Nehemiah 4:16–18 (ESV): From that day on, half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. And the leaders stood behind the whole house of Judah, who were building on the wall. Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other. And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built.
Sometimes to make progress and advance we must learn to build and be ready for battle at the same time. Unfortunately, most do the opposite, they spend their time warring and ready to build. The enemy would rather keep you in war mode because it prevents you from building. Nehemiah knew that the only way to finish the building of the Wall was to not stop the progress of building. Rather, he continued to build while each person carried a sword to be ready to protect the progress and defeat the enemy if necessary. Notice it says that:
“Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other.”
Those who carried burdens were strategic, they carried enough to build but not too much where they could not fight if the need arisen. That means the work of building never stopped.
- How much of our prayer time do we spend on warfare vs edifying?
- How much of our Kingdom work is spent on Building vs. Spiritual Warfare?
The greatest, most powerful and effective warfare against the enemy is the advancement and building of the Kingdom of God. How this happens at a practical level today?
- Our prayers need to be centered around His blueprints, not our fears of what the enemy could do or is doing.
- Our work needs to be spent on doing the work of the ministry (advancing the Kingdom) through relationship, discipleship, community, restoring, healing, miracles and casting out, in doing so, we war against the enemy.
Remember it is easier to use a hammer as a weapon than a sword as a tool for building. If there is anything you do in the Kingdom be a builder, in fact, the word of God is both described as a hammer and a sword (Jeremiah 23:29; Hebrews 4:12).
I remember when I was more warfare driven, my hours would be spent in battles that produced very little advancement of the Kingdom and very little growth in my spiritual life. As I began to renew my mind and shift my prayers I found myself busier with Kingdom Work. More opportunity building relationships, setting people free, healing wounded hearts and doing the ministry of reconciliation. The reason why this happened, was because my vision focus shifted from seeing everything as an attack from the devil to a lack of doing the work of the ministry.
Personal Warfare vs. Corporate Warfare
I have found that most people who live in constant personal warfare mode is because they have not joined a corporate body that can they can battle alongside with to obtain victory.
Nehemiah said to his people:
Nehemiah 4:18–20 (ESV): The man who sounded the trumpet was beside me. And I said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “The work is great and widely spread, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.”
Nehemiah knew the power of Corporate Spiritual Warfare, in unity, God our Mighty Warrior fights for us! If you fight your battles in a community you will be undefeated.