“If God sends us on strong paths, we are provided strong shoes.” Corrie ten Boon.
The book of Nehemiah recently came alive for me. No longer the boring Old Testament story about rebuilding some crumbling wall, it became a manifesto for stepping out for God, following His plan despite the enemy’s attacks, and persevering through adversity. Now that, I can apply to my daily life.
It has been said that the Christian life is not a playground; it is a battleground. As much as I wish it were otherwise, the fact remains. We become soldiers when we enlist to follow Jesus. But thankfully, God equips each of us with the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God, and the shield of faith. He has given us all we need to overcome. And best of all, we fight from victory, not for victory!
Just like in Nehemiah’s day, anytime we attempt to build, or rebuild, our lives for Christ, there will be adversaries. We must be aware of the enemy’s devices. His attack plan always includes three weapons: ridicule, confusion, and discouragement.
“Are you serious? What can you do? There is so much to do and you are so little.” The enemy whispers to our mind, ridiculing our resources and abilities. But we must remember, when we are weak, He is strong. Nothing is impossible with God.
Pray. Lean in on God. “Be anxious for nothing, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God and He will give you the peace that passes understanding and guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”(Phil. 4:6-7) Don’t underestimate the power of prayer.
We must stay focused on the vision the Lord has given us. Don’t get sidetracked or offended by the words people say. Persevere. Nehemiah had a mind to work. We must settle our minds too and keep your eyes on the goal.
The beginning is usually exciting. Midway through however, the enemy doubles his efforts by launching confusion. God is not the author of confusion. He gave us a sound mind. When confusion hits— run to the Word. Bathe yourself in Scripture. Only the Word of God is a plumb line to clarity. His Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. We can trust His Word to lead us.
Next, the enemy attacks with discouragement. These subtle attacks from within often arise when fatigued. Many heroes of the faith, like Elijah, battled discouragement following huge victories primarily because they were exhausted. Warren Wisby said, “It’s always too soon to quit.”
Frustration can also trigger a quitter mentality. We must not focus on the rubble around us, but rather on the Great Redeemer within us, who is more than able to fix all our broken down walls.
Finally, the enemy pulls out his big gun— Fear. He threatens, “If you keep going, there’s going to be bigger attacks. You want that?” He means to stop us. But God said, “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”(Neh. 4:14b)
We must guard the vulnerable areas of our lives and stand firm in the evil day. Stand in Lord and in the power of His might. Fight the good fight of faith. Remember who we are in Christ. We are more than conquerors! Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.
We must get our eyes off the enemy. Fight. Not be idle. There is no armor available for our backs. There is no retreating in Christ. So much of the battle is remembering who we are in Christ. We have been given weapons. We must use them. Take the thoughts captive and resist the enemy with the Word, like Jesus did in the desert.
“Our God will fight for us.” (Neh. 4:20) That is what the Nehemiah and the people said. They were bombarded with attacks, but they persevered. They had minds to work, hearts to pray, eyes to watch and ears to hear. They accomplished their goal to rebuild the wall.
What a great example for us. We too can fulfill our God-given purposes. We overcome as we defend our place on the wall in this world. If God be for us, who can be against us? We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! Go for it baby!