The Cloud of Witnesses
Former title Lessons From the People of the Bible
Lesson 3: Nehemiah – Just Because You Are Doing What God Wants Doesn’t Mean You Are Immune To Spiritual Attack
Just Because You Are Doing What God Wants Doesn’t Mean You Are Immune To Spiritual Attack
Wouldn’t it be nice if God made sure that whenever we followed Him and did whatever He wanted us to do, He would set up a 200 km-enemy exclusion zone around our family, our ministry and us?
No sooner had Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem than the opposition raised its ugly head. Did you notice what the Bible said, “they were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites.” (Not much different today, is it?) What we discover throughout the record is that they were a constant pain in Nehemiah’s side.
They tried all sorts of tricks to get Nehemiah off track from his job, and to thwart the progress he was making. They mocked, ridiculed and jeered. They even threatened physical attack so Nehemiah had to make stringent plans to defend the workers. He had to arm them and make them work in shifts so that their safety was not compromised.
He also had to overcome slander, their wicked scheming and intimidation. Even in the end he had to make sure that only the ‘true’ Jews – those who could prove their genealogy – were those who would reap the benefits of the completed work. Each time he took the problem to the Lord and carried on with the job.
Be encouraged, it will be the same for you, too. Maybe even now you are going through a particularly tough time. Remember Nehemiah. Just because you are facing opposition doesn’t necessarily mean you are out of God’s will. It may be the enemy is fearful of what you are achieving in God. Don’t give up, look up.
We have found that every time we run an Alpha Course, things ‘happen.’ Is it any wonder the enemy gets upset when so many have come out of the kingdom of darkness and into the Kingdom of Light through attending an Alpha Course? We are making permanent eternal damage to the enemy’s kingdom – no wonder he gets upset. And he is going to be really upset for a long time yet – because we are carrying on.
Give every situation to the Lord and ask Him for wisdom, help, courage and strength to carry on. As Nehemiah told the people – “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Nehemiah would say to us today...
People who do something are always open to attack. Do it anyway and let God deal to the opposition.
Father, thank You for Nehemiah’s example to us. Thank You for recording his struggles and the ways he dealt with opposition. Thank You that he kept going to the end. Please help me to do the same and above all, please don’t let me lose my joy in You. Amen.
Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 1 Samuel 30:1-12.
What lessons can we learn from adversity?
How do we maintain our joy in the Lord?
What are you facing today that you need God’s help to overcome?