Don’t get pulled offsides, we know this in football, but real life we also need to see the schemers and detractors, the potholes of life… but instead we need to KEEP ON TRACK…
STRENGTHEN, pray the Lord to strengthen you against loosing your cool. Strengthen the hold on our tongues when we want to snap at someone. Keep our resolve to LISTEN and obey and look beyond the fray of today… Don’t get pulled offsides.
Nehemiah (rebuilder of the walls and gates of Jerusalem after the exile) had detractors who nipped at his toes, angered his foes, and made stinky lies right under his nose. Nehemiah resisted and kept on working. God told him to do the work to bring back the city of Jerusalem and God’s Hand was on them…. Why should he stop? Why should he let the bad guy get the best of him when God Himself had given him a job to do. These enemies wanted to lure him to where they could hurt him, but worse hurt his reputation and cause him to sin.
Nehemiah saw the smoke screen which IS the devil’s scheme… smoke but no fire… a blinding predicament, but we are to focus above…
We all need to remember to keep our cool and not retaliate for it causes us to sin. Turn the other cheek. Put yourself into your work. Nehemiah finished the wall in 52 days. Imagine what God can do with just one day of you listening and working thru issues…
Whether you are building a wall, reaching God’s people, or quiety winning a war of words, let God fight your battle. When it is “realized that this work had been done with the help of our God”, who can stand against God?!!!! No one.
Lord I pray, strengthen my resolve, hold onto my tongue, and strengthen my hands to complete my work FOR You.
When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it—though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates— Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.”
But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.
Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter in which was written:
“It is reported among the nations—and Geshem says it is true—that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king and have even appointed prophets to make this proclamation about you in Jerusalem: ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now this report will get back to the king; so come, let us meet together.”
I sent him this reply: “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.”
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.”
One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home. He said, “Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple, and let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you—by night they are coming to kill you.”
But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should someone like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!” I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.
Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophet Noadiah and how she and the rest of the prophets have been trying to intimidate me. So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.
When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.