Finish the Wall
Allen Michael Rea | Pastor
Dunn Memorial Baptist Church, Baxley, GA
Strange as it may seem, please allow me to insert a biblical principle into your life: every opportunity is NOT from God. Please further allow me to illustrate this from a biblical example from the life of Nehemiah.
In Nehemiah 6:1-4, Nehemiah is faced with the dilemma of determining if his enemies are seriously seeking reconciliation. In you have read Nehemiah previously, the names of Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem do not bring good memories. These men pretend to be the friend and ally of Nehemiah, but they are certainly not. Here is a news flash: everyone is NOT your friend, no matter if they act life it on the surface. Face the fact: to stand for God, more often than not, means to make enemies with people. These three stooges sent messengers to Nehemiah calling for Nehemiah to get off the wall and come and meet them in the plain of Ono. Thankfully, Nehemiah possessed what many Christians today do not possess: discernment. Nehemiah knew that “they thought to do me mischief”. 1 John 4:1 clearly states: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Without discernment you may recognize that not every opportunity is from God, but you will be unable to differentiate between them.
Nehemiah’s response is as bold today as it was when it first echoed off the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah sent messengers to tell them to state: “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” Four times they returned with the same invitation, and four times Nehemiah replied the same way. Notice that his discernment did not waver, falter, or fail.
These enemies of Nehemiah where not relaying a message from God but from there own wicked hearts. Nehemiah knew his conviction and his calling: finish the wall. These three musketeers are seemingly opening their hand, but Nehemiah knows better. They deceitfully say: “Give me your hand!” Nehemiah rightly responds: “Just hand me another brick.” The greatness of Spirit-given discernment is that it will separate the opportunities of God from the traps of Satan.
What about you? Discernment comes to the one who reads his Bible and commits all things to prayer. Trust God to guide you (Proverbs 3:5-7). Just because an opportunity presents itself, do not assume it is from God, even if it seems to be the fulfillment of all your dreams. Do not pitch your tent towards Sodom (Genesis 13:12). Instead, understand that we must not worry about what men think, but be zealous for what God knows. Beware of the plain of Ono. Mischief abounds there; however, up on the wall is the foundation of discernment and truth. Finish the wall.