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.