I have a yellow fly in my backyard. Whenever I go out he usually finds me. He hates me. And I hate him. I know that flies normally live only two or three days, but not this one. He has bred with a cockroach. He could live through a nuclear holocaust and when the smoke cleared, he would have one mission:
He is my enemy. He is singularly focused on harassing, buzzing and biting me. Even when Pam is out with me and in my opinion, ALWAYS smells better than I do, he comes for me. He hates me. He is my enemy.
You have one too. Not a fly… an enemy. He comes at you in many different styles and titles, names and identities. Like a fly, he harasses you, stabs at you, makes you afraid, makes you miserable. And he has one assignment:
His name is “Lord of the flies”… Beelzebub. And yes, dear one, he is real. While salvation brought you peace with God it also made an enemy for you that never bothered you much pre-salvation. That’s because you were walking with him… not against him.
But now, he’s mad. And he has our names on his radar. Nehemiah had an enemy also… this enemy attached himself to Nehemiah in the names of two men: Sanballat and Tobiah. By Chapter 4, we are seeing their third appearance in Nehemiah’s history. “And when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he was furious.” (4:1) That’s because enemies don’t just go away any more than flies just give up. They keep coming and coming and coming.
Each time Sanballat and Tobiah appeared, Nehemiah’s heart must have sunk a little. You know how it goes: “Sanballat is on the phone for you Nehemiah.” “Did you see that Twitter post from Tobiah this morning?” “Sanballat and Tobiah need a meeting with you… they said it’s urgent.”
And so it goes. These men came with one agenda… to stop the good work that Nehemiah had begun. Your enemy comes with an agenda as well… to stop the good work that Christ has begun in you. To convince you that it’s not worth continuing. That what Christ is doing in you isn’t working. To show you that what you are trying to do is not possible.
What’s the name of your fly? Your enemy? His name is Satan…accuser of the brethren. He is the one who will oppose any effort you make toward rebuilding the walls of your life or in bringing the Kingdom of God to bear in this world.
“We wrestle not with flesh and blood…” the Apostle Paul tells us…”but with principalities and powers, with the rulers of the darkness of this age.” Listen. There is always going to be a “fly in the ointment.” They don’t go away. They change names and identities and places where they hit you.
All we can do is make sure our armor is in place… and in Christ’s name carry on.
So I’m thinking about getting a beekeepers outfit….
FOR MEDITATION: Be alert and of sober mind. Your adversary the devil roams about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8
FOR REFLECTION: What is the name of your enemy? Make sure the focus of your defense is against the REAL enemy and not the guise that he comes under. Pray always and keep your armor on. The battle is real. But in Christ the victory is already won!