Saturday, January 7, 2012

Don't leave home without this

vigilance is a great word. To be vigilant means to be watchful, alert or diligent.

Read Nehemiah 4:21-23 and notice how well he exemplified this word.

Nehemiah and the people of God are working hard to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Rebuilt walls mean increased security and a semblance of normalcy. After 70 years of exile in Babylon these people are ready to live in their land.

Enemies attack
Unfortunately, their enemies were determined to prevent them from accomplishing their goal. When Sanballat, the Persian official heard that work on the wall had started, he was angry. Greatly enraged, he mustered other hate-filled people to join him in jeering and threatening the people of God (Nehemiah 4: 1-3).

Strong in the Lord
But instead of folding under the pressure of their enemies, Nehemiah and his people worked even harder to finish their work.

They also took measures to protect themselves by posting guards to watch for any attacks coming toward them. They strapped on their swords and worked non-stop night and day. They were so determined to resist their enemies that none of the men took off their clothes. They did not even have time to get a bath or a change of clothes. Desperate times do call for desperate measures.

As Christ-followers we also face an enemy who tries to undermine, discourage, and launch sneak attacks against God's people. This enemy is not flesh and blood; the enemy is demonic forces that despise God's handiwork.

And like the people in Nehemiah's day, we are called to vigilance. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour (I Peter 5:7-8).

The good news is Christ is our defender. He triumphed over all the plans of the enemy through his death and resurrection. Resist the devil and he will flee!

Question: What other ways does the evil one try to discourage God’s work in people’s lives?