A Relentless Foe



2 Corinthians 2:11  “…for we are not ignorant of his schemes.” (NAS)

Want to know the kind of enemy we as believers face? For a peek behind the curtain of spiritual warfare take a look at the sixth chapter of Nehemiah. Nehemiah had returned to Jerusalem to help his countrymen rebuild its broken walls and repair its gates. But this did not sit well with his adversaries—Sanballet, Tobiah & Co. They sent word for Nehemiah to meet them in an isolated place. Four times (the enemy is persistent) Nehemiah was asked to come and four times he refused. He knew they “were scheming to harm” him (verse 2).

When the attempt on Nehemiah’s life failed, they tried to kill his spirit. They sent out letters accusing Nehemiah of leading a revolt and seeking to make himself king over Judah. It wasn’t true, but Sanballet hoped the false accusations would bring so much discouragement to Nehemiah that he would just give up. When Nehemiah didn’t  succumb to despair, the enemy tried a third ploy.

The final strategy sought to lure Nehemiah into moral and spiritual compromise. A false prophet was sent to urge Nehemiah to hide in the Temple because of the threat to his life.  But Nehemiah was not authorized to enter the Temple. His entering would have been breaking the Law to save his own skin. Such sin would have discredited his reputation and undermined his authority. Nehemiah would have none of it.

Do any of these tactics sound familiar? Has Satan ever tried to literally wipe you out? Has he ever overwhelmed you with false accusations to make you feel like giving up? Has he ever tried to sneak things into the “temple” of your spirit that don’t belong there…grudges, pride, fear…to compromise your spiritual authority?

Don’t be ignorant of his schemes. Satan’s strategies don’t change much. But neither do our opportunities to defeat him. Nehemiah prevailed not because he was particularly courageous…or wise…or strong. He knew his own  fortitude would wane against such a persistent adversary. So with great consistency he turned to the One who was greater than any enemy he faced.

If we hope to meet a relentless foe with a resounding no we, too, must rely on God. Completely. The battle is too great and too much is at stake to depend on anything or anyone other than Him.


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