Ezra 4 Endurance
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction! That’s a law of nature; yet that is equally true for the spiritual too. Whenever we commence to accomplish something significant and great for the Lord we find ourselves often times in a spiritual battle with the strongholds of Satan. So it was with those who returned to Jerusalem to restore the Temple.
Observe the strategies employed then and those you likely will to encounter as well.
Infiltration of the enemy to subterfuge the purposes of God is the first strategy. These imposters lied about worshipping the Lord as those who returned did; as well as saying it was in their heart to assist in rebuilding the Temple. The greatest asset the saint of God can have in combatting against such strategy is discernment; a supernatural knowledge of things that can’t be observed in the natural or by the natural.
There are times and seasons we “just know” something isn’t right. There isn’t any natural knowledge we can put our finger on, we just know something isn’t right.
Discouragement is perhaps the most successful strategy the enemy uses today. The intended goal of this discouragement is “trouble” Judah; when we look at the root word used for trouble we discover one meaning is to “hasten”, make it happen in our own strength. Another intended goal is to “frustrate their purpose” birthed by the Spirit of God. That word in the Hebrew, “frustrate”, deals with causing to abandon or “disappear” from our position.
How many have disappeared from their purpose or position in the Body as a result of discouragement? Too many!
As saints of God our response ought to be of keeping our focus on the prize set before us; that is, finishers – not just starters.
The final strategy we read of in this epic struggle was false accusation. A letter with the real reason tucked away in the letter under the guise of loyalty to Artaxerxes; we are paid by the king and therefore have a responsibility to warn him of the seditious history of Judah and Israel. Yet, the real reason to get the rebuilding project stopped, so they wouldn’t lose out on any benefaction available from the king.
Faithfulness is the primary response for us, in such circumstances. We can’t worry or fret over other’s purposes that are antagonistic toward ours; we can only remain faithful to that which the Lord has given and directed us to do and be.
It’s interesting that these renovators were stopped by the accusation, which was received by Artaxerxes. YET in the midst of all these strategies, they pressed on to know the Lord.
The question remains, will we press on regardless of what is hurled against us?