When we step into God’s purposes for us, we are sure to awaken a sleeping giant.
Last time we looked at the story of Nehemiah to see that his obedience to God’s call landed him in some serious combat with his sleeping giant—Sanballat. His enemy’s first tactic was to attack his identity—who Nehemiah believed himself to be. This same strategy was used against Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, against Jesus in the desert, and against many others who made a stand for their faith. But when this attack doesn’t work, the enemy doesn’t give up.
When we awaken a sleeping giant, he will also attack your relationship with God.
Sanballat assailed Nehemiah with doubt, “Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices?” (Nehemiah 4:2). He knew that the children of Israel had been out of their land and unable to offer sacrifices to God for years. Offering sacrifices was a big portion of their heritage and religious practices—it just got personal. There are at least five sacrifices that we see they were offering in Leviticus: the burnt offering, the fellowship offering, the grain offering, sin offering, and the guilt offering. Sanballat is provoking them, trying to stir doubt and guilt into the people.
Let’s go back to the blueprint—the garden.
“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’” —Genesis 3:7-9
Man’s relationship with God was broken.
When sin entered the scene, guilt entered the heart of man. Because of a broken relationship with God, Adam and Eve hid and were ashamed. Never before had man experienced shame. Never before had they experienced guilt. These are from the enemy. The craziest part of this story is that God still pursued them in their sin!
Satan wants to cut off your relationship with the Father, but Jesus is the restorer of your relationship with God.
“Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give You,’ he said, ‘if You will bow down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away from Me, Satan! For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.”’” —Matthew 4:8-10
What was Satan trying to do here? He wanted to break off Jesus’ relationship with the Father. The enemy used the same tactic with Jesus as he does with Nehemiah, but Jesus fought back with the Word of God.
Think about what happens when you try to set aside time to read God’s Word or pray. Don’t you find the craziest distractions arise? Phones start ringing, kids start crying, texts start popping up, and you begin thinking about everything else going on. The enemy will do everything he can to keep you away from God. He’s persistent, he doesn’t take any days off. We might skip Bible study, church, or our prayer time with God once and awhile but the enemy won’t back down. He’s out to kill and to destroy you! But God is anticipating that time with you, He loves you and can’t wait to spend time each day with you!
Is your relationship with God something you anticipate? Are you persistent in your pursuit of your Father in the same way that He’s yearning to spend time with you? Don’t be caught off guard when the enemy launches an attack against your relationship with God.
—LaMorris Crawford, Chaplain of the Cincinnati Bengals
If you enjoyed this article, please share: