Nehemiah is an unlikely read for most of us looking for encouragement. We tend to turn to the classic favorites like Psalms or Proverbs. When I opened my Bible to Nehemiah 4, I prayed right then that God teach me something new that day that I did not know when I woke up that morning. I knew from the moment my Bible opened that He had a great message for us there....
Who Are Your Enemies
You may be facing something so big right now in this moment that it feels impossible. You are feeling discouraged, tired, weak, helpless, and so many other heavy things. It might be that you are tired of battling your health, maybe you're wondering how you're going to put food on the table in the next two week after paying all your bills, maybe your bills didn't get paid, maybe your are embarking on a new journey in life, maybe you are leaving an old life behind to build a new and better one OR maybe your responsibilities at the moment feel like mountains because that mountain of laundry is mocking you as you read this. Whatever it is that has you discouraged there is hope. the Bible says that we do not battle flesh and blood, that we are battling the things we that are unseen.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. - Ephesians 6:12
eDaniel writes about his own experiences in Daniel 10. He talks about how he had no strength left, how he felt alone and frail. For 3 full weeks he mourned. Daniel needed strength and encouragement. The Lord came to him to remind him that he was deeply loved (vv 11,19). Daniel had prayed and for those 3 weeks of mourning I am sure that he wondered if God had even heard His call. Then came the glorious man to deliver a message to Daniel. What he revealed was that "from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself; I have come because of your words.
BUT... but... the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me for 21 days; and Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been alone there with the kings of Persia.
See, the prince of the kingdom of Persia was not a human king. It is clear that just as God is concerned with the welfare of His children and works for our well-being; so is Satan concerned and actively working to subvert and dismantle the will of God in the lives of individuals and nations, and particularly to hinder the welfare of God's people. Just as Satan sends his followers to to work his evil will, so also God sends His heavenly messengers to assist His people. In this case, Michael was sent to help. There are only two angels named in the Bible, Michael and Gabriel; both appear in the book of Daniel.
When you feel under attack, you are under attack. Just as God sent help immediately to Daniel, so is Satan ready to stop them, and THAT is why you must keep praying for as long as it takes. Pray that God sends help, even for your your messenger. If you want those answers to your prayers to become evident in your life, keep praying them into manifestation. Pray for those that are on their way to help you. Pray for what God is doing, about to do, and will do. You are loved and God cares about you exactly where you are right now, He sees His child, He sees you.
What is the enemy's strategy?
The enemy has a plan, a strategy, and ways to discourage you. If you recognize any of these below, you can rest assured it is not of God/
Nehemiah's enemies mocked them and Nehemiah prayed in (New 4:4,5)
They had conspired to attack and create confusion among God's people. The enemies tried to discourage God's people by pointing out the immensity of the task and the weakness of the Jews; calling them "feeble" = withered, fading, or hopeless.
Instead, Nehemiah placed his hope in God who hears and judges. When Nehemiah asked God to judge his enemies unmercifully, he was motivated by the spiritual need above all else. The enemy of God's people is the enemy of God.
What is the enemy's position?
Jerusalem was surround by her enemies on all sides.
I am sure when you are under attack you are feeling it from all sides. I know I do, I feel the enemies eyes on everything I hold dear.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
How to defend agains the enemy?
Rally the Troops
In verse 20 this is exactly what starts to unfold. The "troops" were in danger and in need, they needed to start praying. Their first defense against the enemy was prayer. There is a link between battle and prayer and it is simply to start battling in prayer.
Then the people were instructed to carry their swords and had them ready at all times.
Do not be afraid of the enemy. God will bring their plots to nothing and EVERYONE return to his work with SWORDS girded at their waist. In Ephesians 6, Paul discusses the Sword of the Spirit, which represents the Word of God.
STOP OPPRESSION FROM WITHIN
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13)
You Are Called
No matter how ridiculous the enemy makes it sound, don't stop doing what you're called to do.
Set Watch: Arm yourself on all sides, call your prayer warriors and angels to protect you from all harm. Remember the Lord, and fight in prayer for your wellbeing and your families. During the watch it is necessary to stay focused on your work and stay armed with God's Sword, His Word. Keep your hand on your "weapons", your prayers and your Sword, God's Holy Word. Be ready at all times as sign to the enemy that you are serious, and you are expecting God to do great things.
Take Precautions: Ask your friends and family and trusted Prayer Warriors to start arming up in prayer for you. Be diligent. Even God's people slept in their clothes so that they would be ready. Take that as a sign that you are to pray without ceasing when you feel an attack is approaching. Be ready! The balance of faith with work, prayer, precaution, and trust with action in the scriptures, are a reminder to us of just how serious the enemy is.
What are You Fighting For: While we know and trust that our God will fight for us. (v20) we must remind ourselves what it is we are fighting for. What is it that is so important to the enemy to stop, that he must feel the need to attack. Is it your family, your children, your peace of mind, your work... what is it that is about to be attacked and why is it so important you stay diligent in prayer.
Spiritual warfare begins when the enemy, Satan, perceives that someone is trying to seek God's purpose or to protect the well being of God's people. You have the power to end it!
Yes Lord, Thank you, in His name!