But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews. —Nehemiah 4:1
No sooner did Nehemiah return to Jerusalem and begin rebuilding the wall than opposition rose against him. In an attempt to stop the work, Sanballat and Tobiah ridiculed Nehemiah. But Nehemiah's response to their mockery was prayer.
Seeing that mockery didn't work, their next move was to plan secret attacks against those building the wall. So Nehemiah instructed workers to set a continuous watch against them.
The first step is always prayer—and then we act. Prayer is never a substitution for taking practical measures. You may say, "Well, I have prayed and I just have faith that the Lord will take care of things." But the Bible tells us that faith without works is dead.
In order for faith to be valid, it has to lead to action.
Paul warned Titus that those who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. Whenever you make a stand for God, or seek to do the work of God, opposition will rise up and seek to defeat you. When it does, we need to pray and ask God to guide us in a course of action, and then we need to take steps to rebuild our walls and set guards around them.
Now is the time to wake up and gird ourselves.
Father, we realize the walls have been broken down. Help us to have the courage to stand against ridicule and mockery. And Lord, may we determine in our heart to build those walls of defense again.
In Jesus' name, amen.