The Enemy's Distractions

Nehemiah, Chapter 6 starts out this way: 

“When Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall and that there were no more breaks in it—even though I hadn’t yet installed the gates— Sanballat and Geshem sent this message: “Come and meet with us at Kephirim in the valley of Ono.”

I knew they were scheming to hurt me so I sent messengers back with this: “I’m doing a great work; I can’t come down. Why should the work come to a standstill just so I can come down to see you?”

Four times they sent this message and four times I gave them my answer.

In this season, one of the enemy’s attacks against the people of God, particularly the people of God who are building the Kingdom, is like these Yahoos were trying: to lure them away from the work to come spend time with me instead.

That temptation may come from strangers; on public forums like this one, that’s not particularly rare. But it may also come from friends who have themselves been sidetracked. I have seen these kind of temptations to stray show up as lonely widows needing a man’s perspective, or handsome young men suddenly paying attention to a woman (or a man). They can also come in the guise of recognition from important, influential or famous people or organizations. An invitation to review an article before publication may be more about drawing you off of your focus than about getting your opinion.

In conversation with a brother this evening, Father showed me that this is one of the biggest things motivating the people coming “alongside” us to “fix” us, or to “correct” us or “show us the error of our ways.” Their goal – the goal of the demonic that’s nudging them, that is, not the people’s goal! – is to draw Kingdom people away from Kingdom work. Suck ‘em dry if they can, but get them off the work of discovering the Kingdom and sharing those discoveries.

I’ve also seen this attack come in the guise of a business opportunity, a job offer, or a promotion.

There are several dangers here. The first is the one that Nehemiah was concerned about: that they will separate us from the people of God, from our community, and there they will suck us dry of fervor, of passion, of purpose. In other words, they’ll kill us.

The second is that the work that we’ve been doing – assuming that we’re actually doing Kingdom work and not just building our own kingdom – will go undone. In some ways, that’s just as valuable to them: “Do whatever you have to do, but stop them from building the Kingdom!”

Guard yourselves, friends. Resist them. Resist them repeatedly. Nehemiah had to chase them off four times. Don’t be surprised if you get more than one round of people trying to distract you, to draw you off of the task that Father has assigned you to.

You’re doing good work, work that nobody else can do like you can. Why should that work come to a standstill just so you can go meet with somebody?

It shouldn’t.

Don’t fall for it.

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