“When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, ‘What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble — burned as they are?'” — Nehemiah 4:1-2
In Nehemiah 4, Nehemiah solidified his position as a leader, the Jewish people had accepted the charge to rebuild, and an enormous building project started. While no initial opposition presented itself, the enemy was scheming, and sure enough, opposition came via the mocking and threats of powerful men of Samaria. “When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews” (Nehemiah 4:1).
The enemy always knows when to show up. He shows up on the doorstep of your breakthrough, or the building of your foundation when everything is still fresh. And when he shows up, he speaks into your situation with foolishness and discouragement.
But here’s the reality: Though he is always talking, whispering, and trying to cause a rift, we don’t have to listen. It’s not what we hear that’s the issue, it’s what we receive that’s the problem. What are you receiving from the enemy? What lie have you made your own? What have you spoken over yourself or agreed with the enemy about?
I love Nehemiah’s response to the noise from the enemy: He prayed! And as the opposition persisted in mocking and striking fear in the hearts of the Israelites, Nehemiah would show up again and again to pray and encourage.
As a leader, you can always stop the works and words of the enemy with one word of prayer to an ever-present God. How do you stop the enemy and pray away the noise?
— Fleceia Comeaux, Houston Dash chaplain
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