What stood out to me as I read and studied Ezra 4, was the tactics of the enemy and how he fights against us, our purpose and our destiny. Before we begin looking into the strategies of the enemy, we must be certain who the enemy is that we are fighting against. Ephesians 6:12 tells us that, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against a spiritual wickedness in high places.” This means that the enemy is not your spouse, your children, your boss, your neighbor, your co-worker or even your ex-spouse. Our enemy is Satan and all the demonic forces at work in this world. John 10:10 reminds us that “the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Christ has come to give us life in abundance.” So let’s take a look at the tactics of how the enemy comes in to attack us so that we can recognize his attacks and learn how to stand.
I found 8 different ways in which the enemy came in and attack the re-builders.
- Deception Ezra 4:1-3
The enemy used deception, they said what they thought the re-builders wanted to hear, but they had a hidden agenda. We must go before the Lord and ask for His guidance when we are unsure of what we are hearing. The people of God knew their destiny and calling, they knew their assignment. This passage mentions the collective agreement among the leaders as to whether or not to allow this group of people to help with the rebuilding. It is wise to surround yourselves with the wise, godly counsel of others. My husband’s favorite verse is Proverbs 11:14, “where there is a multitude of counselors their is safety.”
- Discouragement Ezra4:4
The enemy will use whatever circumstances that he can in our lives to bring discouragement. We are called to find our strength in the Lord (Psalm 46:1-3) and to not grow weary in doing good.(Galatians 6:9) This only comes as we are continually filled by the Word of God and the Spirit of God. If you are needing a refilling, take time to be in the Lord’s presence and let Him fill you will His life.
- Fear Ezra 4:4
The enemy will tell you all the risks to your obedience to what God is asking you. He will not tell you the cost of disobedience. To get to the core of your fear ask this question, “What am I believing in this moment? Is is true?” Then take that to the Lord and ask what is really true. Use your bible concordance if you need help in finding the Truth in the Scripture. Take your fears to the Lord and allow Him to speak life and truth into you.
- Counselors Ezra 4:5
The enemy will willingly place bad counselors in your life to work persistently against your calling and destiny. Once again, choose wisely your friends and those that you allow to speak into your life. Are your “friends” speaking words of life to you? Does their advise and counsel line up with the Word of God?
- Accusations Ezra 4:6
Satan stands and brings accusations against the saints day and night before the throne of God. (Revelation 12:10) We must know the Truth about who the Lord is and who we are because of the finished work of Jesus Christ to be able to combat these accusations. Let us also be careful not to give the enemy ammunition against our brothers and sisters. May we commit to honor the Body of Christ and speak well of each other, to forgive quickly and right offenses.
- Keeps a record of our history Ezra 4:14-16
Satan will remind us of our history whenever he can. The guilt, shame and condemnation that he desires for us to operate under is not the will of God. If the enemy is continually reminding you of your past and you are desiring freedom, I have been instructed to tell you, please reach out to one of our Pastors and they will get you in contact with someone that can help you step into freedom. That can be through may means, one is counseling, prayer appointments and the program the Ultimate Journey. We are hoping to begin a couple of Ultimate Journey groups as soon as the end of June.
- Speaks to our motives Ezra 4:12
The enemy will speak to us of our motives, condemn us for our choices and continually speak lies into our hearts and minds. If you have repented of your sins and Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior then you are new creations.(2 Corinthians 5:17) The old is gone. The enemy will put thoughts in our minds and then condemn us, as though the thought originated with us. So we begin battling an enemy-ourselves, but it is the wrong enemy. We have got to understand who we are in Christ and with that information we can begin battling the real enemy that is coming against us.
- Stop the work Ezra 4:24
The enemy will do whatever he can to keep us from our calling. We must preserve. The Holy Spirit has been sent so that we can walk in sanctification. He is our Comfort, He is our Counselor and He is our Guide. Praise Jesus that He did not leave us alone. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us all that, “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” May the work of God and the kingdom continue as we walk as Christ walked.