February 16, 2023
Have A Clear Perspective
Nehemiah - “When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it—though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates— Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: ‘Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.’ But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: ‘I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?’ Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer. The fifth time, Sanballat’s servant came with an open letter in his hand, and this is what it said: ‘There is a rumor among the surrounding nations, and Geshem tells me it is true, that you and the Jews are planning to rebel and that is why you are building the wall. According to his reports, you plan to be their king. He also reports that you have appointed prophets in Jerusalem to proclaim about you, ‘Look! There is a king in Judah!’ You can be very sure that this report will get back to the king, so I suggest that you come and talk it over with me.’ I replied, “There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing.’ They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination. Later I went to visit Shemaiah son of Delaiah and grandson of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home. He said, ‘Let us meet together inside the Temple of God and bolt the doors shut. Your enemies are coming to kill you tonight.’ But I replied, ‘Should someone in my position run from danger? Should someone in my position enter the Temple to save his life? No, I won’t do it!’ I realized that God had not spoken to him, but that he had uttered this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.” (Nehemiah 6:1-12)
Nehemiah had incredible discernment. He had a spiritual radar. Every time a trap was set for him, he sensed it. (Nehemiah 6:2, 9, 12) In verse two, his enemies said, “come out and talk with us.” But Nehemiah said, “They were simply scheming to harm me.” How did he know? Because he was perceptive. He had discernment. In verse nine, when they made accusations about him setting himself up as king and eventually rebelling against Artaxerxes, Nehemiah said, “They were just trying to frighten us.” In verse twelve when the false prophet said for him to hide in the Temple, Nehemiah realized that God did not send him.
Nehemiah had a clear perspective. He had the ability to anticipate a trap. If we’re planning to accomplish anything great for the Lord, we have to develop our perception. We have to gain wisdom. We learn from James in the Bible that “If any man lacks wisdom, he should ask God…” (James 1:5) Spending time in prayer helps us develop our perspective. Also, when we spend time in the word of God, we begin to take on the mind of Christ. This helps us become more like Jesus which certainly builds our perspective. It helps you not fall for every thing that comes your way.
Nehemiah didn’t allow fear to cloud his perspective. He said, “No matter what happens, I’m going to keep on going and we’re going to rebuild this wall.” More than anything, fear clouds our perspective. Fear can be defined by the acrostic False Evidence Appearing Real. That’s when we believe that something is going to hurt us, but it’s really not. God is in control and He is going to help us no matter what.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
Think about your life for a moment. In what ways are you allowing fear to cloud your perspective? Take a minute and write out a prayer, asking God to give you wisdom. If you are leading your family through this devotion time, lead them to do the same exercise.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, thank You for the example of Nehemiah, who didn’t let fear cloud his perspective. When fear comes my way, help me to have a clear perspective and be resolved to follow You wholeheartedly. In Jesus’ Name, I pray, Amen.