of spirits so that you will be able to have a better understanding of how to watch while you're working. Some of us have been so busy working, we don't even watch our kids anymore. I just threw that right in there, see what it does.
And so the enemy is bringing stuff into our kids lives and we're not watching it. His intent is to steal, to kill and to destroy. So the way that Paul further says it is, you better come back to your senses as you are and stop sinning. Well, for there are some that are ignorant of God and I say this to the to the shame of the church at Corinth, I pray that God never has to say something like that to the shame of our life or the shame of our church, but that we would be people who would make the decision that we're not just going to work, but we're also going to watch.
Enemy is sometimes more aware of destiny than even you and our. And he will try to get into our lives in moments of infancy and immaturity because he is afraid of us in our spiritual adulthood and full discipleship maturity because he intends to nuke that thing when it becomes everything God intended it to be. And so I just came to tell somebody this morning, I don't doubt discernment, and if you don't have discernment, you better start praying for it.
In fact, the Bible says that you can covet the best gifts and one of the gifts of the Spirit is the discerning of spirits. And more than you are ever going to want to probably prophesy or do this, that, or the other, you are going to want to make sure that you have the discerning of spirits because the enemy is going to try to steal.
He's going to try to kill, he's going to try to destroy. But when you have foresight of what he's up to at the moment, he steps up to the gate. You begin to be able to step into a place where that you can win your war. And that's the third thing that we see from Nehemiah is that he was a winner.
Just look at somebody and tell him you're look like a winner. Some people never heard that in their life. You need to tell them again. Just look, John, you're a winner. You look like a winner. Nehemiah became a winner. Everybody that had tried what he had tried to do was a loser. They couldn't get it done. They couldn't accomplish it.
But he became a winner where other people lost and one of the reasons for that is in Nehemiah, chapter six, verse number one, it says When the word came to send a ballot. So send ballot was an enemy of Nehemiah, and he developed him a little entourage and got some buddies together. And they learned that the wall had been rebuilt and that there wasn't even a gap left in it.
But they're not completely done yet because they don't have the doors in. So Nehemiah is almost finished with this thing. Send Ballot finds out about it. He don't like it and so sand ballot sends a message, sending Amir said, Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plane of Oh no. But I discerned they were scheming to harm me.
Nehemiah discerned. He tested the spirits. He understood the enemies trying to set me up. So I'm not going forward this mess. So I sent messengers back to them with a reply. I am carrying on a great project and I cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you? But four times they sent me the same email and each time I gave them the same answer.
Some of you need to learn how to talk back to the devil as you begin to discern, and some of you may learn how to block somebody, unfollow somebody and mute somebody. You learn how to get some of those voices you need is completely delete that contact and realize I am not meant to go down and fool with that because every time I messed with that, I wound up in a scheme that is delaying what God's trying to build in my life.
You need some faith like Nehemiah, to believe that there are some relationships you don't need and there are some appointments you don't need to take. And there are some people you don't even need to be in conversation with. Why? Because they are sent of the enemy to delay what God is trying to build through. You. So I love this post is our anchor text, chapter six, verse 16.
And when all of our enemies heard, I'm not coming down to fool with you. I'm not going to stop working this thing. God's called me to work. I'm not going to stop watching for what you're trying to infiltrate me with in the darkness. I'm not going to stop removing the rubble. I won't keep on keeping on. I feel like pulling up page 212 in the read back hymnal and just singing to somebody, Keep on the fire in line.
I'm going to stand right here and keep on keeping on. When the enemy figures that out, he will lose his self-confidence and realize that this person is not working by their own mind. They are not working by their own power, but they are up to something with the help of Almighty God in their life. And I believe that is a word of encouragement for somebody in this house that the enemy has bullied you and you've tolerated it and you've put up with it, and you felt pressed down and you felt beat up.
But God's about to stir something, anything inside of you that finally realizes once and for all that God said what He meant, and he meant what He said. And sure, you won't win your war, and still you step through the pearly gates of heaven. But in the meantime, you don't get to walk around with your head down like a loser.
Because did he say or did he not say that all things work together to the good of those that love the Lord? Did he say, or did he not say that the weapons of your warfare were not carnal through man's hands, but they were mighty through God for the pulling down of strong those. Did he say, or did he not say that if God be for you, it doesn't matter who or what would be against you?
