Monday, January 19, 2009

How to Handle an Attack From the Enemy

"When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed" (Neh 4:1). When any Believer starts doing God's work in God's way the enemy will raise up opposition. Many times it comes from those who feel threatened by the progress being made. Satan is always upset when his kingdom comes under attack. Nehemiah was rebuilding the ancient wall of Jerusalem. It was a major undertaking. Not everyone was pleased with this initiative. Sanballat, another government worker, did not want this to happen. When Jesus began confronting the Pharisees about religious traditions, He was attacked by the religious establishment because they had a vested interest that would be negatively impacted by His teaching. The Apostle Paul confronted a religious tradition that generated income for those in the trade. Opposition arose because he was impacting a vested interest. "About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for the craftsmen. He called them together, along with the workmen in related trades, and said: "Men, you know we receive a good income from this business. And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all. There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty" (Acts 19:23-27) . When you share the Gospel of Christ with a spiritually needy person the enemy will attack. Should you show Christian compassion in the spirit of Gal 6:1 "You who are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness..." You may come under the condemnation of the legalistic crowd. Strive to restore a wayward brother or sister to fellowship with the Lord, many times you and the newly restored believer will come under condemnation. Tragically, the attack may come from the church. We must remember that "We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers..." People don't really hurt us, it's the enemy, empowering our attackers, who seeks our destruction. Are you currently under attack? Before you become angry with the person attacking you, remember who the real enemy is. Then give thanks to the Lord for allowing you the privilege of experiencing the "Fellowship of His suffering." Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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