20 Apr His Strength
Read: Nehemiah 6:1-16
Last Sunday, Pastor Ken preached from Colossians 3:1-17, where we considered how Jesus gives resurrection power to live our new life in Christ. This Sunday, we have the blessing to hear from a special guest, Pastor Keith Smith, from Eastlake Church in San Diego, CA. Keith will be preaching from Nehemiah 6:1-16. As you prepare your hearts for our corporate gathering, let these words from Charles Spurgeon encourage and remind you of your victory in Christ. Our mission of making disciples of all people for God’s glory is beyond our capacity to accomplish on our own. Our flesh is too weak, and the enemy is too great, but with Christ, we are more than conquerors over the enemy and have immeasurable power to complete our mission!
“Satan hindered us.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:18
Since the first hour in which goodness came into conflict with evil, it has never ceased to be true in spiritual experience that Satan hinders us. From all points of the compass, all along the line of battle, in the advance party or in the rear, at the dawn of day and in the midnight hour, Satan hinders us. If we work in the field, he seeks to break our implements; if we build a wall, he tries to cast down the stones; if we are serving God in suffering or in conflict—everywhere Satan hinders us.
He hinders us when we are first coming to Jesus Christ. We had fierce conflicts with Satan when we first looked to the cross and lived. Now that we are saved, he tries to prevent our growth in Christian character. You may be congratulating yourself: “So far I have walked consistently; no one can challenge my integrity.” Beware of boasting, for your virtue will soon be tested; Satan will direct his engines against the very virtue for which you are most famous. If you have to this point been a firm believer, your faith will soon be attacked; if you have been meek like Moses, expect to be tempted to speak unadvisedly with your lips. The birds will peck at your ripest fruit, and the wild boar will dash his tusks at your choicest vines.
Satan is sure to hinder us when we are faithful in prayer. He hinders our persistence and weakens our faith in order that, if possible, we may miss the blessing. Satan is equally vigilant in obstructing Christian effort. There was never a revival of religion without a revival of his opposition. As soon as Ezra and Nehemiah began to work, Sanballat and Tobiah were stirred up to hinder them.
What then? We are not alarmed because Satan hinders us, for it is a proof that we are on the Lord’s side and are doing the Lord’s work, and in His strength we will win the victory and triumph over our adversary.
August 7, Evening Reading, in Morning and Evening, by Charles Spurgeon
Song List for Sunday
1. “Even So Come,” Arr. by Shane & Shane
2. “Forever Reign,” by Hillsong Live
3. “The Depths of Your Love,” by North Wake Music
4. “Come Thou Fount,” by Passion