How Spiritual Warfare Works
Every Christian is involved in a battle where the enemy seeks to intimidate, frighten, and limit them in their pursuit of Christ. Every believer is called to fight against these demons and forces of darkness. However, more often than not, I find that Christians lack the proper understanding of their enemy’s scheme. The Bible perfectly depicts in the book of Nehemiah, the battle plan of the devil against believers, and more importantly, how to properly combat it.
The Story of Nehemiah
Nehemiah was a cupbearer to King Artaxerxes of Persia. Upon hearing the news about Jerusalem, he began to feel a burden for the remnant of Jews in Judah and a desire to reconstruct the walls. With the letters of both permission and provision, he is sent as governor of the province to help reconstruct the walls of Jerusalem.
While undergoing the reconstruction, he is met by Tobiah, a governor placed by the King of Persia. He was frustrated that Nehemiah wanted to do good for the nation of Israel. As a result, he spent most of his time discouraging, intimidating, mocking, and even threatening Nehemiah. When these attempts to discourage didn’t work, Tobiah allied himself with the priest in Jerusalem which enabled him to occupy the treasury room of the Temple of God, thus, restricting the work of God in that place (Nehemiah 2:10, 19).
In Our Day
I believe that the attitude and spirit of Tobiah still exist today. He is a perfect comparison of the activity of a demon today. Demons have an assignment – to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). They will use discouragement, threats, and intimidation to prevent a believer’s growth.
Here are some easy ways to notice if “Tobiah” is at work in your life.
What Is Tobiah’s Strategy?
Tobiah Attacks From the Ouside but Seeks To Move Inside
When the enemy is planning to attack, he will use people that are close to you. He will use those that you interact with daily to bring discouragement and affect your walk with Christ. The Bible shows a few examples where Tobiah attacked from the outside, trying to cause shame, fear, confusion, and intimidation.
- He laughed at Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:19).
- He despised their work (Nehemiah 4:3).
- He conspired to create confusion (Nehemiah 4:7-8).
- He tried to harm Nehemiah (Nehemiah 6:2).
- He tried to cause fear (Nehemiah 6:13).
You must understand that every Christian has a call from God. God can call you to rebuild your family, your mindset, your children, or even to start a small group/ministry. The moment you begin, Tobiah will start bothering you.
The moment you face opposition, stay in your position.
The moment you face opposition, stay in your position. Cling to your assignment in the face of your attack. If you are going through a tough time, know that the enemy wants to stop your assignment.
Use the words of Nehemiah, “I am doing a great work for the Lord and I cannot come down to you.” Jesus said, “In this world, you will have tribulation.” He did not say, “so stop serving” but instead, “Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Tobiah Finds Strength In Numbers
When Tobiah’s attacks on Nehemiah did not succeed, Tobiah was strengthened through his connections. He allied with the priest.
Oftentimes, the enemy likes to establish a foothold in a person’s life through 2 things – inner vows and soul ties. Both of these create a doorway for the enemy to switch from attacking on the outside to now having a foothold on the inside. The creation of an unhealthy soul tie, or an inner negative declaration creates an open invitation for more demonic presence to be introduced to a person’s life. Consequently, the condition of the person’s mental state, physical health, or surroundings only begin to worsen.
Be careful what you pronounce. Do not allow your words to cause alliances to be created within you.
Don’t allow the season of discouragement to make you a discouraged person. God’s Word is powerful enough to change you. Remaining in God’s Word will prevent demons from entering and bringing with them, others.
Tobiah Is Looking To Rent a Room
In Nehemiah 13:6-7, I found something that stood out to me – as long as Nehemiah was there, Tobiah couldn’t do anything. But when he left, Tobiah took the opportunity to get a room in the temple. He had gotten in through the formation of an alliance.
This passage demonstrates what happens when we commit to prayer, Bible reading, and develop consistency in our walk with God. It also shows the dangers when we stop.
When you decide to live a life in full devotion to God, you’re walking away from sin and demons have no foothold, no reason to get in. However, when we slowly walk away from reading God’s Word, and from cultivating a relationship with Him, demons can “get a room in the temple.”
When Tobiah came into the temple, he didn’t kill anyone, but he stopped the Levites from getting their pay, and as a result, they all left to find work. He stopped the flow for those working within the temple.
Perhaps you notice your life is under attack in regards to health, finances, or the unity of your family. Close every open door, renounce every willful involvment in sin and pursue of God. When we don’t live a life of holiness, demons have the right to inhabit a place within believers and affect different areas of their lives.
The Weapon of Choice
Whatever your case resembles, dedicate your life to holiness. There is only one thing that will make your enemy flee – resisting. The Scripture says In James 4:7, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Submit yourself to the practice of abiding in God’s Word daily. Make it a habit in your life. Walk in the fear of God.
And remember, “…the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds…” (2 Corinthians 10:4). Dedicate time to prayer and fasting – only then will the enemy be unable to succeed.
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