[Sanballat] flew into a rage and mocked the Jews… Then I prayed, "Hear us, O our God, for we are being mocked…" (Nehemiah 4:1, 4, NLT)
About 14 or 15 years ago, I participated in a critique group with six aspiring writers who met in my home. The only Christian in the group, I definitely wasn’t living for the Lord back then. But some spark of His light must have peeked through the basket I’d put over myself and my beliefs, because they still knew I was a Christian. If one of my characters said a curse word (limited and mild), one of those gals would pull out a little notebook and supposedly scribble, "Robin used a bad word." I was sometimes referred to as "Miss Goody Two Shoes."
It wasn’t until a few years later, restored to right relationship with my Savior, that I understood the unseen spiritual warfare that was going on when those women made fun of me, my beliefs, my moral choices, even my word choices. Though I thought it was just good-natured teasing, the truth is I was being mocked. Yet there was much more at work beneath the surface than teasing or mocking, things none of us were conscious of. A spiritual battle in the heavenly realm.
A backslidden or lukewarm Christian who is not in prayer, who is not serving the Lord, who is not reading the Bible, who is not growing in faith is no problem to the devil. After all, he has already lost that soul. He can’t drag a believer into hell, but he can hope to keep them ineffective. When he sees a Christian beginning to get fired up for Christ (as was happening in me though I didn’t recognize it yet), Satan doesn’t like it because when said Christian gets fired up and begins to pray and live for God, he or she will make a difference for the kingdom. Guaranteed. You cannot love God and not have it spill over onto other people.
Nehemiah and the workers rebuilding the wall were mocked, but Nehemiah didn’t respond to the mockers in kind. He didn’t shout back nor did he become discouraged. He talked to God instead, and then he and the others finished building the wall. God prevailed.
Just as He prevails today. I take great comfort in that knowledge.
In the grip of His grace,