Today’s Reading: Nehemiah 5:14-7:73 (additional reading: Psalm 33:1-11 and Proverbs 21:8-10)
Do you have any unfinished projects lying around collecting dust? Of course, you do, we all do. It’s so easy to get sidetracked, isn’t it? It takes tenacity to finish what we start because there are always so many competing distractions. One thing that clearly emerges from our study in the Book of Nehemiah is that life is a battle from beginning to end.
Here in Nehemiah 6, as in many other places in Scripture, we learn that the devil has two main ways of working. The first tactic is fear. But he has another battle plan as well. He not only uses fear, he also utilizes flattery. 2 Corinthians 11:14 reveals that Satan “masquerades as an angel of light.” He comes with enticing promises and flattering words, assuring us that what he proposes will cost us nothing.
Whatever method the evil one employs, whether it be fear or flattery, his aim is to distract and destroy us. We need to be on guard against each of these approaches. That is why Paul says in 2 Corinthians 2:11 that “We are not unaware of his schemes.” We need to be on guard because Satan is both a lion that devours and a serpent that deceives.
Practice saying, “no” to the devil’s distractions. I don’t know what distractions you’re faced with but let’s take some time right now and ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify those things that are distracting you from God’s priorities. Is it a friend? An activity? Your money? Your possessions? Your thought life? Your career? When the Spirit makes it clear, decide how you can begin to say “no” to those things that are derailing you from what’s most important. Maybe you can practice saying, “no” like Nehemiah did “I will not come down” and “I will not go in.”
Remember, when God’s priorities become our priorities, God’s kingdom work will advance. When the wall was completed, verse 16 says, “…All the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.” May that be said of us!
- Which weapon do you struggle with the most? Fear or flattery?
- What causes you to be distracted?
Father, Thank You for allowing us to be aware of how the enemy acts, so that we can be on guard against it. Help us to stand firm for You and to remain focused on the task You give us, In Jesus’ name, Amen