The Lord dropped a “time for war” phrase in my heart at a gathering that hasn’t left me, in fact it’s only been in development. To make war on the right things, the things that keep us stagnant, complacent, or draw us away from Him. He was telling me what time it was when I was asking about a verse in ECC.8:5 (“the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.”) and since then the “war” theme has been all around me. I’ve read spirit wars, watched bride wars, my son just told me about a documentary of the world wars, and next week my kids are going to a re-enactment of General Custer’s war. I’ve read the war words in magazines, glanced at them in shows, and listened to pastors and teachers touch on it in topics. I’ve been refereeing this summer season for my kids…who apparently think they are in a literal war. So i’ve gotten quiet and close to the Father to ask Him what else He wants to say. Well, first I scrolled through Overstock to buy a new rug for a remodel and there on the front page was a clock that read “it’s time for a new style of war.” At least that’s what I thought it said, when I looked again the words of war were missing and though I thought my mind was playing tricks on me, I knew God was getting my attention. So I mused about this “new style of war” and asked Him what He had in mind. I went back to words from the book of Nehemiah.
Nehemiah is granted to return back to REBUILD the city walls and gates where fire and war has destroyed his ancestors land. He entered through a Valley to see the places that sat in ruins. “Come, let’s rebuild Jerusalem’s wall so that we will no longer be a disgrace. They said, Let’s start rebuilding, and THEIR HANDS WERE STRENGTHENED TO DO THIS GOOD WORK.” (Neh 2: 15-18) But while they were rebuilding their enemies wanted to take advantage of them and they went up to attack them, everywhere they turned there was an attack. STRATEGY: So he stationed people behind the low sections of the wall at the vulnerable areas. “I stationed them in families with their swords, spears, and bows. Don’t be afraid of them, remember the awe-inspiring Lord, and fight for those beside you, your countrymen, your sons, and daughters, your wives and home.” (Neh.4)
War is a family affair. Our fight should be next to those in our families, not with those in our families. I read over this chapter with the lens of “family” on, and I feel like there is a gap of grace for those needing to “rebuild walls” within families, friendships, and countrymen as the verse points out. God is stationing us together over “exposed places” where the enemy wants to attack and we must be ready to rebuild and war at the same time. Is that difficult? Yes, I can’t imagine holding a sword in one hand and stacking bricks with the other. Symbolically speaking, we need posture ourselves in wisdom as we build on truth, hold our sword, and stack our prayers until we see the exposed places becoming less vulnerable and more strengthened. Where we are positioned is to give help to ourselves but also hope to others who are stationed next to us, remember we are not at war with them…we are to war next to them. I believe the Lord will strengthen our hands for this kind of work as he did for them long ago, and just as wall was completed in an unbelievable timeline of 52 days (that left their enemies intimidated because they knew only God could have done this) I too believe that our testimonies of the goodness of God will be over our lives on our tongues as we war and rebuild with those in our family. “The God of the heavens is the one that will grant us success.” (Neh.2:20)
Chapter five is full of returns for the people doing the rebuilding. Returns on fields, vineyards, olive groves, and houses. Many provisions were granted before the rebuilding was completed. I believed this to be a prophetic promise for the people of God; that returns will be over us as we station ourselves in our assignments and battle with one another and not against each other. We will see many types of returns and provisions even before “the work” and rebuilding is completed. I feel it important to have an awareness of things God is exposing, bringing up and pointing to in our hearts…not to condemn us but to allow us to see what needs work and rebuilding, lest we be the ones that are doing the burning and tearing down of precious and sacred walls. War well friends, this is a season to stand close to each other.
Next to you, DeAnn Carpenter