Don't Be Afraid
“Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” Nehemiah 4:14
Don’t you hate it when you are scared to death and someone says to you, “Don’t be afraid.” I remember a time when I was a child filled with fear most every night. I was so afraid to go to sleep because of a recurring bad dream. I would call out to mama and daddy right across the hallway and the answer was always the same. “Don’t be afraid. Everything is ok. God is watching over us. We are right here. Now go to sleep.”
On most nights, these calming words worked, but there was one particular night that the words did not halt the noises coming from underneath my bed. My daddy was probably tired to the bone and weary with my nightly episodes. I cried out in fear and the same answer came. I continued to hear noises under my bed and daddy came in to calm me. To his surprise, my older brother began to giggle and crawled out from underneath. He thought it was funny that I was afraid of the night and decided to take advantage of my situation. I don’t remember how that turned out, but my guess is my brother went to bed in tears.
I’m not calling my brother the enemy, but the enemy does take advantage of our situations and specifically comes against our weaknesses. He knows how to stir up fear, confusion, discouragement and sheer panic. His goal is to cause us to lose our stand leading to unbelief in God.
I remember numerous times of being afraid and the words, “Don’t be afraid,” just didn’t seem to work. But in today's key verse, I see more. There is an addition of words that come marching behind, that are key for us to stand strong and firm against all fears and attacks from the enemy.
“Remember the Lord.”
Nehemiah had called the people together to rebuild the broken down wall surrounding Jerusalem. As the people began to obey and do the work, the attackers rushed in to ridicule and distract them from the work at hand. Nehemiah’s words turned their focus from the attackers to the Lord.
“Don’t be afraid of them.” AND “Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome.”
Now those words change everything. The noises and voices can be very real, but these words shift our focus to the powerful VOICE of God. He who is great and awesome comes and calms our fears and gives us everything that we need. As we look upon His greatness and His power, the attack loses its power against us.
And then comes the powerful third part of the direction: “FIGHT”
"Fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
Nehemiah encouraged them in the work they were committed to completing. This wasn’t just any building project, this was about the protection of lives that mattered. In the verses that follow, Nehemiah gave them a specific plan for working and standing against the enemy. He didn’t tell them to pretend there was no enemy. He didn’t tell them to chant, “I will not be afraid.” No, he told them to work with one hand and carry their weapon in the other hand. Always be prepared to fight.
As believers we have the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-19) to face any fiery dart the enemy sends our way. We carry the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we can carry on with our assignment as well as carry the sword of the Spirit. His Word is powerful and will turn away the annoying distractions.
So come on, let’s put our hand back to the work the Lord has called us to. Let’s not be afraid of the attackers, but instead remember God. Remember who He is. Remember His greatness and His power. Let’s fight for one another and “encourage one another as the day of His return is drawing near.”
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:25