count on it

October 7, 2016

Image result for pictures of an abacus

Well it’s Thursday night so it must be Nehemiah night.

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.
Nehemiah 6:3-4

Next, Tobiah sent four requests to meet with Nehemiah and each time Nehemiah turned him down. The enemy in this narrative demonstrated tremendous persistence. It seems like he was trying to wear Nehemiah down so that he would eventually give in.

  1. The enemy used persistence in the story of Samson and Delilah.

Do you remember? It said that she constantly harassed him, seeking the secret of his strength, and he eventually gave in. Look at the text below:

Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death. So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite set apart to God since birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.”

Judges 16:15-17

She nagged and nagged and nagged until he relented and gave her the secret to his power. Satan is persistent in his attacks.

  1. The enemy used persistence in the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife.

Genesis 39:5 says that “day after day” she kept asking him to lie with her. The enemy was persistent in seeking to draw Joseph into adultery.

  1. The enemy used persistence in the story of Christ being tempted by Satan in the wilderness.

In Matthew 4, when Satan tempted Jesus, he came to him three times with three different temptations until he eventually left Jesus alone.

  1. The enemy used persistence in Peter’s temptation to deny Christ.

Several people approached Peter and said, “Weren’t you following Christ?” and with each question there was a temptation to deny Christ. In response, Peter denied him three times.

We have all experienced this, whether it was with lust, depression, anxiety, foul language, or some conflict. Satan is persistent and the purpose of being persistent in warfare is to wear down the other side into compromise and eventually giving up.

This persistence is also used to create deeper strongholds of sin. The more we compromise with the world, the more we give into a particular sin, the greater and deeper its roots become and the harder it becomes to break it and follow Christ.

Satan uses persistence. We see this as Tobiah sends a letter four times to Nehemiah. The hope is that Nehemiah would be worn down, which would open the door to harm him.

How does Nehemiah reply to the four attacks?

He gave them the same answer each time. I am busy with a great work; I cannot come down. He made a stand and would not compromise. In the same way, when the enemy attacks us, God’s desire for us is to stand and not give in.

We can stand against Satan’s persistence by realizing the magnitude of the work God has given us. If you don’t realize the magnitude of God’s work and plan for your life, it will be easy to compromise.

Paul taught Timothy something with similar ramifications. Listen to what he said: “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer” (2 Timothy 2:3-4).

Paul told Timothy that he should consider himself a soldier for Christ. In understanding this, he should keep himself from becoming entangled with the things of this world. Practically, when our soldiers go to battle, they are fighting not just to protect themselves, but to protect what is behind them. A soldier fights for something greater than himself. He fights because the cause is more important than his life, his family, his country, and his home. And, ultimately, the attacker is not really after the soldier, he is trying to destroy or gain what the soldier protects.

Similarly, Satan’s attacks on us aren’t so much about us. The attacks are primarily about the kingdom of God and the things God is concerned about. It was the same with Nehemiah. Tobiah and Sanballat were not really after Nehemiah. They were after Nehemiah’s work.

That’s why Satan’s attacks are so persistent. He attacks all day long through the TV, the Internet, music, through teachings in the classroom, family, friends, etc., and by these attacks many lose their God-given convictions and give up ground to the enemy. They give up ground on what a biblical marriage is, between a man and woman. They give up ground on the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture. Satan constantly says, “Did God really say?” “Is this really true?” He persistently attacks the inerrancy of Scripture, just as he has done from the beginning of time with Adam and Eve.

Like Nehemiah, we must know that what we are fighting for is too big to compromise. It’s too great of a work. Compromise in sin will not only affect us, but it affects friends, family, our church, and even the lost. You must realize how important your battle is and what you are fighting for. If you don’t, you will be prone to compromise. Scripture says, “Where there is no revelation [no vision], people cast off restraint” (Prov 29:18).

When a person doesn’t realize God’s purpose for his life, he will constantly accept the lies of the devil or give up when attacked. This is because he doesn’t realize how important his battle is.

Nehemiah said, “I am carrying on a great project. I cannot come down.” If we are going to stand against the tactics of the devil, we must not only have discernment but we must realize how important our battle is.

Count on it, you can resist and the attacks may increase but the victory is still ours.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Comments, questions and prayer requests to the above email address please.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: