Rising From The Ruins – Day 9 – Retaliation Is A Distraction

READ Nehemiah 4:1-5

In Nehemiah chapter 4 the enemy returns like a dog with a bone. Progress really angers the enemy and now re-building the wall is not just an idea, it is happening before his very eyes. Result? “Sanballat… became angry and was greatly incensed.” This time he changes his tactic from questioning the people’s motives to demeaning and belittling the Jews. Hear the spite in his voice, “What are those feeble Jews doing.” A quick glance at how much they had already achieved reveals the fallacy of his statement. These were not a feeble group of people.

Everything within Nehemiah must have wanted to retaliate, to tear apart Sanballat’s argument, to explain what God had already done and what God was doing, to defend himself and the people.

And yet that isn’t what he does. In fact he says precisely… nothing. Sanballat rants and raves and accuses and belittles and Nehemiah doesn’t utter one single word in reply. He merely points his eyes to Heaven and directs his conversation there.

You see sometimes all the enemy wants to do is engage you in the conflict. If he can get you tied up in a fight, the work slows and suffers. Job done. There are times in life when we need to engage the enemy, times when we are called to fight, but there are also times to ignore him completely. In those seasons retaliation is a distraction, and a distraction is exactly what he is trying to create.

There are times in life when the best way to overcome conflict is to just keep on doing what God has told you to do, and let the enemy wear himself out shouting. We must learn the discipline of fixing our eyes on what God is doing, and not what the enemy is trying to do.

Take a look at some areas in your life today. Is it possible that the enemy is trying to engage you in order to distract you from what you are called to be doing? If so fix your eyes on Jesus, zip your lips and press on.


God, give me the wisdom to know when to engage and when to ignore the enemy. Amen.

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