We just started going through the combined book of Ezra and Nehemiah. This week we did an overview. Found out during the study that it was originally written as one text. So next week we'll be starting in Ezra for Wednesday nights.
Looking through the book you see that everything started and ended with prayer/fasting and the word. God gave promises of punishment but also of blessing. And even when Israel failed to meet the requirements, God's mercy was there when they returned to him. How great is it that we are able to come to Jesus under a covenant or agreement of not the law but grace. God sees us as son's because of what Jesus did for us, that however does not mean that we should not work with all our effort to please Him in all we do.
The Enemy does not like it when we are serving God, or starting a new ministry guided by the Holy Spirit, or really doing anything for God. Some of the attacks of the enemy in the book of Nehemiah are geared to get Nehemiah of course. To be distracted for what God wanted him to do. How we too can get so easily distracted. The enemy used, unfounded lies which Nehemiah combats with sayings like, "The Lord will fight for me." The enemy ridiculed him and he prays against the attacks but doesn't stop the work. The enemy tried to attack him physically. Nehemiah didn't stop but had one hand on the sword and another on the work. The enemy tried to plant fear in the heart of Nehemiah but with God's help Nehemiah saw through these attacks. We too can fight with the sword-the word of God and continue our work God has given us.
For us to stay on focus we need to like Nehemiah be men and women of the word, prayer, worship, and humbly confess our sins and that of others to God. (See end of Nehemiah) In this way we stay on task vigilant, alert, and undistracted from God's call for us. The result of Nehemiah's ministry was a repentant people who sought God with the word, worship, and confession. Let's follow his example and watch God bring the fruit!