Nehemiah 6 : 1 - 3, Now it happened when Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall, and that there were no breaks left in it(though at that time I had not hung the doors in the gates), that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, "Come, let us meet together among the villages in the plain of Ono." But they thought to do me harm. So I sent messengers to them, saying, "I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?" NKJV
God has called you and me to do a great work in the earth. Therefore, there is no higher calling or mandate than to accept and to fulfill the purpose of God for our lives. There came a time when Nehemiah, the king's cupbearer, heard about the destruction of the wall that once protected the Jews from their enemies. When he received the news and realized the reproach that such an evil deed had brought upon his people, Nehemiah became very sad, and his countenance fell before the king. God gave him favor with the king, and Nehemiah was relieved of his duties, so he could go and rebuild the wall.
Occasionally, we are called upon by the Lord to lay aside one calling in exchange for a higher calling so that God might use us to rebuild walls and lives that have been torn apart by the enemy. If the Lord has moved you from one place to another, or released you from one purpose in order to prepare you for another, then you must be aware of the schemes Satan will try to use to distract you from serving God's will in a new place or new season. Satan has only a few weapons at his disposal, and one of the most effective of those is distractions. He works very diligently to capture our focus away from God's purpose for us so that he might cause us to leave off God's work.
Here is one of the main indicators that lets me know whether or not something is a distraction from Satan: He will use both situations in your life, and he will use the flesh of others to direct the focus of your attention to you. This is the ploy used by Sanballat and Geshem that we read about in today's passage. Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem used intimidation, threats, and manipulation like weapons to distract Nehemiah from fulfilling God's purpose through his continued obedience.
Please take the time to read the first five chapters of Nehemiah to get a full understanding of all that Nehemiah had to endure and to overcome just to remain committed to the rebuilding of the wall. God had called Nehemiah away from serving the king because there were many lives at stake. Likewise, isn't it interesting how Satan will use people, threats, intimidation, and seduction to try and pull us away from serving God in order to protect ourselves? Consequently, Nehemiah was an excellent example for us to model our prayer life after when faced with these types of attacks. Throughout his book, we read where Nehemiah would call on the Lord to provide strength, protect, and fight for him so that he could continue to rebuild the wall.
Satan loves to distract Christians so that lives are left unguarded from his lies and assaults. He will use lusts and fear to cause us to place our focus on "self" instead of serving the purposes of God in our life. Do you know without any doubt that you're in the center of God's will? If you answered "Yes," then you must guard your heart from becoming distracted. If your answer was "No," then you must be willing to seek God's face and allow Him to remove any distractions from your life, thus enabling you to focus clearly on His will and not your own. You will know when you receive a "mandate" from God because you won't be able to ignore it or run from it. Like Nehemiah, God's hand will rest upon you.
Staying Focused During the Storms,
Pastor Asa Dockery