September 5

Nehemiah 6:2-3 2Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: "Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono." But they were scheming to harm me; 3so I sent messengers to them with this reply: "I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?"

The gaps in the wall around Jerusalem were filled, and the work was nearing completion. The workers were worn out, but they still had to hang the gates. The enemies tried one last desperate attempt to stop them. If they could pull their leader away from the city, they could kill him. Then they stood a much better chance of attacking the city and reopening the walls. After four invitations failed, they tried treachery. They sent an unsealed letter that declared that Nehemiah intended to make himself a king and revolt against Persia. They thought for sure that Nehemiah would come defend himself, but Nehemiah saw through their schemes. Finally, they hired prophets to lie and counselors to cause Nehemiah to fear. Remember that the hand of God is upon Nehemiah. That makes all the difference.

Those in leadership in your church are often tempted when the work is nearing completion. It is then that they are most tempted with pride, most vulnerable to invitations from the enemy. Lies are just another tactic of the enemy to discourage and defeat the leader. The devil is the father of lies. When all else fails, the enemy will inspire those from within to cause you to fear or invite you to sin. Pray for your leaders, especially when the work is going well. Pray that the hand of God be upon them to give them discernment. Pray that they will see through the plans of the enemy and not yield. Pray that they will see the great work they are doing and refuse to "come down." Encourage them to stick it out until the work God has for them is completed.

Remember to pray for them that their hands will be strengthened for the work.