What do you do when God has set a course for you and the enemy comes along to halt the plans of the Divine? Do you bow to the lie that says it will not happen or do you choose to see the greater picture? This jeer to abort the plan of God was prominent hundreds of years ago and it still rings out today. It is found in the ones who tell the body of Christ that mighty moves are long gone, even from the very ones who claim to have a heritage in the kingdom of God.
It is found among those who chant that the rubble is too great to rebuild, the rocks are ash and that the current state is better than attempting to take on such a feat of reformation and consecration. It is spoken by those who desire to maintain control and power, an insecure and fearful religious exterior bearing a garment of intimidation. This is the spirit of Sanballet, alive and well and spewing the agenda of status quo along with his parroting sidekick, Tobiah.
Sanballet resists Nehemiah’s mandate
In the account of Nehemiah, we see soon after Nehemiah set his mind and his heart to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, Sanballet and Tobiah took notice and were displeased with the news. They mocked and despised the Jewish people who had united for this task.
The spirit of Sanballet brings accusation and second guessing against the instruction of the LORD. He belittles the conception, the seed of purpose and he desires for the body to abort the process. Nehemiah answered as a modern day apostle would answer, “The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no portion, right or memorial in Jerusalem” (Nehemiah 2:20).
Sanballet did not relent. He spoke the words of self introspection over them, the words of the enemy over them, calling them feeble and cursing the revival of stones from the residing burned heap. He did this in the presence of his family and wealthy men of Samaria.
The enemy loves to speak the proclamation of his own destiny over the people of God because if he can get a holy nation to disregard the voice of their God and His instruction then he gains ground. The spirit of Sanballet is cowardly and his persona is empowered when in a group setting. It is a mask of intimidation strapped upon the face of insecurity and fear.
The assault of Sanballet persists
His anger kindled even more when he found out that the repair of the wall went on despite his words and that the breaches were being closed. He and his group of men conspired to attack Jerusalem and to cause a disturbance (Neh 4:8), but the people prayed and a watchman was set against them day and night and the people who worked to repair the wall also had a mind to defend the city while rebuilding it.
Once the breaches were closed, Sanballet and Tobiah attempted to bring harm to Nehemiah, but to no avail. As we read the remainder of the account, the enemy’s plan is brought to rubble because the city is rebuilt, the Law is reestablished, the people respond and repent, the nation is reformed, Tobiah is removed, the wall is rededicated and the people are revived.
Sanballet’s spirit is alive and well today
Do you understand what this voice desires to do, this spirit of Sanballet? He comes after the fortification of the people of God, the renewal of His body. He comes to stop the progress and to steal divine assignments. The response of the people was not one of whining or complaining, but it was to keep building the wall, to close the breaches and to fight if necessary so that God’s plan could be fulfilled, calling a people back to holiness and right standing with Him.
Sanballet fought the repair because he understood that where a wall is erected, watchmen are established. He challenged the apostolic mandate to build a foundation for the prophetic to stand upon so that vision could be restored. His attempt to dissolve the unity of the people through fear and intimidation instead united an army of believers to serve while willing to fight.
The rhetoric from within the body today that we are not equipped for spiritual battle is a partnership with the spirit of Sanballet and it needs to cease. It is a parasite infiltrating the ranks of the body of Christ, leaving members in a stuporous state to accept a mediocre and defeated existence.
I speak to the modern day apostles when I say, keep building the foundation which is Christ our LORD. You are building upon the Chief Cornerstone, adding living stones daily to the house of God and there is no greater foundation that can be established. When you discern the spirit of Sanballet rearing his ugly head and trying to suffocate the breath of God upon your mandate, keep building and shut him up.
I speak to the modern day watchmen, the prophets. Stay on the wall and decree and declare what Holy Spirit would have you to say and not what man desires to hear. Partner with the apostolic and stand upon the solid foundation of the Word. If you have come off of your wall, get back on it! Stop listening to the voice of Tobiah saying that a fox will break down the wall where you have been established by God Himself. Be like those watchmen in Isaiah 62 that refuse to keep silent day or night, giving the LORD no rest until He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
Saints, pray and seek the will of the Father. Refuse to give an ear to the voice that would say your pursuit of His will is a waste of time and energy. The time that we have is too precious to squander. Let’s get building!