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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Enemy Knows My Fears

Nehemiah 4:2-3 (ESV)
2 And he said in the presence of his brothers and of the army of Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore it for themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish up in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, and burned ones at that?” 3 Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Yes, what they are building— if a fox goes up on it he will break down their stone wall!”

I suppose those reading this blog are believers. As believers we know that God has a purpose in our lives. We know that God gives us things to do that we can't do by ourselves. These things are like walking on water to us. We can only walk on water as long as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. So, the enemy, who doesn't want us to have victory distracts us from our focus. He plays on the fears we have within us. He states the things that we believe if we are not strengthened by godly faith. His goal is to get us to sink in the water. His goal is to steal the glory we will give God with our victory.

Nehemiah set out to rebuild the walls and gates of Jerusalem. They walls were torn down and the gates had been burned. He wanted to bring a bunch of ragtag Jews together to embark on an amazing building program. He had little resources and plenty of opposition. The non-Jewish population was afraid of seeing Jerusalem restored. Two of the principle leaders were Sanballat and Tobiah. They opposed Nehemiah from the beginning.

Here is what I see Sanballat and Tobiah saying of Nehemiah and the Jews who are rebuilding Jerusalem's walls and gates:

1. You are too weak to win.
2. You simply can't do it.
3. You will never give God glory with a victory.
4. The work will take too long.
5. It is simply too hard.
6. It won't last anyway. You will just go back to the way things used to be.

I thought of everyone who has made a commitment to lose weight, stop smoking, restore their marriage or stop drinking. I considered everyone who wants to take their company global, start a new business or return to school so that they can get a job in the profession they were made for.

I then thought of myself. I am the pastor of a church whose membership is getting younger every day. I am losing the older members and gaining younger members every month. The church is losing revenue while increasing its expenses. The building is in need of repair and there is no visible means of repairing it.

I am afraid of every one of these statements. I think that anyone who endeavors to do something by God's mandate will fear these statements. That is why the enemy wants to tempt us by saying them in our presence. He wants us to take our eyes off of the victory so that we will fail.

You see, the enemy knows all of our fears and like a lion who wishes to scare us into submission, tempts us with our own fears.

Yet, I will have victory if I can focus solely on the Lord. Fear just seeks to get your eyes looking at the wrong destination. Peter looked at Jesus and walked toward Him. He looked at the waves and sunk in them.

So, my eyes and your eyes must be fully focused on the Lord if we are to have victory.

Lord, I know what to do. Please help me do it.

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