Month: August 2014
Nehemiah 2:20 – The God of heaven, He will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build…
God gave Nehemiah a word BEFORE rebuilding the wall to keep him from giving up DURING rebuilding the wall.
When God gives you a word, He gives you a word to prepare you for what’s coming, but after God gives you a word, the enemy immediately comes to take the very word God gave you (Mark 4:15). Because faith comes from hearing the word, the enemy will always fight against what you hear. He knows that if you believe it, then you will receive it (Mark 11:24) so he uses different tactics to keep you from receiving what God has already given you.
Today, I’m going to share just a few tactics the enemy uses to keep you from receiving what God says He has already given you.
- Ridicule means to belittle, humiliate or laugh at. The devil doesn’t mind you being a hearer as long as you don’t become a doer. The moment Nehemiah and the people began to rebuild, their enemies questioned if they could finish what they started and even questioned the materials they were using. They also used teasing and name-calling to distract them. Tobiah told them if a fox walked up the wall, the wall would collapse and Sanballat called them ‘weak’. Their enemies were trying to convince them that they didn’t know what they were doing, that what they were doing wouldn’t work and that they would fail. By this time, the wall was halfway up. Saints of God, the reason why the devil is messing with you is because you’re halfway there, but he can’t stop you.
- Intimidation. The enemy knows that he can’t stop the word God gave you so he uses threats to tempt you to stop and to give up. The objective of intimidation is to prevent you from taking action. He wants you to believe that he is going to do something, but he can’t because he doesn’t have permission to do it. He’s just bluffing. He sends you threats because he is threatened by you. Although Nehemiah’s enemies plotted to fight against them and stir up trouble, Nehemiah continued to pray night and day. Fighting with people leads to confusion, but fighting in prayer leads to peace. Keep praying.
- Discouragement. The people got weary and started complaining. “There is too much rubble to remove”. This was a hard and tedious task. They stopped focusing on what God said and started focusing on what their enemies were saying. Instead of declaring ‘The God of heaven will prosper us’, they started declaring ‘We can’t build this wall’. Not only does faith come by hearing, but fear comes by hearing. Be careful what you listen to. Whatever goes in, will come out. The reason they complained was because they forgot what God said, but Nehemiah told them to not be afraid and to remember the Lord. Think on Him and not yourselves. Think on His promises and not your problems. After Nehemiah encouraged them, the people went back to work.
- When a person compromises, they give in, they try to make everyone happy, they try to please others and sometimes people will try to make them feel guilty for saying ‘no’. By this time, the wall was completely built with the exception of the doors and gates. Nehemiah received four invitations from Sanballat and Geshem to meet with them, but he didn’t compromise. They wanted to meet with him to harm him, but he didn’t stop what he was doing. Nehemiah told them four times “I can’t afford to slow down the work. My work is too important”. When the enemy sends you an invitation to sidetrack you, decline his offer. Tell him you can’t afford to sin because the wages of sin is death.
- Slander is falsely spoken words to damage someone’s reputation. They tried to scare Nehemiah through slander and lies. Sanballat sent an official with an unsealed letter stating that rumors were going around that the wall was just being built because Nehemiah wanted to be king. If you’ve ever been lied on, you know it’s hard to be silent when lies are spoken of you, but you don’t have to defend yourself when God is your Defender and He will settle your case. Nehemiah prayed for strength and went back to work.
- False accusation. Shemaiah acted like God sent him, but Nehemiah recognized that he was lying. Shemaiah was hired by Tobiah and Sanballat. Shemaiah suggested that he and Nehemiah should go to the temple and shut the door because someone was trying to kill him, but Nehemiah knew not to go inside the temple because only priests were allowed there. They wanted to accuse him of something, destroy his reputation and stop him from finishing what he started. When the enemy can’t influence you to commit an act, when he can’t easily beset you, he will then lie on you, but God is with you. You will escape every trap the enemy sets and whoever digs a pit for you will fall in it.
Nehemiah and the people did finish rebuilding the wall. They got discouraged along the way, wanted to give up, complained about their situation, but the key to finishing what they started is found in Nehemiah 4:6 – The people had a mind to work. You can have what God says you can have, you can do what God says you can do and you can be who God called you to be, but you got to make up your mind about what you want. Want what God wants to give you.
Just as the word came to pass in Nehemiah’s life, it is going to come to pass in your life. I’m not telling you that you won’t cry, complain, get tired or want to quit, but make up in your mind that you are going to get what God has for you. Make up in your mind that you are going to do what God tells you to do. Don’t give up so easily. The devil is going to tell you what you can’t do, but it’s only because he knows that you can do it. He is not going to just let you have it. You’re going to have to take it by force. Every thing God promised you will not come easy, but it will surely come.
The devil can’t stop the word God gave you so don’t let his tactics stop you.
When the people in Samaria rejected Christ, the disciples asked Jesus if they could command fire to come down from heaven and destroy the people, but Jesus told them that He didn’t come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.
