new beginnings opener

New Beginnings – Week 2

New Beginnings Devotional – Week 2

Leading your life through lock-down losses.

Background:

As we learn from Nehemiah’s leadership rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, Nehemiah 4:17 (NIV) tells us that, “Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other.” Whenever we choose to build there will also be a spiritual battle. If the Jews with Nehemiah neglected the need for a weapon they would not have maintained the work, and if they neglected the tool they would have not completed it. As you choose to lead your life through lockdowns losses there will be spiritual resistance.

Check in:

What one aspect of Sunday’s message had greatest impact on you personally?

Sanballat was one of the enemies who came against Nehemiah as he built. He used ridicule. He ridiculed Nehemiah, the workers, the work itself, and the materials for the work. The enemy works the same way in our lives.

  • The enemy wants you to assume that who you are determines what God can do.
  • The enemy wants to convince you that your work is weak and won’t be completed.
  • The enemy wants us to believe that the ruins in our lives can’t be restored.

Reflection questions:

1. Which one of those three forms of ridicule do you feel the enemy might be speaking into your personal life in lockdown?

Whenever we attract the attention of the enemy because we are focussed on building he tries to distract us with battle.

2. What things in your life have been distractions from focusing on God and working on rebuilding?

In Nehemiah 6:3 (NIV) Nehemiah responds to the enemies who had invited him to engage with them by saying: “Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” We must not become so distracted by battle that we lose sight of what we are building. 1 John 4:4 (NLT) says: “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”

3. In your personal life, what could you start doing practically to remain focused on building, instead of being consumed by battle?

Let’s remember: God births new life from our loss; He blesses what is broken and rebuilds from ruins, and he can do it for you, too. In one instance where Nehemiah faced the enemies in battle, Nehemiah 2:20 (NIV) says:

“I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success.”

Prayer:

Pray back to God all the ridicule that you’ve heard from the enemy over your life and use Nehemiah’s words (Neh. 2:20) as a faith declaration over that ridicule in Jesus name. “The God of heaven will give us success.”

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