Day 70: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 70: The Way Of The Warrior

. Photo by is licensed under CC By 2.0

The Way Of The Warrior

In our last devotion, we saw that Nehemiah had gone back to Jerusalem. Artaxerxes, the Persian king, gave him permission to rebuild the city, since it lay in ruins.  But the Lord guided the process, Nehemiah came to Jerusalem, reconnoitered the city and audaciously suggested that the people could rebuild the walls.  The Israelites listened to him: And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. (Neh. 2:18).  One person with vision and focus, changed a mindset of complacency. Will the Lord use you in the same way? Yessir!  Are you ready?

So they strengthened their hands for the good work. (2:18).  That was easy!

Just a second, not so fast.  Two arch rivals weren’t buying into this plan: But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab [they added another bad guy] heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” (Neh. 2:19).  Sanballat and Tobiah immediately go to the most harmful, non-violent weapons – insult and ridicule.  Verbal abuse was weaponized to make people cower, not to flourish.  Jesus was pummeled with mocking. You probably will also be a target if you are fulfilling the Lord’s plan.

Jesus said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. (Matt. 9:24). And twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” (Matt. 27:29).  They said to him [Jesus], “We were not born of sexual immorality. (John 8:4 In other words your mama was a whore, and you are illegitimate.

Be ready!  Jesus’ said: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. (John 15:18).  Beware, resistance goes with spiritual endeavor. Paul wrote: for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. (1 Cor. 16:9).

Insults and verbal abuse are very effective, and can deeply harm, and are great tools for manipulating people.  They are not to be used by believers in Christ.  If you are doing this to anyone, stop it immediately! Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Eph. 4:32).

Also know that in any organization, church, government, schools, businesses, etc. 13% of any organization will sabotage the group’s goals!  Strange but true!

Don’t be surprised by the Sanballats and Tobiahs in life.  They will resist you.  You need to have a plan.  Nehemiah responded to these adversaries: Then I replied to them, “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.” (Neh. 2:20).  Nehemiah’s response was spiritual, then legal.

The spiritual component was the first and most important.  Nehemiah was not ashamed to tell enemies his worldview. “God….will make us prosper…”  Can you see Sanballat and Tobiah snorting at this?  Their insults bounced off Nehemiah like bullets off Superman’s chest.  They do not change Nehemiah’s mind about God or his plan.

However, verbal insults can have impact, they often do cause immense harm.  David noted in his prayer: You know my reproach, and my shame and my dishonor; my foes are all known to you. (Ps. 69:19).  Reproaches have broken my heart, so that I am in despair. I looked for pity, but there was none, and for comforters, but I found none. (Ps. 69:20).  This was a mournful time for David.  ‘Broken’ means to violently crush or shatter.

Nehemiah knows the in’s-and-out’s of palace intrigues, and manipulation.  He was well versed in managing deceptive enemies, dressed in neckties.  He puts these two men in their place and adds a period on the sentence.  You have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.” (Neh. 2:20).  He just slams the door on their hopes. He hits them right in their pocketbook.  That gets their attention!  Nehemiah fights fair, but hard.  Do not be afraid to have hard edges, when you meet recalcitrant adversaries. Nehemiah had sharp elbows.

What do you think the population of Jerusalem thinks of this exchange?  Before Nehemiah came, these two fierce enemies manipulated the citizens into inaction.  Is this going to be the same old, same old?  What happens when Israel has a champion?

Somehow courage came like a blood transfusion – read Nehemiah chapter 3.  A tsunami of hope went through the people, and they just began the work of rebuilding!  This became an infectious, bold tidal wave of people changing their old thinking, old habits, and getting reinvigorated to do something in community with others.  The rebuilding became a ‘thing.’ It was not a fad, but a new vision, a mission of hope, a noble goal to accomplish for an entire community.  This was a ‘God’ thing!  Wouldn’t you like to be part of that?

Things were going well, the work was progressing, people had hope, there was a vision for the future…

Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he jeered at the Jews. (Neh. 4:1).  I thought he learned his lesson? He sounded like a peevish child, who does not get his way.  ‘Angry’ means to be furious.  ‘Enraged’ means to be indignant, being aggrieved. Sanballat had an identity of entitlement.  Things should be going his way, by his standards, by his vision and goals.  One small sentence by Nehemiah, a no-nonsense guy, blew Sanballat’s world apart.  Tyrants are petty.

He added – ‘jeering.’ Then he even postures for: the army of Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore it for themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish up in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, and burned ones at that?” (4:2).  An opposing army of the Samarians were present, and he wants to inflame them for armed combat with the Jews.  He’s amping up threats. Tobiah, his partner: “Yes, what they are building– if a fox goes up on it he will break down their stone wall!” (4:3).

Nehemiah response? Prayer: Hear, O our God, for we are despised. Turn back their taunt on their own heads and give them up to be plundered in a land where they are captives. (4:4).  Whoa!  They have provoked you to anger in the presence of the builders. (4:5).  Prayer is a great tactic.  Use it.  You got the Creator of the Universe on your side, you outgun your adversary.  It’s not really a fair fight, but they’re the bullies.  Justice is coming.

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Make me into a man of spiritual courage, who can charge into a fray with integrity and wisdom.  Let me not hesitate to ramp up righteous indignation, when your vision is being tarnished.  But let me do it with a reasoned approach that is unassailable, and that has a measured intensity: And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. (John 2:15).  Jesus just didn’t act with ferocity, he explained why: And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” (2:16).  Give me a balance of fierceness, and prudence, and let honesty and justice be my virtues.

Then let my attitudes and behaviors encourage others to mimic Godly thinking and behavior.  Lord I don’t want to perform, I want to let your character be channeled through my mind and actions.  I want people to see Jesus, when I am public with my behavior.  Then let those behaviors be what I exhibit with my wife and my family.  Allow them be the benefactors of thoughtful, courageous, and wise choices and behaviors, from me. Let your character be my character, your wisdom be my wisdom, your love be my love, so that the world will get a glimpse of you, through me.  I pray this in Jesus’s precious name.  Amen.

Let's Talk

100% Confidential | Warrior-to-warrior

We respond within 24 hours and can provide community support, resources, and referrals.