Did he say or did he not say that if you would hearken diligently to the voice of the Lord your God, that you'd be blessed in the city and blessed the field and blessed coming and going and be the head and not the tail. And every enemy that would raise his hand against you would be smitten by the.
I feel like preaching this morning. Somebody needs to understand that you are called an ordained of God to win your war. Oh, look over somebody and tell him you look like a winner. Listen, because you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, they can put you in a tomb, roll a stone in front of you and say it's over.
But the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead now dwells on the inside of every blood bath. Saint of God. So wouldn't it be something if the enemy started looking at you with just a little bit of nervousness because he began to recognize you ain't a Quentin type. You got some fight on the inside of you. And you know what it is to fight the good fight of faith.
You know what it is to believe that, yeah, the way I walk to the valley of the shadow of death. I ain't going to fear evil. Because surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. Why? Because he prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies. He anoints my head with oil and my cup runneth over and the anointing of God will destroy every yoke.
And I came to tell somebody, Don't quit. Don't give up on your faith. It is time for the church to be the church. Did he or did he not say that the gates of hell would not prevail against you? Did he say or did he not say that nothing should by any means harm you? Did y'all going to make me do it again?
I'm about out of breath this morning. I need somebody to just get it. They're going to play some music. I'm going to get out of your way. But the longer I have proceeded with this this morning, the more I have reached an assurance in my heart it's time to stop acting like a loser, because all that does is give the enemy confidence.
And there is no sense in him having confidence, considering what Jesus has done to make sure that your confidence will never be in your flesh, but that it would be in him. The blood that was shed, the cross that was taken, wrath that Jesus sustained on our behalf, all so that we can have life and have a life more abundantly.
So quit playing with sand ballot. He's a terroristic rattlesnake. Get him out of your phone. Get him out of your conversations and don't even stop work to go down and entertain his scheme. I am I feel this strong. There are some of you that there's a personality that every time you really start seeing God build something in your life, that personality shows up and they'll start demon you and they'll start texting you and they'll start hitting you up, wanting you to slide up.
And it messes with everything that God's been trying to do. And it is time, once and for all, to understand enough is enough. Enough is enough. It's time to let God begotten His enemies be scattered. God didn't give you the spirit of timidity. He gave you power. He gave you love, and he gave you a sound mind.
Now, I learned a long time ago a man that has been intimate with God will never be intimidated by another man. So get with God. Lord, we thank you for the example of Nehemiah. He showed us how to fight our battles.
He taught us if there's trouble, get rid of it. Stop crying over it. Stop whining about it. Stop mourning it and grieving it. Just remove the rubble and get back to building. But he also taught us, keep your eyes open. Watch out for the sneak attack. Don't be stupid, be smart, but keep a hammer in your hand, keep chiseling, keep building.
And we receive all of that this morning through your Grace and your Holy Spirit God. Today, above all, we receive the importation of the power of the Holy Spirit, the ability to win, to win against our greatest struggles, to win against our arch nemesis, to win against the things that hell has sent repetitively into our life, to make us cease and desist with building what you called us to build.
Lord, today we are encouraged. We will fight. The Lord would say to somebody this morning, I believe that He will fight for you. If you will allow him to fight through you. That's a word for somebody. He will fight for you if you will allow him to fight through you. If you need something from the Lord this morning, I'm just going to fight you just to lift your hand.
Maybe somebody needs salvation. Need to admit that you need salvation. You need to believe that Jesus is willing to save you and make a decision that you would confess that to anybody and everybody, that Jesus is your Lord. And then it's because of His cross that all things can pass away, everything can become new, that you want to serve him, you want to live for him, you want to love him.
Lift the hand, get you a fresh start in Jesus this morning as you pour your heart out to him, somebody else that's been the rubble. You need to lift your hand and just let the Holy Spirit know. Hey, excavation, run over here. Jesus, this spot right here. Excavate right here. Right here. Jesus. Excavate, excavate, excavate, excavate. Somebody else you weren't watching here almost dumbfounded by how it's even happened, but some junk slipped in.
He needs some help getting it out. Somebody else. You've lost so many times. You can't remember the last time you won changes today. Instead of you shaking in your boots, you're about to make a hill shake under your feet because of the power of Jesus Christ in your life. God, I thank you for what you're doing in this room.
Touch lives, touch homes, touch families, touch men, women of God. They will leave here different than they came. You will lift their head. You will encourage them. They will fight. They will stand another day. Thank you. Jesus. Someone I.