Watch out for Phonies
"Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono. But they were scheming to harm me."1
When Nehemiah and the ancient Israelites had almost completed rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem several centuries BC, enemies were not happy with their progress and sought to discourage Nehemiah and get rid of him. They tried to lure him away from his work by inviting him to meet with them in the Plain of Ono.
But Nehemiah's reply was, "O no!" He knew their stories were fabricated and that they were lying. Just as well he did, otherwise he would have been destroyed and God's work frustrated. Nehemiah stuck to the job until the work was finished and the walls rebuilt.
Whenever we get involved in a fruitful work for God, opposition is usually par for the course. The enemy attacks at every opportunity and usually at our most vulnerable points. He is a master of deceit and will seek to discourage us, sidetrack us from the main task to waste our time on less important matters, tempt us to stray from the beaten path, and so on. Whatever devices he uses we, like Nehemiah, need to be aware of these, for more often than not he comes as an angel of light.
When in doubt, we need to pray for God to reveal to us the truth of the situation in which we find ourselves. Realize, too, that the more authentic and real we are, the easier we will "smell" (discern) those who are not for real and are seeking to distract us so that they can lure us away from what God wants us to do.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me the same kind of insight, wisdom and courage that Nehemiah had and stick to the work you have for me to do until it is finished. Help me to say 'no' to any temptation or distraction that would take me away from following and serving you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Nehemiah 6:2 (NIV).