When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it – though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates – Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: ‘Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.’But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: ‘I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you? NIV

Nehemiah’s enemies kept bowling ‘bouncers’ at him, but his guard was resolute. He played the ‘dead bat’ to each one.

One way we can be firm in resisting Satan’s temptations is by recognising constantly the greatness of the work we’re involved in. God has saved us ‘’by grace…through faith…’’ (Ephesians 2:8), and ‘’we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do’’ (Ephesians 2:10). Whatever work God has called you to do, it is a ‘’great’’ work. It may not appear so to others; sometimes, especially when discouraged, it may appear small in our own eyes. It may be a hidden work. In this life there may be little to show for it. But we need to recognise the greatness of what we’ve been called to do. Refuse to be distracted, deflected, defeated by temptation. Stand your ground, keep your guard up, stay at the crease.

I once heard a preacher say something like this, ‘I’m not very good at cricket, but if Geoffrey Boycott could live inside me, I’d be excellent.’ We are not naturally good at resisting temptation. But if Jesus, who always sent the devil packing, lives in us, we are endowed with His supernatural ability to overcome. As a ‘branch’ in Jesus, the ‘Vine’, you can produce the ‘fruit’ of resistance.

As Graham Kendrick put it, ‘God put a fighter in me.’

PRAYER: Lord God, may I never lose sight of the greatness of the work you have given me to do.