Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Leaders get blamed for things they didn’t do and criticized for things they tried to do. They get misquoted and misunderstood and rarely given the opportunity to set the record straight. If they act quickly, they’re reckless. If they bide their time, they’re unconcerned or cowards.

We battle a diabolical Enemy who is a “master deceiver” and a “murderer.”
2 Cor. 11:3 (NLT) But I fear that somehow you will be led away from your pure and simple devotion to Christ, just as Eve was deceived by the serpent.
1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Satan comes as a “snake” who deceives or as a “lion” who devours. This is why we must be ever alert and spiritually equipped to oppose him. Satan wants to intimidate you and strike fear into your heart and defeat you.

Sanballat and his group focused their attacks on Nehemiah when he and the people had completed the building of the walls and the gates around Jerusalem. Nehemiah’s enemies tried to intimidate him, discredit him, immobilize him, and eliminate him by using 4 strategies.


Nehemiah’s enemies wanted to meet him in a village “halfway” between Jerusalem and Samaria and figure out how to “work together”. We must take care that we cooperate with the “right people” at the “right time” for the “right purpose”; otherwise we may end up cooperating with the enemy.

Nehemiah’s enemies sent him an open letter and accused him of treason. Sanballat wanted the public to know the contents of the letter because he wanted to undermine Nehemiah’s reputation and leadership. In our day, sad to say, email is used to create disagreement and division and hurt.

Nehemiah was threatened but he let it be known that he was not about to run away in the face of danger. Satan will used threats to try to trap you. Prov. 29:25 says, Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but to trust the LORD means safety. (NLT)

Hidden Schemes
Some of Nehemiah’s own workers secretly cooperated with the enemy. People sometimes get out of touch with what’s real. They lose sight of God’s big plan and the purpose He has for them and instead start believing in something else that is actually contrary to God’s purpose. And they flatter themselves with their faulty thinking.


1. Beware that the enemy wants to destroy.
Jesus said in John 10:10 (NIV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

2. Be convinced of the greatness of God’s work.
God has given us is the greatest work in the world. 1 Cor. 15:58 (NIV) Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. Jesus said in Matt. 16:18 (NLT) I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.

3. Keep your boundaries healthy.
With some people you love them but don’t like them. You forgive them but don’t trust them. You pray for them but don’t cooperate with them. You speak to them but keep your distance. Rom. 16:17 (Mes) says, Keep a sharp eye out for those who take bits and pieces of the teaching that you learned and then use them to make trouble. Give these people a wide berth. There is a time for “limited fellowship” when a person is not a “safe person.” It’s a form of church discipline.

4. Simply deny the untruth.

5. Pray for God’s strength.

6. Get back to work.
Remember your purpose. And remember the devil is trying to distract you and detour you from accomplishing the work God has for you.

7. Take care of your character and God will take care of your reputation.

8. Be courageous.

9. Test it against the Scripture.

10. Trust in God’s promise.
Phil. 1:6 (NCV) God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again.

Our work is far from done. 50% of the community in which you live is unchurched. This is our opportunity, our time, our assignment – to go get them and bring them to Christ.

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