When you are called to God's work and face opposition, it could look like these four lies of the enemy found in Nehemiah.
Lie #1 Tells you that you are rebelling against authority.
Nehemiah 2:19 “…they jeered at us and despised us and said, “what is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?”
Lie #2 Tells you that your plan is stupid and won't work.
Nehemiah 4:2-3 “And he said in the presence of his brothers and of the army of Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore it for themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish up in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish and burned ones at that?… Yes, what they are building – if a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall.”
Lie #3 Tries to cause confusion and fighting at home.
Nehemiah 4:8 “And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it.”
Lie #4 Tries to kill you, so can't finish the work.
Nehemiah 4:11 “…They will not know or see till we come among them and kill them and stop the work.”
I was struck by how the enemy talked to them the first two times, and when that didn't work, they started plotting. The plots were deceptive, hidden, and sneaky in the first step.
When that didn't work, a full-on assault was planned. First, Nehemiah rebuked them. (Neh2:20) Each time after that, the Jews prayed and encouraged each other. (Neh 4:4-5, 9, & 14) When they recognized the enemy's tactics, the enemy knew the plan was spoiled. (Neh 4:15) And the people went back to work…but this time with weapons in hand. (Neh 4:16-23)
Just as knowing the character of God helps me stay strong. Nehemiah 4:14 says, “… do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome…” But knowing the fingerprint of the enemy can help me be wise and alert to his plans too. I was able to look at things in my past and discern what was an attack and see if the fingerprints applied. Knowing the opposition is helpful! It means I am on the right track, or else the enemy wouldn't be bothering to stop me!
But, the example of Nehemiah at the end of Chapter 4 helps too. They stood firm to protect their work, and when they returned to work, they held their weapons in one hand and worked with the other. Since we know the Word of God is our sword (Eph 6:13-18), we need to always have our weapon at hand while we go about our day and work. Time with the Lord in His Word is our best defense when doing His work.
What tactic of the enemy do you see in your life right now? Do you know the truth from God's Word to defeat it?