[b]You Can Triumph Over All The Opposition Of The Enemy [/b]
[i]by Zac Poonen[/i]
In Nehemiah 2:1, we find that Nehemiah had never been sad in the kings presence before. He was not a gloomy type of person. The king had always seen him happy. And now he was sad. But he was not sad concerning himself or his family. He was sad because Jerusalem was in such shambles. O that there were more people in the church like that today! The king said, Your face looks so sad! This is nothing but sadness of the heart. And Nehemiah was afraid. It was a terrible thing to ruffle the opinions of a king in those days. I love to see Nehemiahs honesty in admitting that he was afraid.
Fear is not something we can eliminate completely from our lives. We will feel fear as long as we are here on earth, but we must never act on fear. Paul said he had fears (2 Cor.7:5). But he never acted on those fears. If you are in a dangerous place, one day if you are going to serve the Lord in a place where your life is going to be threatened - there are many places like that today - naturally you will feel fear. You dont have to feel ashamed of that. We are human. But we must never act on the basis of that fear. We can be careful and act with caution, but not with fear. Fear is the opposite of faith, and when you act in fear, you are acting in unbelief. Never forget that God cares for us.
Although Nehemiah was afraid, he still told the king, My face has to be sad because the city, the place of my fathers tombs, lies desolate and the gates have been burned with fire. So the king asked, What do you want? Nehemiah prayed a quick, short prayer (the best thing to do in such situations) and replied, If it pleases the king, please send me to Judah to rebuild that city. The king said, How long are you going to be away? A time was fixed and he went.
He went to Jerusalem and stayed alone three days without going anywhere - probably fasting and praying (Nehemiah 2:11). Then he rose at night and took a few men with him. He had not told anyone what God had put into his mind, because he knew that there were enemies who would try and hinder him (Nehemiah 2:10). He knew it was no use gathering people together who had no burden for Gods work. So he went with just a few and inspected the walls and gates.
As soon as this was known, opposition began, just like in Ezras time. As soon as someone is concerned that the name of Jesus should be honoured, opposition begins immediately. The devil is alert to such moves among Gods people. That is one reason why people dont go out and live for God and serve Him. They are afraid of opposition from the devil.
A But actually one way of knowing that you are in the will of God is that you find yourself being confronted by the devil frequently. If the devil leaves you alone, you can be fairly sure that you are completely outside the will of God.
As far as I am concerned, one of the indications that I am on the right path is that the devil stirs up people against me and stirs up all types of situations to hinder me. Throughout church history, this has been the experience of all who have sought to serve the Lord in sincerity.
Sanballat and Tobiah mocked and despised the Jews and said, What is this you are doing? You are rebelling against the king (Nehemiah 2:19). But Nehemiah replied saying, The God of heaven will give us success. We are going to arise and build. But you people have no portion or right or memorial in Jerusalem. We do not work together with you.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon