Peninsula Community Church
Rebuilding the Broken Places of Our Life
March 19, 2017
Nehemiah 4:10-14 In Judah it was said, “The strength of those who bear the burdens is failing. There is too much rubble. By ourselves we will not be able to rebuild the wall.” And our enemies said, “They will not know or see till we come among them and kill them and stop the work.” At that time the Jews who lived near them came from all directions and said to us ten times, “You must return to us.” So in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in open places, I stationed the people by their clans, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”
As you take your journey through life have you ever found yourself being strong and making great head way in overcoming problems and rebuilding that which is broken, only to find yourself in a weakened state at other times. It happens to all of us at some point in time. Life can be an ongoing process of ups and downs. It is an ebb and flow. You know how it is, you start to make great head way and then there is some event or circumstance that sends you spiraling downward.
What are the broken places in our lives? I would suggest a few here this morning. I am sure that you can add many others. Misplaced theology can cause a broken place in our life. We end up with a false view of God which causes a false view of ourselves. We are broken when our faith is tested beyond measure and we feel there is no hope. We are broken when the relationships we are in are broken. We are broken by false expectations of life. We are broken by misplaced desires and lust that over takes us. We are broken by illnesses that catch us by surprise. We are broken by our addictions which seem to control our every move. We are broken by emotional and psychological weaknesses that deter us from living the destiny that we were given by God.
We have all been broken in some way, at some time. It is for that reason that we will deal with the question of how to deal with the broken places of our life. In this study, we will look at just a couple of tools at our disposal. Before we look at the solutions we will look at three of the tools often used by the enemy to discourage the rebuilding process. These tactics are used to defeat us and keep us from rebuilding the broken places of our lives.
To begin with, we must recognize that the enemy does not want us to rebuild the broken places in our lives. He knows that when we do this, his access to our life will be cut off or at least minimized. Therefore, he will do everything in his power to stop and distract us from doing what is necessary to rebuild the broken places. You see the enemy knows that if you rebuild the broken places in your life, you will be an effective power house for God and he cannot stand for that or even the possibility of your success. He knows that he is defeated every time we rebuild a broken place in our life. He is afraid of a healthy, healed believer in Christ.
So what does the enemy do? One of the tools the enemy uses is the tool of ridicule and mockery. Sanballat resorts to this tactic to stop the rebuilding of the wall by distracting them from their purpose. It is noteworthy that Sanballat had nothing to add to the process so he resorts to mockery and ridicule. Mockery and ridicule can become the dripping faucet of discouragement. His goal in ridiculing and mocking is to bring hopelessness and to cause the builders to give up on the task before them.
Notice that Sanballat did not directly stop the work of building the wall, he simply offered discouragement and confusion. He knew that he did not have to stop the work if he could discourage them. Here is a fact that we need to know. The enemy of our soul cannot touch us unless we give him the authority and give him room to do so. We give him access by allowing sin to go unconfessed. We give his access by believing the lies spoken against us. We give him access by failing to recognize our destiny in God.
Peter understood this spiritual dynamic when he penned these words. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you (1 Peter 5:8).
In getting to know Christ, we come to terms with the ploys of the enemy to discourage and cause us to become disconnected from God’s grace, His mercy, and His love. By resisting the devil and turning to Christ, He will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. Right now the way may seem rocky and may feel like you are on the ride of your life, but hold on because you are His child and He loves you more than you will ever know.
A second ploy used by the enemy is to cause confusion. When ridicule and mockery does not work the enemy then tries to engage with tactics that create confusion, doubt, and regret. When we walk in confusion, it is hard to know what to do and what the answers really are. Paul dealt with this issue when he stated that God is not a God of confusion but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33). The underlying motive of all that God does is peace. It is the foundation and the basis of everything He is and does. The truth is, while the world can be falling apart around us we can still walk in peace.
You see the enemy loves to rob us of our peace by causing confusion which leads to doubt and desperation. On the other hand, God came to give us peace and not confusion. My guess today is that if you are walking through a season of confusion then we need to identify the root cause and it is not God. Is there an unconfessed sin in your life, or is the enemy using confusion to distract and deter you from God’s purposes?
A third ploy used is to get our attention upon how much rubble there is. Sometimes when we are confronted with issues in life we can become overwhelmed with all that we are dealing with. The rubble around us relates to the health issues we face, the people we have to deal with, the financial struggles we face, or the unknown of the future. If we are not careful, the problems can mount up and we can be overwhelmed by all of the problems we are facing. The result is that we lose sight of the promise of God and we begin to believe that there is no hope for a better day.
The rubble we face becomes greater than the faith we have in God or in ourselves for that matter. To make this practical, we begin to believe that we are too messed up and that we have too many problems for our walls to be rebuilt. We get focused on what is left to be done rather than on what He has already done.
So how did Nehemiah deal with these things? First, Nehemiah encouraged and challenged Judah to continue to move forward. He knew that if they became stagnate that the work would never get done and they would never get the wall rebuilt which was paramount to their success and protection. So, they returned to work. They continued to move forward. They did not give up or give in. They continued to fight the battle. It is here that I am reminded of the words of God in 2 Chronicles 20. And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s (2 Chronicles 20:15). We can rest in and be assured that He will fight the battle, if we allow Him to.
Here is an interesting note, however, even though they knew the battle was the Lord’s and they had a confidence in Him, they also knew they needed to be prepared for battle, if necessary. That is why Nehemiah gives the order to be armed for battle but they were not to stop working. Therefore, they worked with a sword in one hand and a brick in the other. The understanding here is that whatever we are engaged in there will be a spiritual battle. We never stop focusing on Christ and His power to redeem us. The fact is, we can become so focused on the task that we forget that we are in a spiritual battle or we can be so focused on the spiritual battle that we never get anything accomplished. Nehemiah knew there was a healthy balance between the two.
Listen to the words of Paul in Ephesians 6. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak (Ephesians 6:10-15).
Notice too that while each one was responsible for their part of the wall and they were responsible for their own protection, they did not work alone. They recognized they were a part of a bigger project and plan. They worked together. They knew that it was a team effort. They worked side-by-side with the same goal and aspirations. They were not divided or disconnected. Their mission was to rebuild the wall so that they could come to live in a new normal. What Nehemiah did was pretty amazing. When anyone needed help or they were being overrun by the enemy they were to sound an alarm by blowing a trumpet. This meant that everyone was to rally to that point so as to protect that part of the building.
How does this apply to us? The fact is there are times where we need help to rebuild the broken places of our lives. The easy thing for us to do is to isolate and think we can do this on our own, but God has placed us in a body of believers for a reason. When we are going through a difficult time, there is a need to rally those around us that will support us and help us through the battle. We need people of faith to rally along side of us and help us through the battle. The problem too often is that we want to isolate and separate ourselves but we need one another. That is not to say that we do not need time along with God but when we isolate ourselves too often that is where we begin to live and that causes us to be defeated before we get started. That is where we can give room for the enemy to control our lives.
I love the Scripture that is on the front of our bulletin today. Don’t panic I’m with you. There’s no need to fear, for I am your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady and keep a firm grip on you (Isaiah 41:10). Know this, God wants you to rebuild the broken places of your lives. He wants to bring you healing, restoration, and power. He is there to get you through the storm. He will help you rebuild. He will guide the restoration of your life. Give Him your worries and your cares. He will make a difference. In the final analysis, we need to recognize that the battle has already been won for us. We are redeemed and set free by God. Remember that all of our sins and past failures are under the blood.
For an audio of this message go to http://pccministry.org/media.php?pageID=14
Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved Robert W. Odom