The king of Syria was at war with Israel, but every time he planned to attack, God would reveal the king’s plan to Elisha who would in turn tell the king of Israel. When the king learned what was going on, he commanded the Syrian army to seize Elisha. When they arrived in Samaria, Elisha prayed to the Lord to strike them with blindness and God did. After Elisha led the blind army to the camp of the army of Israel, Elisha prayed that God would open their eyes. When they saw where they were, the king of Israel asked Elisha if he could smite the Syrian army, but Elisha told him no. Instead, he told the king to set bread and water before them that they may eat and drink.
Even though Saul tried to take David’s life, David saved Saul’s life. In 1 Samuel 24:16-18, Saul cried to David and said, “You are a better man than I am. You rewarded me good when I rewarded you evil. When the Lord delivered you into my hands, you didn’t kill me”.
God has prepared a table before you in the presence of your enemies, but they aren’t at the table for you to smite them or for them to watch you eat. They are going to need what you have. They are going to need the Living Bread and the Living Water. They are going to need kindness and mercy. Do not render evil for evil. Do not do to them what they have done to you. Don’t do to them what Christ didn’t do to you. Vengeance belongs to God.
Forgive them for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34). It’s not the people. We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood. The enemy has done this, but he’s a spirit so he needed a physical body to carry out his plan. The devil hates you. He was the one that came after you. He came after your marriage. He came after your children. He came after your ministry. He came after your mind.
Most people feel like what Joseph went through was unfair. He was sold by his brothers, he was accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife, but it was needful that Joseph went through these things. Some of us don’t want to go THROUGH anything, but we want to get TO the promise or dream God gave us.
When Joseph was thrown in the pit, Reuben came back to save his brother, but Joseph was gone. If Reuben had saved Joseph out of the pit, who was going to save the whole household from the pit they were about to face? A famine was coming, but Joseph went through what he went through to save the same people that hated him and sold him. In the same manner, Christ was crucified for the same ones who would crucify Him.
When you fight, don’t attack the person. Fight in prayer. Attack the spirit operating through the person. Your fight is not against what you can see, but against what you can’t see. Your fight is not against people, but the devil will use the people closest to you to attack you.
Don’t take the attack personal.
In the end, Joseph’s brothers had a need, but before Joseph could GIVE to his brothers, he had to FORGIVE his brothers.
When you have the opportunity to hurt those who hurt you, but you don’t, the same blessing that Saul spoke in David’s life will be done in your life – May the Lord reward you good for what you’ve done for them (1 Samuel 24:19).
The enemy wants you to say what you see. He wants you to focus more on what is seen (which is temporary) than what is not seen.
The battle you are facing right now can only be won through words – prayer. Before David smote Goliath and cut off his head, he declared what was going to happen before it happened. He spoke words. “This day will the Lord deliver you into my hand and I will smite you and take your head from you”.
Yes, the battle is the Lord’s and you have already won, but you must still fight. You have been given a whole armor for this battle (Eph 6:14-17) and God expects you to put it on. Your fight is not with a physical shield and sword, but with the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit.
While Joshua and his men fought with Amalek, Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill. When you’re on the top of a hill or mountain (prayer), you are able to see things better. It was from the top of the mountain that Moses saw the Promised Land.
Moses took the rod God gave him and when he held up his hand, Israel prevailed, but when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. This is why it is important to pray. When you speak the word, you prevail, but when you stop speaking, when you let your guard down, when you give up, then your enemies prevail.
The word in your mouth is more powerful than the word in the enemy’s mouth. This is why the enemy doesn’t want you to speak. He knows he can’t the stop the word, but the word in your mouth is able to stop him. If he can’t silence you, then his next job is to tempt you to speak careless words. He wants you to say things like:
‘Nothing ever goes right for me.’
‘God doesn’t love me.’
‘I’m a failure.’
When a believer begins to talk like this, it’s because they don’t know God. You can read the written word and still don’t know the Living Word. Meditate on the word day and night so that what you put in you will be the words that come out of you. Then, you will begin to say what God has already said.
‘All things are working together for good.’
‘God loves me.’
‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and I will succeed.’
Jesus holds the universe together by the word of his power (Heb 1:3). If things are falling apart in your life, use the word to cause things to fall into place. Work the power that is at work in you. The moment you speak the word of God, it happens – in the spirit. It is not by His power or His might, but it is by His Spirit. It happens in the spirit realm first. The reason why you begin to doubt is because you can’t see it yet, but keep saying what you don’t see until you see it.
Everyone wants to see the results of their prayers NOW, but guess what? The moment you prayed, it happened. The word is quick (Heb 4:12). The word runs very swiftly (Ps 147:15). Whenever you pray, you are praying in the now. Just because you didn’t get it when you wanted it, doesn’t mean that you don’t have it. You have it NOW.
Know that God has already delivered your enemies into your hands and cut the head of every Goliath in your life with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
You’ve already won.