Posted on February 10, 2020 by Catey Stover in Victory Call

Recently I was listening to the book of Nehemiah on CD. Nehemiah is one of my favorite books of the Bible. Nehemiah had been taken into captivity and was serving as cupbearer to the King Artaxerxes. He must have taken his job very seriously and did it to the best of his ability. He clearly developed a relationship of respect with the king whom he served, for the king was concerned when Nehemiah appeared sad in his presence (Nehemiah 2:1).

Now Nehemiah was not supposed to appear sad before the king. He was there to serve the king, so when the king asked him why he was sad, he was afraid. Nehemiah did not let fear overtake him. He prayed to the God of heaven (Neh.2:4).

Fear, in this case, can be defined as distressing negative sensation induced by a perceived threat, or impending danger.

Despite the presence of fear, Nehemiah never lost sight of his God or his homeland. He was concerned for the city of Jerusalem, which was lying desolate and the gates destroyed. He did his job and he honored the king whom he served, but he still had his eyes fixed on what I believe the Lord had put on his heart, to go home and rebuild the city. He had thought about it so much he had a plan prepared and ready to release as soon as the king asked, “What can I do for you?” (Neh. 2: 6-9).

But the enemy of all who love God was not happy with the favor on Nehemiah or the plan to rebuild. He did all he could to stop this work. The one thing that stood out to me over and over was the fact that the enemy tried to stop the work from the very beginning through fear. But each time Nehemiah met that fear and quite literally refused to receive it. He prayed and he pressed on in another kind of fear, Fear of Lord. Fear of the Lord means to be in awe or reverence of God.

He quietly did his inspections (Neh. 2:12-13), he would not give in to the fear that the wall was not sturdy enough (Neh. 3-4), and he would not give in to fear when the enemy was planning to fight against them (Neh. 4:8-9). Over and over the pattern repeats itself, the enemy tries to raise fear and Nehemiah responds in prayer and pressing on toward the goal. Because the leader was so confident of the work God had for them and would not give in to fear and intimidation, the people did not give in to fear either. Of course, he did have to encourage them and address the fears by preparing for war, but he also reminded the people that they did not need to be afraid but rather “remember the Lord who is great and awesome”. The result of all of this was the people had a mind to work (Neh. 4:6), the wall was rebuilt (Neh. 7:15) and God was honored as the people read His word, repented and recommitted themselves unto the Lord (Neh. 8-10).

Why do I share all of this? As I reflected upon this I realized the enemy does the same thing to us. We can be at the forefront of a blessing or in the midst of what we know is a God assignment and we allow fear to overtake us. We fall into doubt, unbelief and we lack faith. I am challenged as I review this book to look fear in the eye and refuse to allow it to rule me, distract me or discourage me. Rather I am challenged to seek the Holy Spirit as to how I should respond, in other words first of all PRAY. Perhaps God would have me speak and press on toward the goal. Perhaps He will reveal something I did not know or He may tell me to be still and wait on Him. Whatever the next step is I know it is NOT to give in to fear and give up. The God we serve is the same God Nehemiah served. Dear ones, He is GREAT and AWESOME, He is FAITHFUL!!

Be blessed as you serve Him, with your sword (Bible) in one hand and with your other do the work the Lord has set before you.

Written by Pat Wenzel: Rev. Patricia Wenzel is the founder and director of a state wide prayer ministry, PRAY New Jersey Inc. since 2002.  The ministry is committed to praying for and blessing those serving in authority positions in our state, particularly in government.  The ministry is also committed to equipping the saints to pray for those serving in government.  The vision and ministry is guided by the Word of God, in particular 1 Tim. 2:1-4 and Is. 61:11.  Pat is thankful for the ministry of America’s Keswick.  She graduated from Women of Character in July 2008.

Think About This: “Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it as the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain. What was once foolishness to us — a crucified God — must become our wisdom and our power and our only boast in this world.” – John Piper

The Daily Bible Reading: Numbers 24-28 | You can download our 2020 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High. –Psalm 7:17

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.

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