As I begin the next phase of ministry in my life, the Lord has compared it to the journey of Nehemiah. I have always loved the story of Nehemiah because of the principles that can be applied to our lives today. So this morning as I was reading the story of Nehemiah, I was blown away. Nehemiah had a heart for his people and stayed concerned for them even though he moved to another city and became the King’s cupbearer. When the news came to Nehemiah about his hometown, Judah, he was very saddened and troubled. The king saw how important it was for Nehemiah to go rebuild and help his city. Nehemiah acquired the king’s permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city and its fortifications. He is even given letters from the king to ensure safe passage and to obtain timber from the king’s forest for the gates and walls of Jerusalem.
While Nehemiah was praying, fasting and hearing from the Lord of the strategy, he was faced with negative talk from a group of people. Sanballat and Tobiah were the main people speaking against the building of the city. They did not use physical weapons to tear down the people, Sanballot and Tobiah used their words. When the enemy comes to attack, he does not have to use physical weapons but spiritual weapons of doubt and discouragement.
There are 5 dimensions or areas that the enemy will come and plant seeds of doubt and discouragement. Each week we will talk about one
- The Sanballat spirit creates doubt in your ability
Sanballat said in Nehemiah 4:2–3, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore things [at will and by themselves]? Will they [try to bribe their God] with sacrifices? Will they finish up in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, seeing they are burned? Now Tobiah the Ammonite was near him, and he said, what they build—if a fox climbs upon it, he will break down their stone wall.”
No matter what the situation may look like, we have to remember that God is able. In Ephesians 3:20 says that, “Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]” God works beyond what we can see. We should be walking by faith and not by what we see (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Here Nehemiah was motivated by faith to build up the city of Jerusalem. Nehemiah prayed and had faith in God that the city will be rebuild. Once you are motivated by faith to do an assignment, nothing or no one should stop you to carry it out to completion. Knowing the assignment and the promise of God can give you joy and power to complete your assignment and you should not let anyone take that away from you. “And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” —John 16:22
Notice Nehemiah response to Sanballat and Tobiah. He did not give them conversation. He went straight to what the Lord will do for them. Nehemiah responded in 2:20, “I answered them, The God of heaven will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build.” I had a dream that I saw a prominent leader in the ministry struggling and fighting spiritually. I immediately interfered and tried stop the demonic forces from happening but I began to talk and argue with the demon rather than praying prayers. The leader said to me, “Now what good is that arguing and cussing at the demon?” Nehemiah teaches us a strategy in spiritual warfare. When the enemy begins to talk discouragement and doubt, speak the word and the promises of God. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer (John 16:33).