I want you to know that the warfare you might be experiencing in this season is strategic. The strategic plan the enemy is launching against you is called intimidation, intended to slow your progress.
Yesterday, I taught a message entitled, The Halfway Point, that I encourage you to watch. In the teaching, we looked at the book of Nehemiah from the perspective of His enemies, and you'd be surprised at what we discovered.
When Sanballat and Tobiah launched the first leg of their intimidation campaign, they did so first to question the audacity of the Israelites. Not just any nerve but their audacity to seek freedom.
In Nehemiah 2:19, Sanballat asks, "What is this you are doing?" This isn't a simple question. In fact, it's equivalent to the enemy saying, "How dare you obey God? How dare you think you can break free? How dare you move forward?" Why would the enemy say this??? He is shocked that you dare to fight him because he has oppressed everyone else in your family.
The enemy wants to convince you you're weak and unable to defeat him. Take a look at the series of questions that Sanballat asks Nehemiah 4:2:
“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?”
Sanballat calls the Jews feeble, which means weak, inferior, and lacking authority or strength. Of course, he knows they aren't any of these things, but if he can get them to believe they are, they will continue to oppress themselves. Remember, he is saying this in earshot of them.
The enemy is afraid that you'll finish and free yourself. Take a look at the second question in verse 2.
NIV: "Will they restore their wall?"
KJV: "Will they fortify themselves?"
Do you know what fortify means? It means to set free. Ultimately, embedded in his line of questioning is his fear that if they complete the wall, then they will free themselves. Therefore, their freedom is directly attached to the completion of the wall, just like your freedom is linked to completing what God told you to do.
The enemy is trying to convince you that what you're building is insignificant. Nehemiah 4:3 reveals,
Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—even a fox climbing up on it would break down their wall of stones!”
Hear me: If what you are building isn't significant, then hell wouldn't be talking to you about it. The enemy would not be trying to convince you that you're wasting your time if it wouldn't be a game changer. You must choose not to listen to him because he's lying. You must not be ignorant of his devices and continue pressing on.
If the enemy cannot intimidate you, then he will try his best to delay you. Take a look at Nehemiah 6:2 & 4
2. Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.”
4. Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.
The enemy knows what you're building is time sensitive, so if he can't stop you, he will try to delay you. Hell was so pressed that the enemy sent the same message four times. If Nehemiah had taken the bait, then the project would have been delayed, and he might have stepped outside of the grace that God was lending.
So how many attacks did the enemy launch at Nehemiah?? If you answered 7, then you are correct. 7 in the Bible is the number of completion, which means that hell knew that once they finished this wall, then they would break free. The season was coming to a close, and the enemy knew it.
The real question is if you really know it.
Friend, avoid falling for the enemy's strategic plan against you. He's only trying to intimidate you to slow your progress. If you've reached the halfway mark, you're more than capable of finishing.
Be sure to finish this time because I'm not sure there will be a next time.
If you missed the live teaching, then watch the replay!