I was feeling discouraged, tired, and weak. But my daily Bible reading fell in the book of Nehemiah. It was just what I needed! Nehemiah is packed with encouragement and reveals the sneaky tactics of the enemy. Once I realized that my negative feelings were really an attack of Satan, they lost their power over me!
If this is happening to you, congratulations! The devil is afraid of you and he wants you to give up!
Satanic attacks are often disguised as your own feelings and thoughts. The enemy loves to attack our mind (our thinking). Those doubts, fears, frustrations, distractions, and even fatigue are the attack of the enemy.
“But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3 ESV
“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV
My Bible reading today was Nehemiah, chapters 4 through 6. Nehemiah had led the exiles back to Jerusalem where they were obeying God and rebuilding the demolished walls of the city. You can read it here. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=nehemiah+4-6&version=NIV
These chapters reveal how the enemy tries to stop the work God has given us to do. Whether it is writing a blog, teaching a Bible Study, going to the mission field, pastoring a church, or building a wall, the enemy’s plan is first and foremost to STOP THE WORK.
Satan’s plan is to make you give up. How does he do this?
(Parenthesis and underlining mine.)
“When Sanballat (the enemy) heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?” Nehemiah 6:19 NIV
“Tobiah the Ammonite (also an enemy), who was at his side, said, “What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!” Nehemiah 4:1-3 NIV
When you are feeling intimidated (which includes feelings of failure or lack of expertise, and you start second-guessing your calling) know this: Satan is attacking your mind because he’s angry! He wants you to give up!
2. Stirring Up Trouble
“They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.” Nehemiah 4:8 NIV
Has trouble come against your ministry in any way? Have problems cropped up you didn’t expect? It could come in many forms: extra bills, lack of resources, lack of workers, etc. Satan wants you to give up!
3. Trouble From Within
“Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their fellow Jews. Some were saying, “We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain. Others were saying, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine.” Nehemiah 5:1-3
Jews who were more prosperous were taking advantage of their fellow Jews by charging them interest on loans, taking their children as slaves, and taking their property. Is there trouble within? Satan wants you to give up!
Sanballat sent a message to Nehemiah:
“It is reported among the nations—and Geshem says it is true—that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king and have even appointed prophets to make this proclamation about you in Jerusalem: ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now this report will get back to the king; so come, let us meet together.”
I sent him this reply: “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.” Nehemiah 6:5-8 NIV
Sometimes lies may be circulated about you. Satan wants you to give up!
“They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”
Fear brings on fatigue. Enthusiasm brings on high energy. Satan wants you to give up!
THE END OF THE STORY
Even though the enemy fought hard to defeat the Jews and stop them from rebuilding the wall, he failed. Why? Nehemiah says,
“We prayed to our God.”
He told the workers, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” Nehemiah 4:14 NIV
The work was accomplished because they depended on God and He helped them.
“So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.” Nehemiah 6:15 NIV
How to Defeat the Enemy
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us …” Ephesians 3:20
2. Be sober-minded. Do not be afraid.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 ESV
3. Look to God for your strength.
” . . . the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
4. Trust God.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
5. Take every thought captive.
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NIV
6. Recognize the attack for what it is: Satan’s lies!
“And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—” Revelation 12:9
Remember, “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 KJV
And, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 NIV
This Is My Journey Unscripted.
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