Lessons from Nehemiah 4
- Enemy's Strategy I (Opposition with ridicule or words of defeat)-I've experienced in my life, every time I faced a challenge at school, at college, at my workplace, it all had to start with a thought that undermined my efforts, thoughts that ridiculed me. Most of the time our enemy, since he cannot touch us as we abide in our Lord, he tries to dampen our efforts for God's kingdom by putting ridiculing thoughts in our minds, makes us feel we're inadequate. Don't give up just because you feel low for what the enemy has been telling about you as a feeble Christian, remember we are more than conquerors in our Lord Jesus.Our response-Know who we are in Jesus Christ, not without Him.
- Enemy's Strategy II (Physical harm/attack)-"8 They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. 9 But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat. ". It is more than likely, if you're not afraid of the enemy's threats or words, he'll move on to step on you, either by sickness(though not all sickness caused by our enemy), or by tragedy/accident and such, so the Word of our Lord says we've got to be ready with our armor and stand, like the Israelites with Nehemiah, posted guard, we guard through our prayers of protection over our loved ones. Prayer is a very powerful fence. There are many real life stories I've read and heard of missionaries being protected from harm, because someone at the other end of the world was guarding them with prayer. Our response-Pray without ceasing.
- Enemy's Strategy III (Weaken the minds of those who are with you)-"10 Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, "The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall." The laborers who had fallen to what Sanballat and party had said earlier were now weary, because they started believing they couldn't complete the wall, and the task was overwhelming. The task that our God calls us to will never be too simple so you can do it on your own. It will most definitely be daunting, insurmountable, overwhelming and thats why our Lord Jesus reminded us in John 15:5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." He never expected you to go alone, on the work assigned to you.Our response- Remember, we can do all things through our Lord Jesus Christ who strengthens us.
- Enemy Strategy IV (Disguise as one your helpers and try to work within the group)-"11 Also our enemies said, "Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work." 12 Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, "Wherever you turn, they will attack us." Whether the Jews knew it or not, but the words of the enemy was affecting those who were weak. Notice one thing, the verse12 says "Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, "Wherever you turn, they will attack us" The Jews who lived closer to the enemy spoke just like the enemy, the same things. They were Jews, they were there to help and support the rebuilding the walls, but they were talking what the enemy wanted them to. Our enemy the devil will not leave any stone unturned to try to snatch God's plan for our lives. Remember when Jesus talks about His crucifixion,in Matthew 16:21-24" 22Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!" 23Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.". Jesus knew he was talking to Peter, but he recognised the real person behind it and rebuked his attempt right there because He knew for sure, what God would have Him do with His life. Our response-Like Jesus, have our mind in the things of God and we will never fail to do what God has called us to do.(Romans 12:2)
Conclusion:No matter what God has called us to build or rebuild, a God fearing family in Jesus, a good workplace, a good worker, a good teacher at school. Lets always keep in mind, if there is a problem we're facing, that which hinders the work of God in our lives and in the lives of the people in our lives, we always have a solution. We are never left alone in any desperate situation. This episode from Nehemiah's life, has shown me, when you've seriously undertaken God's work, which God has given you, there will be opposition, but remember always, He who is in you is mightier than he that is in the world. So lets set our minds on things of our Lord, even though they may seem daunting and big, God always gives us the grace to do it, even before He calls us to perform it. Jesus is our vine, lets take our strength in Him.