I dreamed the other night that I was receiving frightening emails, someone threatening to harm me. I wasn’t too worried in my dream but it was a bit unsettling. I even felt kind of weird when I woke up from the dream.
It reminded me of something I had been going through–stress in a couple of areas.In these situations I felt like the devil had been sending me threatening “emails” in my thoughts.
“Look what’s going to happen. You’ve just got to accept reality. What if this happens and what if that happens? Sure God has always done it in the past but this is a new situation, etc, etc, etc.”
Dreams fade away after a couple of hours but those “thought emails” from the enemy, that menaces your peace. How do you respond?
There was a fellow in the Bible who received some threatening letters. I guess their email server was down and the bad guys sent them by snail mail (or camel mail?) What they said to Nehemiah was scary. They accused him of planning treason and proposed a meeting to talk about it.
“Sanballat sent an unsealed letter with this message:
‘The word is out among the nations—and Geshem says it’s true— that you and the Jews are planning to rebel. That’s why you are rebuilding the wall. The word is that you want to be king and that you have appointed prophets to announce in Jerusalem, “There’s a king in Judah!” The king is going to be told all this—don’t you think we should sit down and have a talk?'” (MSG)
And someone supposedly friendly to him counseled, “… Let’s meet at the house of God, inside The Temple; Let’s find safety behind locked doors because they’re coming to kill you, Yes, coming by night to kill you.” (Message version)
Whoa! How do you reply to something like this?
Nehemiah knew. He kept on doing God’s work. “I’m doing a great work; I can’t come down. Why should the work come to a standstill just so I can come down to see you?” (MSG)
He affirmed what was true. “… ‘There’s nothing to what you’re saying. You’ve made it all up.’” (MSG)
He “emailed” God asking for help. “Give me strength,” he prayed.
He refused to panic before the scary messages but trusted God and kept on doing what the Lord had called him to do. “”Why would a man like me run for cover? And why would a man like me use the Temple as a hideout? I won’t do it.”
And he prayed some more. “”O my God, don’t let Tobiah and Sanballat get by with all the mischief they’ve done. And the same goes for the prophetess Noadiah and the other prophets who have been trying to undermine my confidence.” (MSG)
The man eventually got the job done.
So what should you and I do if the devil has been sending us scary emails?
1. Don’t let it keep you from doing what you’re supposed to do. Do right whether you’re scared or not, whether you want to or not.
2. Affirm what is true. Instead of rolling around those “email” messages in your mind, grab hold of the promises from God’s Word that apply to your situation and begin to say what it really true, not what the e-mailer wants you to think is true. Repeat what God says and has promised.
3. Pray. It’s when you burrow down into His strength that you get the strength to keep going. You do it by praying and “consuming” His Word.
4. Refuse to act out of fear or panic.
5. Pray some more. When have you prayed enough? Never! Because prayer is communion with Him and the more you’re with Him, trusting Him, the more you’re going to be able to accomplish His will. Nehemiah was praying while he was working and after our morning time with God, like him, we can send the Lord “emails” all through the day.
He trusted God because He knew Who and how God is and he knew he was doing God’s will.
Don’t be cowed by scary messages. Do what it takes to do what God wants you to do.