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Pray and Fight

Nehemiah 4:7-14 (ESV)

But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward and that the breaches were beginning to be closed, they were very angry. And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.

In Judah it was said, “The strength of those who bear the burdens is failing. There is too much rubble. By ourselves we will not be able to rebuild the wall.” And our enemies said, “They will not know or see till we come among them and kill them and stop the work.” At that time the Jews who lived near them came from all directions and said to us ten times, “You must return to us.” So in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in open places, I stationed the people by their clans, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”


When I read this passage, I immediately consider how daunting it can be to push forward with an idea or task that is discouraged by others, or is ultimately perceived to be dangerous. After all, self-preservation is a natural inclination. This threat of danger, coupled with the pleas of your own people imploring for your retreat, can be deafening. Yet, Nehemiah knew and trusted that God was with him, guiding him, and would protect him as he completed the work that God had called him to do.

Though much easier said than done, we can all strive to be more like Nehemiah. In the face of adversity, we can choose to trust in God. Even when surrounded by negativity, with people saying we can’t or shouldn’t do something we feel called by God to do, we can choose to obey.

When feeling the tension between your supernatural calling and doubt, or between your calling and the perceptions of others, seek God. Pray to Him, seeking guidance just as Nehemiah did. Trust that He is with you and will guide and provide for you. Fight to uphold your calling. Fight the urge to please those who doubt you. Fight to be diligent in pleasing God. Our actions may be disappointing or misunderstood by those who doubt our calling, but will be right in God’s eyes.

Action Steps

What callings have been on your heart recently? What sources of negativity have you encountered in relation to these callings? Pray about it. Seek God’s wisdom.

Heavenly Father, thank You for offering Your presence and walking through challenges with me. I pray that I unabashedly honor Your callings in my life, and that my eyes are opened to see Your plan and the part I play. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

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