When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it – though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates – Sanballat 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.
When the enemies heard that the wall had been rebuilt and there were no gaps left, they stepped up their tactics of intimidation. They sent word to Nehemiah to leave his work and meet them. The enemy begins to notice when the Lord “closes the gaps” in our broken walls as well. Where he once had access to our thought life, our emotions, and the ability to affect our actions, he now is being closed out. The Holy Spirit is always at work when we surrender to Him and bring our lives in closer union with Christ.
The enemy seeks to interfere with this process of spiritual transformation.
Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem, and the rest of the enemies became fearful that the position of the Jews would be strengthened and this would undermine the authority and power that they now held in that region.
The enemy thrives on having power and authority, but he can only have that kind of influence in the places where we are weakened. A significant way the enemy finds access is through deception. He may even use partial truths to throw us off course and have us believe a lie. Scripture tells us we must be alert to the schemes of the evil one. Believers throughout the ages have sought God for discernment: I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes. (Psalm 119:125) Deception began in the Garden of Eden when the serpent deceived Eve into eating the apple. Jesus warned us of “deceivers” who would come. (Luke 21:8) Deception has been a tool in the enemy’s arsenal throughout the ages; however, the Lord has given us the Counselor, His Holy Spirit, to discern deception and to know the truth. (John 16:12-13)
Heavenly Father, Close the gaps of my life where the enemy has access; the broken-down places; the places of unbelief and lack of trust. Protect me from the deception of the enemy, and lead me in the truth of Your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen