Now it came about that when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and very angry and mocked the Jews. He spoke in the presence of his brothers and the wealthy men of Samaria and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble even the burned ones?” Now Tobiah the Ammonite was near him and he said, “Even what they are building—if a fox should jump on it, he would break their stone wall down!” Nehemiah 4:1-3

Any work of God always comes with it an enemy that opposes it. Our great enemies as believers are the Flesh, The World, and The Devil. Every now and again, there are also people like Sanballat in this passage who are controlled by their evil desires and despise the work of God in someone’s life.

As a Pastor and leader for a number of years now, I have seen the phrase, “Conflict, it’s not if but when…” play out many times. Each time there were varying degrees of seriousness in terms of an actual threat. Each time God was incredibly faithful to protect or move in a way that eliminated or changed the threat into His amazing plan for my learning.

I love what Pastor Chuck Smith had to say when preaching on this chapter, speaking about the enemies’ tricks. “And what a tool discouragement is in the hand of the enemy as he seeks to discourage us from the work of the Lord. The enemy seems to have a whole bag of tricks. He’ll try to stop you by ridicule. If that doesn’t work, he’ll assault you. If that doesn’t work, then he’ll try to make you discouraged. And so many things the enemy uses to keep you from doing the work of God. And it’s tragic when a person allows discouragement to stop him or to hinder him from that work and calling of God upon his life.”

Some of the main lessons in Chapter 4 of Nehemiah are how to deal with the Opposition and Discouragement the Enemy comes at us with. One common thread in this chapter is Prayer. Keeping in constant communication and dependence with God through Prayer. Prayer should never be underestimated in terms of its value in our fight.

Another very noticeable tool is our belief in God’s ability to fight the battle for us. It really should be repeated that half the battles we lose are because we let the wrong person fight them. There is only one undefeated champ in all eternity, and his name is not yours. Vs.4:20b “Our God will fight for us.”

Lord, help us to believe in Your ability and power to fight the enemy in our lives. Help us to trust You, and as Psalm 46:10 says that we would cease striving and know that YOU are GOD.

Trusting Him in the fight with you,
Pastor Mike

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