From the Pastor’s Pen

Final Thoughts on Nehemiah 4:9-11, 15

Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.  Then Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.”  And our adversaries said, “They will neither know nor see anything, till we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease.” . . . And it happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had brought their plot to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work.                           NKJV

 

Our two necessary responses when we are under attack by our adversaries are to pray to our God and stand watch (to be spiritually alert and prepared for whatever may come).

Our enemy will mobilize his legions, escalating his attack against us.  When you begin to work for the Lord to change things in your life for the better, you will find that you will be met with derision, and if you keep persisting, your adversaries are going to become very angry with you and attack you in a vicious, perhaps even physical, way.

But note how Nehemiah reacts.  He still relies on prayer.  And he does more than pray.  He posts a watch as well.  This combination of prayer and preparedness is a marvelous picture of how we, as believers, ought to face threats.

Yet still our adversary persists, and he launches a propaganda campaign against us.  There was an enormous amount of debris that had to be cleared away before God’s people could repair their walls.  It must have been very discouraging.

Our enemy will immediately take advantage of our weakness and discouragement.  Have you ever faced something like this?  Were you ever threatened at work when you tried to correct an immoral or illegal practice that was being carried on around you?  You may have been threatened with demotion, or the loss of your job, or perhaps even threatened with a physical attack.  These kinds of things may happen when we begin to right wrongs.

In setting a watch, we must observe exactly where we are being attacked.  Are we addicted to a bad habit, a drug, alcohol, gluttony, a wrong attitude, or bitterness of spirit?  When we have identified the source of attack, we must post a watch at that point.

Then we must review the spiritual resources available to us.  As Christians, we have the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives.  Our great and awesome Savior stands with us in our peril.  When we remember this, we are reassured and renewed in courage.  Our adversary will unable to achieve anything with his attacks because “He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world (I John 4:4).”

We are not alone.  The Lord is with us.

 

Jesus is risen!  He is awesome.  He is strong.  He is powerful.  Reckon upon Him, and you will be able to stand against the most subtle temptation and the most dangerous threats that come against you.       Ray Stedman

 

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