‘They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”’ – Mehemiah 6:9
God’s people were under great stress. Nehemiah obeyed God and was leading the people to rebuild the wall. As God blessed their work, Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem and their scandalous cohorts learned of his successful building campaign. The wall was being completed in record time and God was doing a profound work in the lives of His people. Jewish success was just around the corner and that set a fire under their enemies. Nehemiah had to decide if the continual verbal attacks and false accusations would be allowed to thwart the progress of God’s people. Would they allow the enemy a victory in the city of God?
As you live a life of faith as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, are you surprised when the Enemy tries to defeat you? He is never on vacation and is content to wait for those moments when we are tired, sick, or stressed – when we are most vulnerable and easily tempted. He is an opportunist and a clever, conniving foe; his goal is destruction. Have you ever had one of these experiences? What seemed expedient in the moment, turned out to be spiritually unprofitable. What you thought would bring a sense of comfort during a hard moment, turned out to be a lure of sexual sin. What elevated your pride before others, led to vanity, conceit, and self-righteousness.
The Enemy has a million and one ways to distract and destroy us, but we have one path to righteousness – simple obedience and faithfulness to God as we abide in His Son. When we abide in Christ, and His Word abides in us, opposition only serves to build our spiritual muscles. We must never allow our circumstances to limit our heavenly reward as we pursue the heart of God. God allows great pressure to produce great people who place the highest value on knowing His heart and obeying His commands. Our success begins and ends at the altar of obedience. Jesus has already defeated the Enemy, so as we abide in Him, we stand in victory. We will always find success and refuge for our souls in Him.
As Nehemiah and God’s people witnessed, enemies refuse to quit. They lied and sought to frighten God’s people, thinking their hands would become weak, their spirits defeated, and they would lose enthusiasm for completing the wall. They failed to recognize God’s awesome power within His people. Their hands never weakened as they labored and obeyed because they cried out to God, “O God, strengthen our hands” (Neh. 6:9b). God answered their prayers and He will answer yours. Are you weak, discouraged, or ready to quit? Cry out to our Awesome God and watch Him strengthen your hands.
How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none. – A.W. Tozer
Father God, how I need You. This life just seems too hard some days, yet I know that the trials and heartaches lead me straight to You. Thank You for always being sufficient for every need I have. Please help me to honor You every day by obeying and abiding. You are all I need. Help me to raise my hands to You every day in faith and as I do, may others come to know Jesus. Amen