They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and to bring about confusion there. But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves… —For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.—We have faithfully preached the truth. God’s power has been working in us. We have righteousness as our weapon, both to attack and to defend ourselves.
“Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your friends, you families, and your homes!” —So David and his troops went up to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “God did it!” David exclaimed. “He used me to burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So they named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”).
…casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.—Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armour of God’s righteousness.—A final word: Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power. Put on all of God’s armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil.—…in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me, for I find protection in you alone.—My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
Neh.4:8,9NLT; I Cor.14:33ESV; II Cor.6:7NLT; Neh.4:14NLT; I Chron. 14:11NLT; I Pet. 5:7-9ESV; Eph.6:14NLT; Eph.6:10,11NLT; II Cor. 2:11NIV; Ps. 31:4NLT; Ps. 25:15ESV
After long captivity the children of God had returned to their beloved Jerusalem to find it in a shambles. God brought this to Nehemiah’s attention and he was given leave from his position as cupbearer to King Artaxerxes in order to lead the rebuilding effort. And he was given the King’s support besides! But now, as though the task were not daunting enough in itself, they faced the rage of the surrounding chieftains who were intent on thwarting this project.
The story is not unlike this long process of sanctification that believers undergo. We have the backing of the King. The Spirit energizes the work and cheers us on. But we have a formidable enemy who is furious that we should give our allegiance to the King of Kings and that our walls should be made strong to deny his access. He sends confusion to thwart our orderly progress. We get distracted by the onslaught and the construction is delayed. Peace dissolves in the turmoil. But ours is not a God of confusion. He is called the Prince of peace. Where He works peace reigns. So He calls us to don our armour, to guard our hearts, to be sober-minded…to be mindful of the enemy’s tactics and to fill our minds with truth.
Mindful used to be a term we could rightly use. Its meaning has been hijacked to actually refer to a kind of mindlessness where thoughts are given little consideration, allowed to flow unchecked, and to be ignored until they give up and simmer down to nothingness, which is then called enlightenment! This is the stuff of meditation as it is extolled all around us, by believers and unbelievers with so little discernment. But I digress…
Suffice it to say, confusion is a tactic of the enemy. Peace of mind is a gift of God in exchange for our anxious thoughts. He invites us not merely to let our cares dissolve in mindlessness, but to lift them to Him and be made strong by His mighty power!
May you know His mighty refuge today.