Reflection Guide - Nehemiah 4:15-23

Key points from the sermon:

  • In this passage, we glean three things that are required as we labor for God’s Kingdom amidst opposition:  awareness of the situation, appropriate defense, and trust in the LORD.

  • The Israelites took stock of their situation with sober-mindedness and everyone engaged in the defense of the city.  Yet many of us today walk around oblivious to the attacks we’re facing. The men and women of Jerusalem battled against a tangible enemy; the enemy we face is a spiritual one.  Spiritual warfare is REAL and as we’ve observed in the book of Nehemiah, it will increase as we follow God.  Healthy awareness of the attacks is necessary to create a defense plan.

  • The Israelites responded appropriately to the situation and prepared to defend the city.  They worked strategically and consistently to protect the city. We too need a strategic and consistent plan to fight well in our spiritual battles.

  • Ultimately, the Israelites trusted that God would fight for them (v. 20)!  They strategized and took up their swords and put on their armor, but they trusted God for the outcome.  The builders did not assume that their faith would prevent battle, but they trusted that God would fight for them IN the battle!

Scripture to meditate on this week:

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”  -Ephesians 6:11-12

Discussion Questions:

  1. What stands out to you when you read Neh. 4:15-23?

  2. Do you believe in Spiritual Warfare?  Why or why not?

  3. Before we can defend against spiritual attacks, we have to be keenly aware of them!  Thinking of the Church, in what ways are we vulnerable to attacks from the devil? Thinking of your heart and your weaknesses, where or when are you especially vulnerable to attacks?  With these vulnerabilities in mind, what would it look like to create an appropriate and strategic plan of defense? (Look at Eph. 6 for help in creating this plan.)

  4. As we create this plan of defense, we can ultimately trust God to fight for us.  How is this good news and how does it affect the way we fight or work?

Practice:

Looking at question three above, write out your plan of defense and share it with your DNA group this week.  If you’ve never read C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters, consider doing so this week!  Then follow Paul’s urging in Ephesians 6:18 and persevere in PRAYER, which is essential in spiritual warfare.  Remember, we can take heart in the battle, for our Savior has already won the war. We have victory in Jesus!