Summary: No matter the opposition in life, keep pressing on to the High calling of Christ Jesus! - Sermon 5 in Under Construction series
When the Devil Knocks, Keep Pressing On!
Construction Series #
Nehemiah is the perfect Old Testament example of the Energizer bunny, he keeps going and going and going, despite all types of different distractions. Some from inside sources, some from outside sources. However, he kept moving at the speed of God’s will for His life and for the land of Jerusalem. This morning, we are going to look at some practical ways of avoiding the devil’s traps in our lives. Let’s apply God’s word together as we grow stronger in His word.
I. The Devil Loves to Distract
a. Verse 2 – Come to Ono for a meeting, plan to do harm to Nehemiah
b. Verse 3 – Message sent back – “Oh no to Ono”
c. Verse 4 – They were persistent, come anyway 4 times
d. Verses 5-9 – Nehemiah answered saying “I know what you are up to, I’m doing God’s business”
In thinking about distractions, the following passages came to mind:
The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him.
Add to that, the plea of the ultimate distractor – Satan – Matthew 4:1-11
HOW TO OVERCOME DISTRACTIONS:
1. Do as Christ did:
a. Respond prayerfully
b. Respond with the Word of God (He quoted Deuteronomy 6)
c. Stay focused on the job at hand.
Nehemiah knew who was in charge – that’s who he listened to!
II. The Devil Loves to Deceive
a. Verses 10-12
i. Nehemiah realized that Shemaiah was hired by Sanballat and Tobiah to provide advice to lead Nehemiah into a trap.
ii. He only realized this through his relationship with God.
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
Think of the greatest deception ever pulled off? Genesis 3:1-6
Deception leads us down a road to the following:
Satan is excellent at telling us that certain bad things are OK for you and I.
Deception such as drugs, alcohol, premarital relations, relations out of wedlock, abortion.
Without question, all of these deceptive things will lead to destruction, desolation, and death. Sin will take you farther than you want to go.
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
ULTIMATE DESTINATION for those who distract and deceive:
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied
HOW ARE WE TO RESPOND TO DECEPTION?
Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 3:1-5/14-15
III. Nehemiah’s Determination
a. Verse 15
b. Regardless of what came before him, the wall was completed in 52 days. Instead of being concerned with the people of the world, he was concerned solely about being in God’s will. His epitaph would read – “He was a man who sought God’s will through prayer and followed it.”
c. What would your epitaph be today – one who distracts, one who deceives, or one who is determined to follow God?
Nehemiah was strong in the strength of someone else. He trusted God fully. Have you today?
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have case out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
This tells us of a reality of finality. Where is your final destination?
Are you going through distractions? Deceitfulness? Give it to the Lord today!