Godly Intentions? On Guard!
Sharing a piece of my heart today through an excerpt from my upcoming book, Holy His: Hope for a Life and a Nation Wholly His. Coming home from a conference for moms, pumped up with inspiration and great intentions and challenged to be more intentional in discipling my children’s hearts, I am on guard, knowing the devil doesn’t normally sit back idly while the Lord sanctifies. I am ready for battle!
The moment you determine in your heart and actions to be holy as He is holy, you can be sure the devil is going to come against you to steal, kill, and destroy what the Lord determines to bestow, breathe new life into, repair, renew, and restore. We see this in Nehemiah. As soon as he and the Jews start rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, their enemies become “furious and indignant” and mock them (Neh. 4:1). Sanballat, the ring leader of the bunch, says: “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish – stones that are burned?” (Neh. 4:2). In the same way, as we rebuild the walls in our lives through obedience, the enemy is mocking us, saying: “What is this feeble Christian doing? Will he or she actually obey? Will they do what the word of God tells them to do? Will they set aside their flesh and become holy? Will they really believe God and His promises to them?” Let the answer be yes!
Nehemiah’s unwavering faith in God, obedience, and firm stand against his enemies bring great success in rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. His surrendered advancement toward the goal the Lord puts before him, no matter what is going on around him, position him for victory over his enemies. He is able to recognize their scheming tactics, and he will not be diverted from God’s plan and purpose for his life. I love how Nehemiah firmly plants himself in the will of God, trusting exclusively in Him, and then confronts his enemies as he stays on task for the Lord. Here’s a quick summary of this part of Nehemiah’s story and some great battle truths we can apply as we fortify our path to holiness.
When the Jews build the wall, and the entire wall is joined together up to half its height (Neh. 4:6), their enemies become angry and conspire to attack. The Jews set watch day and night, but Judah reports in Nehemiah 4:10, “The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.” The Jews are feeling intimidated and discouraged because they have shifted their eyes from the Lord to the rubbish around them, and the same thing will happen to us if we take our eyes off the Lord and focus on the ruins left behind by our sin and disobedience.
TRUTH: The enemy will use this rubbish to destroy our resolve, so we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. We must heed the words of Nehemiah in verse fourteen of chapter four: “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” We must take our eyes off the things the enemy uses to distract us and focus on the greatness of God! The fight is worth it when we realize it’s for more than just ourselves – it truly is for our children, our families, our friends and neighbors, our co-workers, and so on.
Fortunately, God brings their enemies’ plot to nothing, and having returned their focus to rebuilding the wall, “those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon” (Neh. 4:17). Don’t miss this! The Jews rebuilding the wall arm themselves as they rebuild!
Sword in hand, I’m ready to rebuild!
Lord, I ask You in Jesus’ name to bring to nothing the enemy’s schemes against me, my family, every person reading this, and their families. I thank you that we fight from victory, not for it, as we become more wholly Yours today.
Tune in Thursday for more!