April 18th Devotion

A Prayer to Seek the Lord During Distractions
By: Chelsey DeMatteis

Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say have been done, for you are inventing them out of your own mind.” For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands. - Nehemiah 6:8-9

Distractions are inevitable. Throughout Scripture, we are told that not only will distractions come, but they will be used by the enemy to knock us off course. Thankfully, God has shown us how to battle these distractions.

Nehemiah was a man in the Bible who dealt with persistent distractions from his enemies, who attempted to stop the work God had called Him to do.

Satan’s distractions are the same today as they were back then. He doesn't have creativity. But he is cunning and cutting. He seeks to unearth old pain. He targets the same insecurity, the same lie that was once told, or the same mistakes of our past. Satan will use whatever causes us to pause, drop, or stop the work of our hands for the Kingdom of God.

When we look at Nehemiah’s story, we see these same tactics. Persistent distractions orchestrated the same way each time. Five times to be exact, that his enemies sent for him. Each time desiring to stop the work that God has commanded him to do in Jerusalem.

Nehemiah, through his strength in the Lord, called them out for being the lying, fear enticers that they were, and asked the Lord to strengthen his hands.

You see, Nehemiah was able to discern his enemy’s schemes because of his deep relationship with the Lord. He knew what God had called Him to and he was not going to stop the work of his hands until God said so. These persistent distractions didn’t line up with the characteristics of God’s heart. Nehemiah only knew that because, he knew His father and trusted His heart.

This goes for you and me too. We get an amazing example from Nehemiah’s life. Once we begin to study the heart of God and grow in our relationship with Him, we begin to see more clearly what is not from Him. From there we not only grow in discernment, but we mature in our desire to take everything and hold it up to God’s Word. As we grow in knowledge of God’s truth we want to know more of it.

As distractions come, begin taking note of them. Write down what the topic is, how it makes you feel, and when it seems to happen most often. In my experience, it shows so clearly the tactics the enemy is deploying. Just like Nehemiah, I then turn them over to the Lord and ask Him to strengthen my hands and my obedience to Him.
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