How many times have we seen God doing something absolutely, incredibly amazing, only to see distractions from people who are working in the flesh? This is what happened in Nehemiah’s case. God impressed on Nehemiah’s heart to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, thus protecting His Temple, and through faithfulness, diligence, and the work of God and His people, the walls were completed in a mere fifty-two days.
As the work was occurring, the powers that were there already were angry and began to attack. They spread lies, innuendos, and suspicions about Nehemiah and his character. They mocked him and his work, laughed and tried to get people on their side. They played legalistic tricks to try to stop the progress being made. They threatened him and the safety of his workers. Finally, they got religious- trying to use a religiosity to stop God’s work from occurring.
What was Nehemiah’s response? Anger? Drama? None of these. It was a resolute heart, a confidence in God’s leading, and a reliance on the strength of God to overcome fleshly foes. Nehemiah didn’t rely on his ability to persuade other, no, not at all! He relied on God as he prayed, “But now, O God, strengthen my hands” (Neh 6:9). And as he resisted the threats of the fleshly ones around him, he did not run and hide- he stood his ground and proclaimed God’s goodness!
Whenever God is at work to advance His Kingdom, all of Hell is in anguish. Jesus said that the gates of Hades will not prevail against us, the church, God’s people. When God’s people are advancing the Kingdom with the life changing truth of the gospel, you are entrenched in spiritual warfare, whether you know it or not. Remember: when you see God working, run to Him in the Word and in prayer even more. Rest in God, draw near to God, and let God be your strength and shield, and as you do this, God will get the glory.