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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…





Eve                                                                                             Merilee Ottoson

In Genesis we read about the beauty of the Garden of Eden. It also records God’s instructions for living in that garden. He instructed Adam and Eve to “eat freely of any tree except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil….for in the day you eat from it, you shall surely die…” (Gen. 2:16-17)  Shortly thereafter, Eve and the serpent met face to face. The serpent, known to us as satan, questions Eve and what God has told her. Satan assures her that she will NOT die. He continues to lie to her and tells her that if she eats of that tree she will be like God….(Gen. 3:4-5)

This extremely important incident transcends all time. Satan caused her to question God….question His words…..question His motive….question His plan for her life. If satan could do that to the very first woman and succeed….. do you think he will not do that to every one of us in the here and now? He is ALWAYS about deceit.

The following sums up Eve’s encounter with satan.

(1) She listened to falsehood about God

(2) She entertained those false ideas

(3) She acted upon that lie.  

We sometimes like to pat ourselves on the back and exclaim that we would never have done that and that she never should have “talked” to the serpent. Before we cast all blame on her, haven’t you and I been guilty of the same? At times we choose to believe lies about God.

(1) We alone are responsible to stop the lies that we allow into our lives. Someone may spew lies at us but we don’t have to listen. There is a difference between hearing and listening! (2) We cannot allow ourselves the opportunity to meditate or entertain false ideas. We can choose to cast them away. “Whatever is true, whatever is right…..let your mind dwell on these things…”(Phil. 4:8) (3) We should never act on a  lie… matter how much we may want to. Every time we act on a lie, satan wins. Christ desires for us to follow Him and seek Truth at all times.

“Father, we are so desperate for You….for Your Truth.

 Teach us to trade lies for Truth…..every time!”