Monday, August 12, 2013

5 Ways Satan Tries to Discourage Us

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Monday, August 12, 2013:  Nehemiah 3:15-5:13

1 But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews. 2 And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbishstones that are burned?  3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall.  Nehemiah 4:1-3 (NKJV)

Satan's major strategy against you is to discourage you until you quit.  If Satan can't seduce you into sin, he will try to wear you down until you give up.  When we start trusting ourselves and looking at our circumstances, we can quickly isolate ourselves and stop seeing Jesus working in our lives at all.  It is a sure fire formula for defeat. 

That was Satan's strategy against Nehemiah.  God's people, under Nehemiah's leadership, had begun the great work of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem.  Sanballat, their enemy, did not attack with an army.  He sent messengers to mock.  The plan was to hurl Satan's verbal bombs until the Jews fell apart ON THE INSIDE.  

In the spiritual battle that surrounds your life, he uses the same tactic.  There are six ways the enemy tried to discourage the wall-builders. 

1.      He mocked their WEAKNESS.  "What are these feeble Jews doing?"  Satan constantly points out what do CAN'T do.  He tells you how weak you are and unable to do what God has called you to do. 

2.      He questioned their MOTIVE.  "Will they fortify themselves?"  The key word here is "themselves."  He wants to picture our selfless acts of obedience as selfish, self-serving ego trips. 

3.      He accused them of UNWORTHINESS.  "Will they offer sacrifices?"  Satan is elsewhere called the accuser of the brethren.  He likes to point out our personal sin and then say "Who do think you are trying to do something for God?"  "Who are you to serve God?"

4.      He laughed at their SLOWNESS.  "Will they complete it in a day?"  This is a major strategy of the enemy.  He accuses us of being slow-learners.  He points out how long you've been trying, and then whispers: "It'll never happen."

5.      He made them feel INADEQUATE.  "Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish -- stones that are burned?"  Satan says, "Look how ENORMOUS this job is!"  He focuses on how hard is the work, how huge is the rubbish pile, and how damaged are the stones. 

6.      He predicted their FAILURE.  "Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall."   Satan tells you that all your work will only end in failure.  He points out how shoddy your work is, and how easily you will fall. 

If you have read the book of Nehemiah, you know that these 6 lies did not stop the wall builders.  They went on to complete the wall in 52 days -- something of a miracle.  Nehemiah is an example to us of how to resist the discouragement that comes flying our way.  

When Satan seeks to discourage, let it be fuel to draw you into God and His truth.  DONT QUIT!  Our God will lead you to victory.

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