Integrity preaching of the Bible; God's Word as it was written. People acting as Christians, not just saying they are Christians. Twisting or refuting God's Word is Blasphemy.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Stopping the Cycle of Self Destruction
"I said to them, "We according to our ability have redeemed our Jewish brothers who were sold to the nations; now would you even sell your brothers that they may be sold to us?" Then they were silent and could not find a word to say". (Nehemiah 5:8)
In this text, Nehemiah addresses a very serious issue that hindered his people in their efforts to restore what was broken and lost in their lives. If you read chapters 1 through 4 of the book of Nehemiah and then read Chapter 5, it seems out of place. Chapters 1 through 4 tell us how the work began and the progress they were making. We are also introduced to their enemies who conspired together to stop the work the people have begun. Chapter 4 ends with Nehemiah's plan to continue the work in the face of possible attack by their enemies. However, in Chapter 5, we discover a problem much greater than an invading army. We discover that the real enemy is not an external one, but an internal one.
As the days passed and the work continued, I believe Nehemiah began to notice a drop in the progress they were making. It was as if they had reached a certain point in the restoration process and could go no further. They had not been attacked by an enemy but seemed defeated. The people were saying amongst themselves:
"The strength of the burden bearers is failing, yet there is much rubbish; and we ourselves are unable to rebuild the wall" (Nehemiah. 4:10).
They were saying they could not do something they were already doing - rebuilding the wall. As a result, Nehemiah began to search for a cause and discovered that there indeed was an enemy in the camp - themselves!
The people were not only speaking against the work they were trying to finish but were enslaving one another as well. They had been captive for so long, under Babylonian and Persian rule, captivity became their mentality. Nehemiah, in Chapter 5:8 tells the people, "We worked hard for our freedom, but now you're repeating the same cycle we've been delivered from" (paraphrased). They were repeating a negative learned behavior. They tore down with their own hands the very thing they were trying to build - their identity. The very people necessary to rebuild the wall they were enslaving, thereby hindering the restoration process. They were repeating a cycle of self-destruction.
Oftentimes, people subconsciously hinder what God is doing in their life by saying and doing things that are contrary to what they are trying to achieve. They may lash out at people that try to help them because they may be afraid of change or the unfamiliar.
Self-destruction is the enemy's weapon of mass destruction! More hopes and dreams have been killed by "friendly fire" than "enemy fire". Many Believers consciously and unconsciously participate in cycles of self-destructive behavior. They destroy the very things they are trying to build with their actions and words. Like the wall, they've lived with brokenness for so long that brokenness has become commonplace - even expected.
If you continue to experience the same disappointments and failures in life, even when the circumstances are favorable, you may be consciously or unconsciously stuck in a cycle of self-destruction. Breaking the cycle of "self-destruction" starts with your building your "self perception".
The enemy wants you to develop a mentality of failure so that you forfeit the opportunities and blessing that God places in your life. When the people examined themselves instead of focusing on others, the Bible records in the first verse of the next chapter (Chapter 6) that, they finally "finished the wall". Their restoration was facilitated by the revelation that my real enemy is really "in me!"
By Dr. J.C. Matthews, Senior Pastor of Dunamis Life Ministries and Chancellor of The International Kingdom Institute.
I am a 53 yr old businessman and I came across a subject for which I took up an interest a few years ago. That developed into other things and changed my whole direction in life. My biggest hurdle in accomplishing my book has been incorrect or missing data for which I developed a new passion. Christian is, as Christian does.