Nehemiah 5:14-7:60 / 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 / Psalm 33:1-12 / Proverbs 21:8-10
Standout verse:Nehemiah 6:3,9
“So I sent messengers to them saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” (v. 9) For they were trying to make us afraid, saying, “Their hands will be weakened with the work, and it will not be done.” Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.”
Nehemiah was under severe enemy attack and intimidation. However, even as the insults were being hurled, he spoke to his enemy basically saying, “I hear you. I’ve got your number. I’m not going to play your game or fall into your trap. THE WORK I AM DOING IS OF THE LORD AND I WILL NOT ALLOW YOUR VERBAL ASSAULTS AND YOUR ATTEMPT AT MENTAL INTIMIDATION TO THROW ME OFF THE VISION AND CALL THAT GOD HAS ON MY LIFE – END OF STORY! (“I CANNOT COME DOWN!”).
Satan’s plan was to use Sanballat and Tobiah (a nearby governor and his trusty sidekick) to frustrate and frighten the people so the work God had called them to would be stopped. It would have been so easy for Nehemiah to give up under the immense pressure and finish building the wall prematurely, instead, he was able to discern what was happening and how to respond. HE FACED HIS ENEMY, SPOKE TRUTH TO THE SLANDER AND LIES AND PRAYED THAT GOD WOULD ‘STRENGTHEN HIS HANDS’ SO HE WOULD BE ABLE TO DO THE THINGS HE HAD CALLED HIM TO DO AND TO FINISH WELL.
When we are walking in the plans, purposes and vision God is calling us as individuals, we can be assured that the enemy of our souls (read Ephesians 6:11-12 for more light on this subject) will try to frustrate, oppose us and throw us off course - he loves to use fear and intimidation against us. We must be VIGILANT and WATCHFUL so we are better able to discern and uncover his strategies.
The best way to deflate and diminish the power of “enemy opposition” is to QUICKLY IDENTIFY IT, CALL IT WHAT IT IS AND REFUSE TO ALLOW IT TO TAKE ANY TIME OR SPACE IN OUR MINDS - “I see what you are trying to do here and I will not allow you to have any power over my heart, mind or thoughts - In fact, I’m not going to use up one more ounce of mental energy thinking about this.” When we choose not to allow Satan’s empty threats to enter our minds, he loses any intended power over us - we can then continue to move forward uninhibited. A simple, yet highly effective strategy.