Don’t let people discourage you from doing God’s work.

Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. – Ezra 4:4

The exiles of Judah had returned to their homeland and begun reconstruction of the LORD’s temple under the directive of King Cyrus of Persia. He ordered the people of Trans-Jordan to provide the needed materials for rebuilding the temple. The people of the region wanted to assist in the work at first, but they were told they had no part in Judah and were prevented from helping. Thus, they began their campaign to harass the Jews and prevent them from doing their work. In fact, they succeeded in stopping the work of the temple until the 2nd year of King Darius’ rule.

Whenever God’s people set out to do the work of the LORD, the enemy will always raise his ugly head to stop or at least prevent the work from being done. It was true in Ezra’s day, and it is true still today. Have you experienced a sudden, unexpected opposition in your life as you set out to do God’s will? Most of us have. In fact, if you are a Laodicean-Christian, Satan gladly welcomes your presence any place at any time. Why? Because you are no threat to his kingdom! A lukewarm, half-hearted Christian may as well be no Christian at all!! If you are not doing anything to contradict the world and nothing for advancing God’s kingdom, then you are through apathy supporting the works of Satan. You never will experience suffering or persecution from the world because you are a cheerleader for darkness.

You say, “How can that be?” Well, Jesus said that lukewarm Christians will be vomited out of his mouth because they are neither hot nor cold. They do nothing for him. They live life in self-sufficiency and self-reliance. They have not trust in God. These so-called Christians feel like they have no need at all and don’t know they are poor, blind, wretched, naked, and doomed. A Christian, who is “on fire” for God, worries the devil because he knows the power of God that can operate in those who truly are “sold out” to Jesus. He knows that real, passionate, zealous believers will overcome him ‘by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimonies.” Two or more believers gathered in the name of Jesus have all the power of heaven at their backs. The person who exercises one’s faith even as small as a grain of mustard seed can toss mountains into the sea.

Are you rooting for the devil through your inactivity and apathy toward building God’s kingdom? Or are you doing all that God’s will has asked of you? If you are working for the kingdom and experiencing opposition, don’t fear or be worried. Be strong and of good courage because Jesus has your back! He’s helping you along through his Spirit!! Satan will not overcome the true believer who trusts in the blood of the Lamb.

Father, help me to be more courageous and to not cease the work you’ve given me. Satan has come at my wife and me from all directions to try to stop us from coming together in our marriage and as members of your family. He knows that division is the only way he can wedge us apart and stop the work you’ve given us. We humble ourselves before you and ask for your strength. We cannot do this alone in our power; it must be done by your Spirit. May your will be done and not ours. We submit to you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.