Have you ever experienced a time where you felt weak and ineffective? A time where you felt as though you were getting nowhere, going nowhere, and the little you had managed to accomplish dangled by a thread?
To be honest, for me some days it’s a knock-down-drag-out battle to engage in anything beyond the front door, beyond my bed. I have fought to stay focused on God, to resist the enemy’s lies, and hang on to Scripture.
So, as I read Nehemiah chapter 4 this morning, the word “feeble” resonated all the way down to my toes.
“What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble — burned as they are? What they are building, even if a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!” Nehemiah 4:1-4
As I meditated on the passage, I felt compelled to look up the word “feeble” in Meriam Webster’s dictionary:
“Feeble: Markedly lacking in strength; deficient in qualities or resources that indicate vigor, authority, force, or efficiency…inadequate…inferior…soft…wasted…sapped…”
I stopped, sobered by the precision of the enemy’s taunts to find their mark, despite my efforts to keep him at bay. As I reflected on the words, the spiritual realm seemed to open before me revealing a heart that virtually bristled with his foul weaponry. “Soft” “Deficient in qualities or resources” “Inadequate” “Wasted…”
Each arrow had slid silently past my defenses and sunk deep into the vulnerable places in my heart.
How had the enemy’s taunts gotten through? I had refused to dwell on the “negative” aspects of my health situation, tried to “bring every thought captive,” worked to replace the enemy’s lies with God’s truth, so what went wrong?
While my sense of feebleness “resonated,” my faith, it seemed, did not.
Somewhere along the way, I had relaxed my guard and expected spiritual protection without striving to maintain it. I’d allowed fear to claim a small place in my heart and that toehold was all it took for the enemy to implement his covert operation.
I wonder if any of the enemy’s arrows have slipped past your defenses?
If so, don’t beat yourself up; it’s not your weakness, it’s the enemy’s strength. It’s also his strategy to get you to give up, especially on God’s work, for he is ever vigilant. He launches lies like heat-seeking missiles to find and feed off the energy of our struggle alone.
Nehemiah knew that. Listen to his response in the face of the enemy’s taunts:
So, let’s pray, like Nehemiah and ask God to pull out every debilitating arrow and turn them back upon our enemy’s hateful head.
Let’s prepare, like Nehemiah and daily, diligently post a guard over our heart and mind, fitting ourselves with every piece of spiritual armor God has provided for us. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
And let’s put our faith to work, not only believing God’s truth but receiving it — all the way down to our toes. Then let’s get back to work and continue to serve God — feeble or not — with the strength He’s provided for today.
What has helped you deflect the arrows of the enemy?