In Nehemiah the battle starts when Nehemiah starts with the task of rebuilding the wall. Up until then there is no awareness of the existence of any enemies. However, when Nehemiah starts to investigate the state of the walls of Jerusalem, or rather the state of the non-walls of Jerusalem, then the enemies suddenly appear. So we read in Nehemiah 2:19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. ‘What is this you are doing?’ they asked. ‘Are you rebelling against the king?’
This reminds us that a dead church with nothing going on generally is a calm church. Dead churches very often have few problems. Dead churches are ignored by the devil. This is because they pose little threat to his dominion. But when people start to step up to serve the Lord and are committed to seeing things move forward then we will see the forces of darkness enlivened to oppose what God is doing.
Let us be encouraged then when we see difficulty and opposition in the church and realise it may well be that we are going the right way. And let us respond with Nehemiah and say to our enemies whether they be human beings or spirit beings ‘The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it’ (Neh. 2:20).