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Burnt Stones (3 of 4)

Mike Connell

Summary Notes

Neh 2:17-18
“Let us arise and build”
· Nehemiah = “Comfort of God” = Holy Spirit
· The Holy Spirit stirs the people of God with vision of a city rebuilt
· The Holy Spirit calls them to arise and build – become the answer to the problem
· Holy Spirit issues the same challenge to the church in every generation
· “Arise and Build!” Restore the beautiful stones; position and build them into the wall of destiny

Every Believer is A Builder
‘Son’ = OT1121 = ‘Ben’ = to build, rebuild, establish, build the family name
Every believer is born into the family of God and called to build the house Is 6:4 Purpose of Anointing
a) Build your Personal Life:
· 1 Cor 3:9 “You are God’s building (architecture)”
· Jude 20 “Building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying”
· You are responsible to build, establish your life in God
· Build your faith, your character, your capacity, your skill level
· This takes commitment, perseverance, courage, a plan

b) Build the House of God:
· 1 Cor 14:12 “…you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel”
· Every believer is given spiritual gifts to build the people of God
· Eph 4:15-16 “ Relationships are the channel for gifts to flow and build”
· Neh 4:6 “So we built the wall for the people had a mind to work”

3. All Spiritual Building faces opposition, Problems – Expect it!:
· Neh 4:1 “When Sanballot heard we are rebuilding the wall he was furious”
· Neh 4:8 “All of them conspired to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion”
· Spiritual powers seek to attack and create confusion and discouragement
· Opposition was external (enemies) and internal (within and among themselves)

a) Fatigue
· Verse 10 The strength of the laborers is failing, (stumble, totter, be feeble or weakening)
· It is very easy to start a project – hard to finish
· They were half way through the project
· The personal cost was higher than expected and every one was fatigued
· Fatigue and loss of strength can lead to discouragement
· Conflict, setbacks, difficulties, spiritual pressure, long hours without adequate rest can lead to discouragement

b) Frustration
· Verse 10 “There is so much rubbish”
· There was so much garbage, broken rocks, debris that they felt overwhelmed
· They lost focus – lost sight of what they were building, the big picture
· Easy to become discouraged and lose focus as you see so much rubbish
· Must continually look ahead – in marriage, family, finances or it can be overwhelmed by the negatives, destruction of the past
· Ezra 4:4-5 They had councilors against them to frustrate their purpose
· Frustration: Leads to resentment, anger, stress, anxiety, discouragement
· The pressure of the needs can bring immense frustration – reaction
· This eroded their confidence “We are not able” Num 13:30-31

c) Fear
· Verse 11 ‘Our adversaries said”
· Here is always someone opposed to what God wants to do
· What voices are you listening to? Impact, atmosphere, fear or faith
· Evil spirits will oppose – despise, belittle and attack
· Verse 12 “The Jews who dwelt near them told us 10 times”
· There are Christians living under demonic influence, unresolved issues
· People constantly spoke negatively, critically, cynically
· “They”; “Lots of people say” – gossip fear
· Who is influencing your life? Encouraging or faultfinding?
· These were attempts to fill with fear and intimidate those working

4. Overcoming Discouragement:
i) Don’t react ii) Think solutions iii) Ask questions iv) Take responsibility, initiative
· Nehemiah was proactive in restoring courage and faith and hope
· Rom 15:13 “Now, the God of all hope fill you with joy, peace and believing …”

i. Recognize and Reconnect
· Verse 13 “Therefore I position men … I settle people …”
· He changed his approach to meet the challenge and did not quit and run
· He connected people in family groups with people who love and care
· We need to be connected to people who care for us and stand with us = comfort and encourage

ii. Restore Focus
· Verse 14 “Remember the Lord’
· Where you focus affects your confidence and courage. Focus on the Source
· He focused on the Source of their assignment – returned focus on the Lord
· Joshua, David, Psalm 77 ; Is 40:29
· Jesus declared – “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall nor prevail”
· Heb 12:2-3 “Looking to Jesus, hope set before him, endured…”

iii. Return to the Work
· Verse 15 All of us returned to the wall. Verse 18 “Everyone of the builders had a sword girded at his side as he built”