Hi! It’s been a while. 8 months to be exact. I don’t know why I haven’t written in a while, but when it came time to renew my subscription for my JourneyEverlasting domain, I felt God pushing me to keep the blog and continue writing. That was a few weeks ago, and ever since then, I’ve had a blank document up on my laptop with the words “pray for what this should be about.” So, I’ve been praying and asking for God to show me what my returning post should be about. This is because I don’t just write to post blogs. I write when there is something on my heart I feel led to write about. Well, I got it. I am in a Wednesday night women’s Bible study with my boyfriend’s mom and sister. This week, we studied the three waves of the Israelites coming back to Jerusalem to rebuild the city, the temple, and the walls after it was destroyed. The discussion questions prompted us to look through Nehemiah 2-6 to recognize the tactics the devil used to try and prevent the Israelites from succeeding in rebuilding Jerusalem. Here are some of the things we pulled out.
Nehemiah tells us in 2:12 that God had laid on his heart to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls. He felt it so strongly. However, the next few chapters demonstrate how Satan uses the Israelites’ enemies to try and derail this call. They were mocked and ridiculed, accused, discouraged, plotted against, intimidated, etc. Neh. 6:9 says, “They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.’” But then, he goes on to say, “But I prayed, ‘Now strengthen my hands.’” What does he do in the opposition? He prays and asks for strength.
Satan is going to do everything in his power to try and stop you from the mission God has put you on. He is going to put people in your path to discourage you. He is going to have people say things to you that hurt you, gets you sidetracked, confuses you, etc. His mission is to destroy God‘s mission. His mission is to take you off the path God has you on. But one thing we discussed in my group is how we have to be prepared to fight back. Nehemiah 4 talks about how the Israelites, while rebuilding the city walls, also held weapons in their hands at all times to be prepared to fight the opposition that was against them. Verse 17 says, “Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other.” Picture that – trying to build a city back WHILE also having weapons in hand. Wow. That is a very good illustration for how we should live! While accomplishing the mission God has us on, we need to also be on guard, prepared to fight Satan‘s mission at any time. We need to recognize the schemes he has, the plans he has, the roadblocks he throws in the way. We need to have the armor of God on at all times. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But the armor of God can protect us. [Read on the armor of God in Ephesians 6]
Recently, I have walked through this some myself. There have been things said to me or situations happen that have brought me to a place of pain. Satan tries to get a grip on me in situations he no longer has a grip of me on. It will bring me back to a place of pain so quick, or I will be thrown off course so fast. But, I have to remain trained to be ready to fight back and know the truth versus the lies. It’s like battle training. You could be attacked at any time. It’s being ready to fight back and shake off what Satan wants you to believe, or what he wants you to do, or what he’s wanting you to hear. It’s something that is learned. It comes with recognizing the Holy Spirit’s voice and distinguishing between that voice and the voice of evil. It’s also something I’ve learned that you pray for. Lately, my biggest prayer for myself has been to recognize the Holy Spirit’s voice first and let it clearly guide my steps. It is a weapon in itself. And it’s a STRONG one!
I encourage you to ask yourself: what are the tactics Satan is trying to use in my life to derail me from God’s mission? What is he doing or having people whisper in my ear to discourage me from the path God has clearly put me on, like with the Israelites? Whatever that is, fight it. Use the armor of God and the direction of God’s Holy Spirit to be on guard and win those battles. What does that look like for you? For me, it’s worship music. There is nothing sweeter to me than sitting in God’s presence and worshiping – a lot of times this happens while driving. Find what re-centers you and stay there for a while. You will face opposition of all kinds on your spiritual walk, but it’s important that you steer clear and stay focused.
John 10:10 – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”