Rebuilding: Protect the Vision

Pastor Bill West - June 20, 2021

When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work. From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me. Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!” So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and workmen by day.” Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.
Nehemiah 4:15–23

Change Your Strategy

When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work. From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked.
Nehemiah 4:15–18

But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
Nehemiah 4:9

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8

Change your strategy, not your vision

Protect Your Unity

But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me. Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!"
Nehemiah 4:19–20

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:3

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Matthew 22:36–39

Maintain Your Focus

So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and workmen by day.” Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.
Nehemiah 4:21–23

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Philippians 2:12–13

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19–20

Bottom Line: Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing

  1. Take some time to look back over Nehemiah 4:1-14.  How many times did the Jews face opposition from their enemies? What kinds of opposition did they face? What does this tell you about the kinds of “opposition” we may face? Talk about the ways that Nehemiah dealt with the opposition. What do you learn from his response?
  2. Read Nehemiah 4:15-18: What was the main objective for the Jews and Nehemiah? How did Nehemiah alter the way they went about building the wall? What do you learn from this? Remember what was their main vision and calling?
  3. Have you ever had to change the way you did something?  changing the main thing you wanted to accomplish?
  4. Read Nehemiah 4:19-20: What are some things you learn from these verses? How did this approach protect and preserve the unity of the workers?  Why is unity so important in accomplishing mission and vision?
  5. Read Ephesians 4:3, Matthew 22:36-39: What is it that unifies all Christ followers? What is it that should unify us as we seek to rebuild our lives?
  6. Read Nehemiah 4:21-23: How did everyone maintain focus as they did their work and protected each other? How did they keep the main thing, the main thing?
  7. As Christ followers, what is our main thing? What matters most in this world for us? How do we keep the main thing in our families, in our work, in our personal life and in our church? Read Matthew 28:19-20.
  8. Where are you most struggling this week to remain focused on the main thing?
  9. Pray for each other