Pastor David M. Green

“But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall. Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity: And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders. So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work. But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it. Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them. And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall. And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.” (Nehemiah 4:1-11)
    Here we find a passage of scripture telling of a time when God's people had a mind to work, but there was much rubbish. (Rubbish – waste, garbage...not useful at all. Something that needs to be thrown away.) Is it not the same today? Everytime that God's servants have a mind to work, Satan throws the rubbish in our way! Let us notice some of the rubbish we have to deal with today.

“Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.” (II Timothy 4:9-10)
    Demas was a man who could have been a great help to Paul the Apostle. Yet, he enjoyed the world's rubbish too much. Does not this hinder the Lord's work today? Far too much of the world's rubbish has entered into the Lord's churches and it gets in the way of those who have a mind to work!

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (I Corinthians 6:14-18)
    The Bible teaches a life of separation for the child of God. I know, we are in the world. Thats a fact, but we are not of the world! Unfortunately, we live in a day and age when people will come to church and sing “Just As I Am” only to go to live just as they were!  What agreement do we have with the world? What fellowship can we enjoy? On what grounds? We're as different as night and day!

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)
    We are warned not to be conformed to the image of this world. To conform to something means we are like them. When we learn to live by these verses, the rubbish of the world will be greatly reduced and we can concentrate on the Lord's work so much better!

“And the sons of Eliab; Nemuel, and Dathan, and Abiram. This is that Dathan and Abiram, which were famous in the congregation, who strove against Moses and against Aaron in the company of Korah, when they strove against the LORD: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, what time the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men: and they became a sign.” (Numbers 26:9-10)
    Dathan and Abiram were troublemakers against Moses and Aaron. They caused much rubbish to come in. Yet, in this text it says “when the strove against the Lord.” When you rise up against someone who has a mind to work for the Lord, you had better be careful. You do something against one of God's servants it is the same as if you are doing it against the Lord!

“ I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.” (III John 9)
    Diotrophes loved to have the preeminence. He was the type of man who wasn't the pastor, but loved to make people think he was in charge. He obviously did his best to undermine the church and the church's stand. This is pure rubbish!

“From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matthew 16:21-23)
    Notice the rubbish the Lord had to deal with here, coming from Peter. Satan can so influence people that a servant of God can be, at least for a time, the servant of the Devil. He still does this today. Oh, the times when a church has been split because of internal rubbish! When a member of the Lord's churches is influenced by Satan, very bad things will happen and there is much rubbish!

“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” (James 3:14-16)
    Church disagreements, arguing and bickering are all forms of internal rubbish we often have to deal with. It is not from God, but is very much from Satan. God is not the author of confusion! Let us watch out for such garbage!

“Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.” (John 6:70-71)
    Sometimes a lost man will get into the church and even become a member. Nothing good comes of that, and much rubbish can come as a result.

“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:14-25)
    The biggest pile of rubbish that Satan uses in our lives is right between our two ears, for this is where he can hit us the hardest! In every child of God there is a battle of two natures. Temptations and memories from your old nature will come at those times you have a desire to work for the Lord. Your mind is like a video camera always recording and it will often bring up images from your past that will cause harm to your work for God. We need to watch out for this rubbish!

“So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.” (Nehemiah6:15)
    In spite of all the rubbish we have to deal with, the Lord's work should still be done! The work of God must continue!