Ready for Exercise? – June 1, 2015

Okay, are you ready for some exercise? Well listen, only do this if both hands are available. If you’re driving, I’d rather you wouldn’t try this. Okay here we go! Extend one hand so it’s out straight. Okay, Now I’m doing this same thing. Now, poke your index finger full force into that open palm. Okay, got it. Okay now here’s part two of the exercise. You got that same hand open? Now make your other hand into a fist. Now, hit that hand full-force with the fist. Okay, here we go. Well…which one had more power?

Our scripture for today comes from Nehemiah chapter 4, and we are beginning in verse 12. Let me give you the situation: Nehemiah has rallied the Jewish people to begin rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem that’s been down for many years. The gates have been burned, all kinds of enemies and other things are getting in and out of there. It’s a total disaster, and these folks are leading the charge to rebuild it. The people who have had previous access to Jerusalem and to that area, well they’re not very happy about this. They’d rather it stayed in rubble, and they are threatening to attack.

Okay we’ve got this pretty heated scene here and in Nehemiah 4:12 some people go, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.” Well thank you, I think that’s pretty obvious. Here’s how Nehemiah fights back. “Therefore, I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families with their swords, spears and bows. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, ‘Don’t be afraid of them. Remember, the Lord…He is great and awesome and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, your homes.”

Now it’s interesting to see how Nehemiah organizes people to fight when there is this overwhelming army against them; an overwhelming threat. It says here that he posted them by families. See, they’ve been working independent of each other. But he got them all together in family groupings. And then he says, “Now, I want you to fight, not for the city, not for me, not for our building project. I want you to fight for your family, your brothers, your sons, your daughters, and so on.” What he’s doing here is he’s talking about the power of fighting as a unit when the pressure’s on.

Okay, let’s go back to the fist. See, the power of independent fingers? Eh, not nearly so great. I mean, look at your five fingers right now. If you stretched them way apart from each other like I’m doing… Now, if you hit yourself in the face like that, it doesn’t hurt very much. But if you pull those together into one fist…well now you’re going to do a lot of damage.

See, here’s the truth. The power of the Christian community in any town is when they work together as a fist and not as separate fingers. So what do you think the Devil focuses his attack on? Dividing God’s people. Maybe you can see it right now happening in your church. Don’t fall for that. Don’t waste any ammunition on each other. He’s the only enemy we ought to be shooting at. Save it all for him. The Devil knows the power of the family that’s pulling together in a crisis.

So he wants to use the crisis to get you to turn on each other. Is he succeeding? A crisis in a family, or a church, or a ministry can either divide us into fingers that are working alone, or unite us into a fist that has knockout power. Whatever situation you’re in, would you help people rally and stay together? Encourage them to confront their differences. Get people with differences in a room kneeling together, praying together, and covenant with each other to aim all your ammo at the real enemy – the Devil. He’s the one trying to divide us. We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood. He knows that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.

So you be the one who makes the people around you make a fist, and then together you can use that fist to knock out the enemy.


Have a “Wonderful DAY in Christ.”

Pastor Terry
Family Worship Center

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