When God called Nehemiah, the cupbearer of King Artaxerxes, to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, Nehemiah was living in the lap of luxury. He was in a position of power and prestige.
But Nehemiah was stirred in his heart, because he knew that while he lived in comfort, his fellow Jews were basically living in ruin. The once-high walls of Jerusalem lay in rubble, burned-out and charred. God told Nehemiah to use his position of influence for Him. Nehemiah prayed and then went to the king and asked for permission to rebuild the walls. Permission was granted, and Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem and went about the task of getting the people to rebuild the wall.
At first, they weren't all that interested, but eventually Nehemiah rallied the troops. Everyone began to work together. And as soon as the Israelites began to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, there was opposition.
It is a reminder to us that whenever God's people say, "Let's rise up and build," the devil and his cohorts are going to say, "Let's rise up and oppose." One of the greatest challenges when we go into a community to hold a Harvest Crusade is not booking the venue or printing the materials or doing the other things that are so visible. The hardest thing is getting the churches to wake up to the need of getting the gospel out in their own community.
That is what Nehemiah had to do, and that is what we need to do. On one hand, we are to be building ourselves up in the faith. And on the other hand, we are to be contending for the faith. We build and defend, and it all goes together.