“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” ( 1 Peter 5:8).
One of the critical aspects of any army that wins over a territory is that once it possesses the territory it must figure out how to hold it. This is often by deploying guards in certain strategic positions. Behind these are also troops ready to be deployed in case the enemy surfaces back again. These guards watch the fort 24/7.
When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall and had the structures in place against incredible opposition he knew his task was half finished. As the wall went up opposition mounted. The enemies were ready and determined to raid and pull it down. Wisely, he “prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat” ( Nehemiah 4:9). When this did not stop them, “Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows” ( vv 13). He went further, “half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor” ( vv 16).
It is through these conditions that the wall was successfully rebuilt. A lesson here is that when God opens doors for us and we possess the land, it does not mean relaxing thinking it is game over. In fact the enemy becomes even more vicious once a believer has taken over his space. Then he goes native. The Believer in Christ must therefore stay awake day and night in prayer, which is the surest guard against the enemy’s intrusion, lest he loses his possession.
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, as you open doors for me and I take possession of the land help me be alert to any of the enemies dirty schemes that I may guard jealously all you have given me to prosper, this I pray in Jesus’s name!
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!