Build a Spiritual Shield

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We are now standing at the point where the gate of the Book of Revelation is opening. It is the time that the history of the Holy Spirit is weakening and the history of evil spirits is increasingly threatening as the people are bringing evil spirits deep into their lives by following the greed that the flesh likes. Situated in the domain of the evil spirits, not only the surrounding environment but also the church is gradually becoming helpless.

Nehemiah 2:17 is a word of a prophet who claimed spiritual renewal in Israel as he returned to Jerusalem after his captivity. He desperately appealed to his people not to be humiliated anymore by the reconstruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, which was a symbol of the Israelites and a life for the Jews. However, the reconstruction of the city of Jerusalem is to restore their collapsed spirituality and establish a defensive wall beyond simply rebuilding the broken wall. This means to restore an unshakable spirituality by putting up a spiritual shield, and I hope that this word will help establish a spiritual defensive wall in the field of our lives.

Build a living church

There are times when anyone in this land is humiliated, both at home and in the country as well as in the church. It is often said that Christianity is becoming secular today, which means that the church that needs to change the world is rather being swept away by the values of the world. The church's priorities are getting farther from the values God rejoices in, and the church is becoming blinded by such things as happiness, honor and materials, which are the values of the world. One can think of the fact that worship, which is the root and foundation of faith life, comes and goes depending on the environment, circumstances and people's convenience.

If you look at the world, morality falls to the ground and the spirit of darkness is strong just like the time of Noah lived. The church at the end of the grace era has reached a point where it cannot handle its mission because its spirituality has dried up and its grace has been depleted, just like the Laodicea Church in the Book of Revelation. In other words, the church needs to wake up again to restore its spirituality and fulfill its mission, but unfortunately each church is suffering from severe spiritual famine. Since the church is spiritually barren, it is being criticized in the world for not being able to play its role, and is being criticized and humiliated spiritually.

Above all, the church should be the last bastion of this land in times of spiritual gloom. Each church should be able to cleanse everything that was spiritually negligent and build a spiritual shield, so the Lord said this earlier in Mt. 16:18. "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." The Lord says "I will build my church" but many churches do not realize this very focal point any moment. Sad to say, the church of the Lord is privatized with the desire to establish a kingdom of some people centered on pastors. In order for the church to be a spiritual shield in the world, it must be able to put down its greed and restore its mission. It should act as a strong shield against any power of darkness only by establishing the church of living God.

Be a watchman church

God does not consider numbers or conditions as important as we think in His work. Considering David's defeat of the giant Goliath, Gideon's 300 warriors defeated 100,000 Midian troops and Ammon's allied forces collapsed in a pleasing way in front of Jehoshaphat's praising team. Ezekiel Chapter 33 deals with Israel's recovery through God's unconditional grace, saying that he called Ezekiel as a tool to convey Jehovah's prophecy of recovery and set him as a watchman. God gave him the responsibility to convey the word of warning as a watchman of the people, which was to see that the sword was coming and warn them. As a result, the watchman had to diligently look around the area in charge and warn them by blowing trumpets as soon as he found the enemy. If he neglected these duties, he could not escape the severe judgment that followed.

Then, what position should the church with the mission of the watchman be in?

First, the watchman church should establish a front line of the gospel, and it should be a church that fulfills the mission of saving souls as God's attention was focused on one soul. These churches can focus their attention on one soul by moving along with the Lord's heart, which values one soul more than the rest of the world. In other words, they can break the devil's trajectory and neutralize their tactics by declaring a spiritual war and establishing a spiritual front line. Thus, the prophet attests in Jeremiah 5:1, "Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city."

Second, the watchman church should play a role in waking Him up so that God can protect His people on the watchtower. For that reason, the watchman should always wake up and stay on a watchtower where he can contact God, and he should be in a position to report to the Lord without delay when difficulties or dangers arise. The Psalmist, who realized this earlier, proves what God is doing in Psalm 121. "The Lord watches over you-- the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night." Isaiah also testified His help in Isaiah 62:6-7. "I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth."

Build a wall of faith

The church should be able to build a spiritual defensive wall as a spiritual bastion, and each person in the body of the church builds a spiritual wall by expanding his spiritual influence. For this, the church must be able to go out for the glory of God, armed with prayer and words at all times. The world's values are bound to change at any time, so we should stand firm on Biblical standards. Therefore, we should not emulate this generation and live according to God's good and pleased will. Paul says in Romans 12:1, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship."

Among the people who lived this kind of life, we can think of Samuel as a notable person. He was able to handle the mission of the watchman at his prayer home in his hometown of Ramah, where God's invisible hands became a defensive wall to the Israeli border and prevented the Philistines. 1 Samuel 7:13 clearly bears witness to this fact. "So the Philistines were subdued and did not invade Israelite territory again. Throughout Samuel's lifetime, the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines." Samuel was able to do this because he did not commit a sin of resting on prayer as it appeared in 1 Sam. 12:23. "As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right."

Firewall refers to a wall that prevents the spread of fire, which is designed to prevent the spread of fire by separating the area when a fire occurs in a building, etc. If a firewall is installed like this, no matter how dangerous a fire occurs, it can be blocked. The wall that the people of Israel rebuilt was a wall to protect the city, and it would be defenseless against enemy aggression without it. Likewise, our faith lives are helpless against Satan's aggression without these shields. Therefore, we should be able to rebuild the walls of faith so that we do not fall into the temptation of the evil spirit in the field of life, and we should build a strong wall to follow God's will and root it into full faith. The revival of faith will bring spirituality to life and live according to the Word of God, and there will never be any shame from Satan. Of course, God's glory is revealed wherever we build a wall of faith, and His people will also be honored. In this sense, we should build a stronger wall of faith so that we do not collapse in spiritual warfare in individuals, homes or churches.

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As I experience this Covid19 pandemic, the theme of spiritual restoration was my great interest in preparing the sermon. Hence, I think it may be a meaningful to share Nehemiah's voice of spiritual renewal toward the Israelites with the readers of this blog.