Fellow Young Minister,
Thank you for your welcoming response regarding my previous letter. I wrote to you concerning the challenges we face through envy and accusation as we grow in ministry. These influences are birthed from the kingdom of darkness and are the roots of the spiritual resistance, tempting our passions by challenging our character, that we may become distracted and take our eyes off of God’s mission.
Nehemiah is our prime example.
He distinctly had 3 men oppose him: Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arab.
In the heat of our character being challenged, we will face these 3 spirits. Remember, their ultimate mission is PARALYSIS BY DISTRACTION!
First is Sanballat, the Horonite. His name means “strength” from the lineage that means “two caves” (Strong’s H5571 & H2773). Through accusation, this spirit tries to remove the vigor and strength we apply towards the vision God has given us. If it is successful, our spiritual vision is left cavernous. Second is Geshem, the Arab. His name means “rain” from the lineage that means “sterility” (Strong’s H1654 & H6152). Through accusation, this spirit tries to discourage us by having us think that God’s blessing in the mission will end up becoming unfruitful, because our character cannot “hold up”. Third is Tobiah, the Ammonite. His name means “Jehovah is good” from the lineage that means “tribal” (Strong’s H2900 & H5983). Through accusation, this spirit tries to dampen our passion with complacency, that we may focus only on the status quo of our own unit. The temptation is that we don’t have the character through Christ to push the envelope.
Be aware. When the letter was sent to Nehemiah after the fourth wave of opposition, the Bible says that only Sanballat and Geshem spoke in the letter. Tobiah is silent, because complacency is almost always a feeling and not a voice.
These three spirits were calling Nehemiah to come out to the plain of Ono (Nehemiah 6:2). Ono was the valley of craftsmen and holds the significance that these spirits want to take us to the place where we are only focusing on our own “craft” and not on the bigger picture of the kingdom of God (Strong’s H207). Their strategy is to paralyze us from growing in leadership because we will begin to question our character and ability to lead others in God’s direction, so we ought to stop trying.
These are critical points of strategy that are operating when accusations come our way. We must recall that the enemy is a spirit, not a person. These spirits may follow us to an altar call, to the platform, to the pew, to our cars, to work, to wherever. We must endure like a good soldier of the Lord Jesus.
The Bible equates our enemy as the accuser of the brethren. So we must learn to not only protect others from falling prey to these pressuring accusations, we must find safety in loving brethren who will speak against these accusations with us. There are prayers that we cannot pray over ourselves, because God wants us to lovingly pray for one another (Ask Paul). We must come to a place where we say, “I am my brother’s keeper!” The adversary knows that we are focused on becoming who God wants us to become, so the wedge he tries to insert is between each other, by having us fall prey to these accusations – either in isolation or cooperation.
I must say, I have another letter for you next week to elaborate on some final matters regarding accusations and confidence in ministry. It took me awhile to just digest Sanballat, Geshem, and Tobiah. But some others come on the scene as well, to compromise our confidence in ministry. Remember, EVERY evil work is at hand. Though we are dealing with demonic wisdom as James would say, God has made us “wiser than our enemies” through His Word (Psalm 119:98).