2 then Sanballat and Geshem sent a message to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together at Chephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they were planning to harm me.
10 When I entered the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, who was confined at home, he said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you, and they are coming to kill you at night.” 11 But I said, “Should a man like me flee? And could one such as I go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.”
Examine / Explain
The enemy was trying to tempt Nehemiah to leave the work that was being done and meet in enemy territory. But Nehemiah knew what was going on, so he refused and kept working. The next tactic was urgent fear. There were false claims of Nehemiah becoming king and that he would be killed. So the enemy tried to coax him to hide in the temple and sin against God, but he did not go. The work continued, and the wall was finished in fifty-two days.
How do I apply this to my life?
Where does the enemy try to phish me? Where does the sense of urgency or fear of death come to mind? Does that task fall outside God’s nature and will for my life? Is the enemy trying to coax me into running for comfort in my old sinful ways? I believe so. If I was not grounded with my journaling, bible readings, quiet time, and community, I would struggle with thoughts of old behavior. I would want to return to the sins of sexual immortality. I would want to remove the humanity of people. Right now, I am in a good place. Am I perfect? No! Am I on a good path? Yes. Am I striving to walk and talk in a manner worthy of the calling to which I have been called? Yes. Lord, that statement has come to mind a lot lately. My calling is to be a Christ follower. To stay the course of God’s will for my life. To be unwavering in the assignment you give me. Nehemiah is a good example of staying on task and not letting the enemy sway him. How do I get even more self-aware and aware of my sounding to spot the phishing attempts? You have already given me a good spiritual discernment. I need to slow down. I know I have stepped back from some leadership roles and I keep the podcast going, however, life be lifen and it is going fast. Life is not easy, but amid all the trials, where is my mind? Where is my heart? Where is my soul? What is taking all my strength? Car troubles, LOL. But really, where am I spending my time, talent, and treasure? How do I keep pursuing You and take a breath from all the things happening around me that feel like a tornado? I can’t stop the pursuit! I will lose ground and want to fall into old habits. I need to make sure that there are sabbaths’. I need to make sure to rest. Or else I will fall victim to a phishing scheme.
What is my response?
Father, I know I have a habit and getting laser-focused on a task. Especially if it is a task I deem entertaining. I also have a nature of passivity. I will ignore the things I should be taking care of. I pray that the gifts and talents you have given me stay sharp, and I am to see when the enemy tempts me to fall. I also need to recognize when it’s just my flesh that wants to be the king of my life instead of You. I know not everything is of the enemy. I am Your enemy too. I chose my sin over frequently. My pride puts me in positions of opposition to You. That is a bad place to be. I pray for humility and the knowledge and energy to act without hesitation for You. I don’t want to not have human fear in the moment but to respond with God-honoring fear and to do whatever is needed to complete my assignment for you. The fear of the Lord should be greater than the fear of death. Be it cultural death, physical death, or relational death. I am to be fully committed to You and Your Kingdom, not my own. I pray I am receptive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and that I follow You wholeheartedly through eternity. Amen.