Christ Bible Church

"Preparing people to make an impact for God in their generation and to be fit to enter His Kingdom"

Overcoming the Forces of Setback

Bible Reading: Ezra 4: 1-24
Introduction
All of us have problems and difficulties that we will face in whatever we are doing: business, professional, personal, divine calling upon your life. How we respond to those problems, challenges and setbacks will determine our success or failure.
From our text, 50,000 people responded and left Babylon for Jerusalem to build the temple of the Lord. They built the altar and laid the foundation of the temple and the adversaries came. These enemies caused a serious setback that made the work be delayed for 16 years. Afterward, God had to move prophets Haggai and Zechariah who were in Jerusalem to prophesy. God stirred up the people to resume the work. But the enemies began again to hinder the work and they sent a letter to King Darius, unfortunately for the enemies the king reconfirmed it and the work continued without further hindrance. They finished it and Nehemiah built the walls.
During the 16 years of setback, according to 2 Kings 17: 24-41, the people of Israel compromised and worshiped the Babylonian idols under the pretense of cooperation.

The Enemy’s Tricks
The enemy uses:

  1. Compromise under the guise of cooperation. Out of the enemy’s tricks, this one is the most dangerous.
  2. Discouragement (Ez.4: 3).
  3. Fear to follow discouragement. (Ez.4: 4)
  4. Accusations and misinformation to oppose and undermine us including godly leaders. (Ez.4: 6-23).
  5. Coalitions to overwhelm the godly by sheer force of numbers.
  6. Government edicts and sheer force to block our progress. (Ez.4: 21)
  7. Not giving up in his opposition to our progress as seen in EZ 5.

What Not to Do if There is Setback

  1. Don’t give up your goals and go back to your old way of life like the people of Israel did. “Is it time for you O ye, to dwell in your circled houses and this house lay waste?” (Haggai 1: 4)
  2. Don’t settle for second best…saying at least we are in our place and if we cannot build the temple, we can build our houses.
  3. Don’t blame God, God’s leaders or anybody else for not doing what you think they should have done. Remember we are not wrestling against flesh and blood. (Eph. 6:12)
  4. Do not conclude that it must not be God’s time and that when He wants it done, it will be done.

Biblical Strategies for Overcoming the Enemy’s Tactics
There are many more strategies than I can list here, for the sake of time let us look at four:

  1. Know the schemes of the enemy. To know his schemes arms you to stand and fight when he strikes. “So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes”. (2Chorinthians 2:11)
  2. Resist the enemy. Just say no! Put your spiritual armor in place and resist! “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7)
  3. Submit and draw near to God. Before telling us to resist, James 4:7 says “Submit therefore to God”. He goes on to say “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). If God allows the enemy to cause you trials and setback, your responsibility is to submit to Him knowing that He can lift the trials the minute He sees that it is for good. Rather than pull away from God in the time of trial or setback, draw near to Him, He cares for you. (1Pet.5:7-11).
  4. Persevere in Face of Opposition. It is a lifelong battle. If we try to do anything significant for the Lord, the enemy will hear that we are building and will stir up opposition. If we give up, he wins and God’s kingdom suffers. If we persevere, His kingdom advances. The same goes for business, career, and others.

In Time of setback, Let Us Encourage Ourselves with These Bible Verses:
Ps 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. (KJV)
Ps 37:40 And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.
Prov 12:13 The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble. (KJV)
Prov 11:8 The righteous man is rescued from trouble, and it comes on the wicked instead. (NIV)
Ps 68:6 God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land. (KJV)
Haggai 2:21-22 Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth. And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, everyone by the sword of his brother. (KJV)
Mal 3:6. For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (KJV)
2 Cor 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
1 Cor 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

A True Story
When he was 7 years old, his family was forced out of their home and he had to work to help support them. When he was nine, his mother died. At 22, he lost his job as a store clerk. He wanted to go to law school but lacked the education. At 23, he went into debt to become a partner in a small store. At 26, his business partner died, leaving him a huge debt that took years to repay.
At 28, after courting a girl for four years, he asked her to marry him and she said no. At 37, on his third try, he was elected to Congress but two years later, he failed to be reelected. At 41, his four years old son died. At 45, he ran for Senate and lost. At 47, he failed as Vice Presidential candidate. At 49, he again ran for the Senate and lost. At 51, he was elected President of the United States.
Many consider that man, Abraham Lincoln, the greatest leader our country has ever had. Lincoln suffered numerous setbacks in his personal life and career but persevered and eventually succeeded.
Conclusion
You will suffer numerous setbacks if you commit yourself to the Lord and try to follow Him. Be prepared for the enemy’s attacks and don’t give up!

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This entry was posted on May 7, 2013 by in Uncategorized.

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