A Great Work
This post was originally part of an email series for a 21-day fast. See below for the series.
Don’t give up on the great work God is doing in your life!
In the Book of Nehemiah, the prophet, Nehemiah learns that the city in Jerusalem was burned and in ruins. After a time of mourning, repentance, praying and fasting, Nehemiah, who was a slave to the Persian king, is allowed to return and at great expense to the King re-build the city and walls of Jerusalem.
This re-building caught the attention of neighbor nations. It was in the best interest of the surrounding nations to keep the city of Jerusalem in disrepair. A key player from these nations was a person named Sandballat.
The Enemy Sends Words to Taunt You
When Sandballat and some of the surrounding rulers heard that Nehemiah was returning with resources to rebuild the wall of the city, they adopted a satanic attitude of opposition (Nehemiah 4).
Sandballat sent negative, discouraging words to the people to intimidate them and discourage them from the work. Nehemiah turned to prayer and God strengthened him and the people to attend to the work and built the wall half way up.
The Enemy Sends Distractions to Stop Us
Sandballat and his friends saw that Nehemiah was going to finish the wall and if that wall was completed, the city of Jerusalem would be a fortress again. This time, they did more than just send doubt and stir people to lose confidence. This time they developed a scheme to bring Nehemiah to a meeting and kill him when he arrived (Nehemiah 6).
Nehemiah was a prophet, so he saw that coming and had an answer for them when they sent messengers with the deadly invite.
Nehemiah said, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” Sandballot sent messengers four more times and Nehemiah answered them the same way.
The story of Nehemiah is about the restoration and re-building of the broken walls that allow the enemy to come in and out as he pleases. When our walls are strong, the enemy is forced to come in by the fortified gates.
When the enemy comes through the fortified gates, we can see him and send forces to repel him. Strong walls gives you control over the enemies approach to your life.
As you fast, know that you are doing a Great Work in your life and there can be all kinds of distractions to get you away from doing that Great Work. Some of these distractions might seem normal or may appear to be a full-out assault against your life and those that are around you.
Fasting and Praying gives you ‘sight’ of the Enemy
Without a doubt, Nehemiah was someone who fasted and prayed often. He was given insight by God to see the work and plan of the enemy and when the enemy sent distractions he spoke to those distractions.
His words were empowered by the Holy Spirit and he said to his enemies. “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”
During this time of fasting you may feel like you are being told to stop and come down from what you are doing. Don’t! Take the words of Nehemiah and make them your own. Tell the distractions, the people, the situations— that God is doing a great work in your life and you cannot come down from it.
God is re-building your spiritual walls, walls that have become a little worn through a year of struggle. Walls that have developed holes that are big enough for the enemy to walk through and cause you to stumble.
When you are feeling discouraged, speak the Word of God to your issue—
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
—and stay on the wall, doing God’s Great Work in your life.
Here are the links to the fasting posts in order:
5 Reasons for Fasting | Cleaning House | Breaking Point | Ask God |
Fasting Stories | Pray Fast, Pray Often | A Great Work | Christians Should Fast Differently | Fasting Stories | Believing Without Doubting | 40 Days, 40 Nights, then Satan