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LAKE EUNICE EVANGELICAL

FREE CHURCH

 

Repairer of Broken Down Walls                                       Merilee Ottoson    


Upon hearing that the walls of the city of Jerusalem lay in ruins, Nehemiah, a servant of the King, traveled “home” to become a “rebuilder”. In this Old Testament book which bears his name, the situation that Nehemiah encountered was disheartening! (Nehemiah chapters 1-4) He is told that his Jewish brethren are in distress, the wall is broken down and the gates of the city were burned! Receiving permission from the King to travel to Jerusalem, Nehemiah is thwarted by provincial governors along the way. These men conspired to travel to the site and destroy the work of the Jewish people as they rebuilt the walls. In fact, Nehemiah 4:17, describes the rebuilders as doing their work with one hand and carrying a weapon with the other!

There are times when we may experience the same discouragement that Nehemiah felt. We want to follow God and the path He has set for us. However, at times we feel as though we “move two steps forward and three steps back!!”


I pray the following statements will help us fight discouragement in our service for God.

1. Acknowledge the problem and realize who the enemy is! We often feel as though we are fighting people, when in reality, it is satan who has moved in and is prowling as the unseen enemy.   “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood…..but against the spiritual forces of wickedness….”Ephesians 6:12


2. Overcome attacks by taking wise defense measures—set your “defense” in place! In everyday situations… living out our daily lives, sharing the Gospel or working to reconcile relationships/situations, we can prepare ourselves. Wearing the armor that God has provided us in Ephesians 6:10-18 is the best way to move forward. Any trained warrior will prepare himself with gear and weapons BEFORE going into battle so that he can be successful.


3. Face false accusations with insight and courage. Satan is the father of lies and would love to disrupt or destroy your plan of ministry. “…he is a liar and the father of lies…”John 8:44 “Greater is He who is in you…”I John 4:4


Father, give us the strength and discernment to repair broken down walls in our lives and in the lives of those we love…

 

 

 

 

Burn the  Ships  

                                                       Merilee  Ottoson

In the year 1519, Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez sailed to Mexico with 600 hundred men.  A short time later, he destroyed his ships….burned them. We can only imagine this horrific scene as the men watched their “only escape” burn in the flames.


I can’t help but wonder “why” Cortez made such a drastic decision. What did he accomplish by destroying all they had? Why did he choose to crush any hope of connection with their past lives? Some may call him evil and foolish….however, history declares him to be successful in his mission. Cortez was successful because he demanded that the men leave their past behind and conquer the land that lay before them.


Christ has placed a call on each of our lives if we are His followers. He wants our  devotion. Distractions in our Christian life can be a problem. Our thoughts of “giving up” or “throwing in the towel” cause us to want to board that remaining “ship” and take the quickest trip “out”. Instead we must rid ourselves of what holds us back from complete allegiance to Him. Negative thinking, toxic relationships, sinful habits, bad attitudes… Place those things on the burning ships and let them die.

              

“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me….” Phil. 3: 12-14

Set your face like flint and do this thing called living for Jesus. Yes, it’s difficult. Yes, it may take some form of sacrifice. Be encouraged….remain strong ‘til the end!

There is no greater cause….

no greater Master….

no greater reward.

“Let us run with perseverance

the race mapped out for us…” Hebrews 12:1