Prayer Focus: Pakistan

Bible Reading: Nehemiah 5-7

Scripture:

For all of them were trying to frighten us, thinking, “They will become discouraged with the work and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands.”

13 He was hired for this reason, that I might become frightened and act accordingly and sin, so that they might have an evil report in order that they could reproach me.

16 When all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations surrounding us saw it, they lost their confidence; for they recognized that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God. (Nehemiah 6:9,13,16)

Observation:

Fear and intimidation is at work here. Nehemiah and the Israelites are back and rebuilding. The enemy came looking to put a stop to the work by any means necessary. They tried diplomacy, “come speak to us,” but Nehemiah wouldn’t stop. They tried intimidation and lies, “If you don’t come out, we’ll say you’re doing horrible things,” and Nehemiah stood his ground, then prayed for strength. Next it was infiltration, but Nehemiah recognized the threat to his life, but also the greater threat – fear that would lead to sin. When confronted with a situation outside of his control, Nehemiah aligned himself with God. In the end, It wasn’t Nehemiah that trembled from behind the temple doors, it was the group on the plain of Ono that lost their confidence because they saw God at work in Israel.

Application:

Fear has no place here. At least not the type of fear that Sanballat and his crew are trying to lay on Nehemiah and the returning remnant. Repeatedly Scripture tells us – “Do not be afraid. Fear not. Don’t be anxious.” And why can we let go of that fear? Because Scripture reminds us that He is with us, He will never leave us, and that we have His Spirit – not of timidity or fear – but of power, love and self-discipline.

Has the enemy ambushed you with fear? Have you been overwhelmed by intimidation? Are you buried under lies? Remember whose you are. Align yourself with God. Pray for strength. Rest in the confidence that the Spirit brings. To quote Francis Chan from his book, The Forgotten God, “There’s nothing better than being absolutely sure that the most powerful Being in the universe adores you as His own child.”  Meditate on this. Internalize it. Let it impact you. Then act in the certainty that God is with you.

Prayer:

Father, teach us a right understanding of fear – awesome reverence for Your ways and Your truth. Help us to overcome the paralyzing fear that binds us and undermines our walk with You.  Strengthen us, Lord. May You accomplish all that You desire in us. May we be willing accomplices in the building of Your kingdom, so that those around us see You at work in us. For the glory of Your name, Amen.

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