Don't Be Preoccupied
20 September 2017
Nehemiah 4:21 'So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out.' (NIV)
Nehemiah did a major service to God and the people of Israel by rebuilding Jerusalem's shattered walls and refitting her burnt out gates. The city was constantly open to attack and the people were totally demoralised and terrified, but Nehemiah stood against the enemies of the city and re-established Israel's sense of identity. We need Christians who can do the same today – rebuilding the walls of people's lives and giving them hope and a sense of protection under God's covering. AS with Nehemiah, if you set out to be a kingdom builder for God, you will face opposition. Spiritual forces will try to bring you down. However, God is on your side and the work you're doing is his work, so you know he's with you. When you come under attack, the secret is not to drop tools and become preoccupied by the enemy. Many Christians do that. They work just fine until they come under pressure and then they drop their tools and focus all their energies on talking about the enemy and wondering where he'll strike next. We should not preoccupied with what some people like to call 'spiritual warfare', which is really little more than putting on a weird circus show for the enemy to come and watch! Our warfare is of a very practical kind, with a focus first on building. Nehemiah understood that God's way is the trowel and the sword, together, at the same time. When under attack, you keep working, doing the very thing your enemy hates – building God's kingdom. At the same time, you arm yourself with your God-given spiritual weapons – prayer, the word of God, faith, right-living, evangelism and so on. You keep building while you defend the work. You are not naïve – you know the enemy likes to attack, so you're always armed and ready. But you're not going to focus on him and his agenda.
Prayer: 'Lord, help me to keep building your kingdom and taking positive steps for you even when I'm under pressure. Help me not to be led away from my God-given destiny, or preoccupied in vision, by the attacks of the enemy.'
© Mal Fletcher 2003-2004