“Our enemies said, “They will not know or see until we come among them, kill them and put a stop to the work.” When the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times, “They will come up against us from every place where you may turn,” then I stationed men in the lowest parts of the space behind the the wall, in the exposed places, and I stationed the people in families with their swords, and spears and bows. When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of the them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.” When our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work.” Nehemiah 4:11-15
As I poured over this verse, I realised that this is Gods true battle plan both in the biblical physical war and the spiritual war. I was so moved at Gods plan for the family to fight together and the importance of fighting as a family. As I imagined my husband, being stationed in the open places in the wall, my heart swelled. He is our first line of defense in spiritual warfare. I imagine him saying, if you are going to try to get to my family, you will have to come through me first. That heart to protect us and guard the gap for us. It made me so appreciate Gods call for them and how important their role is in our families. God gave them a fighters heart for a reason. When someone challenges their children, or wives they have a natural instinct to protect them. I love that in my husband is a heart to stand in the gap for our family. To be our first line of defense. I am so honored to have him standing in the gap on our behalf.
“I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap…” Ezekiel 22:30
The picture just gets more beautiful as you read. “I stationed them in families with their swords, spears and bows.” Nehemiah 4;13b. I have this image of a wall around our family that has gaps or holes in it, from different choices we have made, or others have made that have affected us, that have opened ways in which the devil can attack us. In those places stands my husband warring on our behalf. Stationed behind him is our family with our swords, spears and bows. As he is facing outwards, watching for the enemy, standing guard, we are standing behind him, protecting his back. I understand with the image in my mind how important it is that the family fights together against the true enemy and how damaging it can be if they get caught up fighting each other.
Never has the bible verse found in Ephesians 6:12 been so meaningful. It says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” One of the best tactics the enemy could use, would be to turn the family on each other so they cannot fight effectively against him. So easy and so effective. I pictured the times that we get wrapped up fighting against each other. My husband standing in the gap, we are supposed to be standing behind him to help defend against the enemy and instead our backs are turned to him as we begin fighting amongst ourselves. Who is going to have my husbands back? Are those things we are fighting about worth it, when we see what our husbands and fathers of our children our fighting for on our behalf.
It is such a sad picture that I see in my mind. I no longer feel any argument against someone else in our family is worth it. When I am distracted by these things and our kids are distracted by these things, we cannot fight effectively and we become very vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy.
It is so important to teach our kids no matter how young they are that they are apart of the battle. They are important to our family having safety from the enemy. They are never to young to learn to fight the spiritual war. To teach them the iportance of staying focused against our real enemy, so that we cannot be attacked. We fight as a family!
A question came to my mind that drove me to this next point. If you were called to lead a platoon of men and women into battle but you knew some of them were working for the enemy, would you still be confident to bring them into battle? I worked this out in my mind and it really made my spirit sad. If you are working to stop the enemy from penetrating your home, your family, and you are fighting with everything you have, yet some in your home, who are sided with the enemy continue to give him opportunities to come and attack. I imagine my husband standing at the front door of our house, defending our home, standing guard day and night, but people who should be fighting with us are fighting against us and go around the house opening the back door, windows or any other way that the enemy could get in . This is the sad reality of families who have unsaved children or spouses.
God has shown me how important it is to teach our kids what it really means when they decide to continue to remain in the grasps of the hands of the enemy. When they choose to reject Gods call to be their Father and choose to remain in the enemies family it has detrimental effects on the family as a whole. To teach them they are either for us or against us. They either have their dads back, or they are giving up his position, weakening the wall of defense. When you speak this truth, it is the hope that the Lord will convict them of truth and they will turn to be a protector of the family.
Over the past several weeks, we have mulled over these verses an what they mean for us as a family as a whole. We have taught our children the importance not only of their fathers position but the importance of their position as well. I pray that God will speak into their hearts His truths. I am called to share the truth with them but I must leave the conviction to the Holy Spirit. Sometimes as a parent that is the hardest thing to do, but we have to have faith that if we do our part, God will do H
This past week we have had a sweet gift from God. Isaac our last born, decided that he wanted to be apart of Gods family, that he wanted God to be His Father. He said, ” I want to switch teams mom. Will you help me?” What a precious moment as a parent to see your child choose Christ. They say its not about accepting Christ but believing that He has accepted you. So God has rescued my son. We called Todd into the bedroom to share the news with him. He walks in and see Isaac crying and asks him what is wrong. “I am happy”, Isaac replies quietly. Looking into his daddy’s eyes he says, “I am a part of Gods family, I am in the same family as you now.” Todd smiled with that heart smile only a daddy could give back. His heart overwhelmed with thankfulness. He bends down to give Isaac a hug and Isaac, with so much love, embraced his daddy so tenderly, and says, “I have your back now dad.” Instantly Todd’s heart burst, and the tears streamed down. I just watch this beautiful moment between father and son.
God has now stationed our son, behind his father with his sword, spear and bow. Today we are stronger in our fight against the enemy because God has added another warrior to our family. It reminds me of the verse in John 6:44 that says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” I am so grateful that the spirit of God drew him in. He is not just our son, now he is our brother in Christ. God is good all time.
” When our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work.” This is the hope we have in standing in the correct battle formation and fighting the fight together. That our enemy will see that we have caught on to His plan to disrupt and destroy our family. Once the devil knows we have caught on, it is like a lion knowing that their pray has sighted him, they are no longer going to be able to be successful in their attack so they leave waiting for a better time. Then we can go back to to the work that God has called us to do. We fight hard, and serve with everything we have.
Remember that they lion hunts those who are wounded, weak, or alone. Same for the family. If our family is wounded, weak or if some of our members are walking alone, our family will be an easy target for the enemy. So stay together, stay for one another, build one another up, encourage one another, stay united, stay grounded in Christ and the enemy will not be able to find a foothold. He will be defeated.
Jesus is our defender, He stood in the gap for us. As parents we are called to be the defender of our children and to stand in the gap on their behalf. Just as we are called to fight along side Christ our children are called to fight along side us. Such an amazing picture of what the true call of a family is. Choose to be Nehemiah family. You will be blessed.