There is a certain type of spiritual warfare that is aimed at taking you off course and distracting you from what God has called you to do. The greatest temptation in those times is to divert valuable time and resources to deal with it.

This is one reason why discernment, oversight and wisdom are so important when it comes to spiritual warfare.

This is what happened to Nehemiah. God gave Nehemiah a responsibility—to govern Jerusalem and lead the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls.

Throughout the book of Nehemiah, the Jews’ enemies used a number of strategies to stop them completing the project.


Here are 3 signs that spiritual warfare is a distraction, from Nehemiah’s story:

1. The Enemy is using Discouragement and Intimidation

Signs spiritual warfare is a distractionThe Jews’ enemy, Sanballat, is angry about Nehemiah’s plans to rebuild the wall. And his first response is ridicule. He mocks the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, says, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?” (Neh 4:1b-2)

The aim of these insults and questions seems to be twofold:

  • Gaining support for their negative opinions
  • Getting Nehemiah and the Jews to doubt their capability of whether they can do what God has called them to do

This is a reminder that one of the enemy’s chief strategies is intimidation and discouragement.

Now look at Nehemiah’s response:

  • He doesn’t let it aggravate him
  • He refuses to let it affect his progress
  • His first response is to take it to prayer

2. The Enemy Issues Threats

When the walls are halfway to completion, the enemies of Judah are becoming agitated. Now they issue a direct threat. They are plotting a physical attack. Notice that Nehemiah doesn’t minimize the threats—he takes them seriously—but he doesn’t stop the work, either.

Nehemiah keeps in mind that the enemy’s real purpose is to get the people to stop the work of completing the walls

So now, Nehemiah puts a strategy in place. He continues the building, but he also sets up a guard as well.


3. There is Blatant Distraction

Nehemiah’s enemies try another tactic, after the above two have failed. They send an invitation to Nehemiah to meet with them, to discuss various ‘issues’. And Nehemiah responds:

“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?” (Neh 6:3)

All of these threats escalate, but by the end of chapter 6, Nehemiah and his people have persevered and the wall is built.

Here’s the bottom line: In spite of the many distractions and threats, that wall was built without Nehemiah once having to directly engage in battle!

To sum up, there are going to be times when the enemy is threatening and his aim is to get you to draw aside and engage in spiritual warfare.

In this case, a threat is not directly in front of you, it is off to one side—and its chief aim is to distract and hinder you from finishing what God has called you to do. You have a choice as to whether or not to engage.

Be like Nehemiah, who determined to keep on going and did not allow his enemies to sway him from his purpose.


Spiritual Warfare Online Course:

I have just launched first new online course, ‘Spiritual Warfare 101: How to Identify and Overcome Spiritual Attack’ and I warmly invite you to join me!

This course includes around 30 mini lectures on video, and is full of Biblical wisdom and strategies to help you overcome in time of battle. There is also a downloadable full transcript in PDF version.

And once you’re in, there is no expiry date, so you can continue to journey with me through upgrades and increased course content in the future.

The Bible has great news. You do not have to be weighed down by spiritual oppression or put up with pressure and attack! Find out more about the course, ‘Spiritual Warfare 101: How to Identify and Overcome Spiritual Attack’ here.


© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
Enliven Ministries
In the David McCracken Ministries family

34 thoughts on “3 Signs Spiritual Warfare is a Distraction”

  1. Hlomuka Thuliswa

    Hi Helen
    You’re a God sent you revelation today was what I was praying for in the past five days, and to day I getting an answers. Thanks for the scripter of Nehemiah I just found answers in it. Big thank you again
    My God richly blessed the ministry

    1. Hello Hiomuka, there are many lessons in the book of Nehemiah along these lines – may you be powerfully blessed as you feed on God’s Word. Thanks for leaving the note

  2. Wow, thank you for sharing, Hellen, and thanks be to God because if we take heed to such words, we will be able to carry out our assignments to the glory of God.

  3. The timing of this is so on target! I asked the Lord this morning what I should do about an ongoing distraction that showed up at my door again day before yesterday. I seem to learn everything by making mistakes. I haven’t been as wise as Nehemiah but I’m grateful to have received such a timely message from you, Helen. I do have a question; since our battles aren’t with flesh and blood and the enemy works so much through other people, how do we know when to stop trying to help someone who has an obvious need for God’s healing but they haven’t discovered the TRUTH that Jesus is the only way to wholeness? My current distraction has a lot of unresolved trauma, she has no where to go, and she keeps me off track. She causes problems that always seem to land on me to resolve for her. This cannot continue. God has done so much to heal me and I have had so many distractions trying to rebuild my walls and step out with God on a rescue mission for those who are ready to give up. It has been a trying, lonely and cruel season for many people, but today is a new day in Jesus. God Bless and thank you.

    1. Hi Trish, you are right in praying about the issue of when to stop trying to help someone.
      The answer firstly depends on what place the person has in our lives, if it’s a family member, for example, we cannot walk away. But if it is not someone to whom God has placed us in a long term relationship then yes, there can come a time where a relationship that is not bearing good fruit or negatively affecting us, we need to break from – I pray you have the wisdom in how you process this moving forward

    2. I just went into a very violent rage I’ve had enough of the abuse God has not Stopped it helped me I have day and night for Jesus to stop this abuse this is very serious if he wants me to I want say anymore if God persists in ignoring me and not helping I won’t say anymore very sad he can’t honor his promises to me to be there

      I never felt more betrayed

  4. Thanks Helen for this timely word. The Lord faithfully prepares his people. One aspect that I truly loved about the Nehemiah narrative was his strong faithful resolve to complete the work. When’s I find myself distracted I always pray for the Father to give me a “mind to work” and the LORD has always faithfully renewed my mind to overcome the distractions and intimidations of the enemy

  5. hi all, Christopher I can relate to you a lot I was also going through the same attack.. the was this one day where the pains were so bad in the middle of the night I felt like killing mysel… and woke up and prayed my heart ou, I cried n begged for GGods interventio… n the follfollowing day I felt like someone was telling what to ddo on my phon, that’s how I ended up finding this wonderfull blog, and I also called this other lady who gave me numbers for this other man of God n he came to my house n casted all the demons awa, and told me something important “when evil spirits are cast out they flee for a short time n came back to check if there is a way they can enter you again so the only way to prevent this is to commit yourself to the word of God…. you can look it up on the book of revelations 12v 7-12… I hope this will help

    1. Hi again Christopher, God does love you, He is a good Father, and He has made every provision for your healing through Jesus’ suffering on the cross. I’m sorry to hear about your experiences – there IS freedom for you…I pray you find the keys locally to help (beyond the scope of this blog).

      And Christopher and Glander, one of our core values, which we believe is very important when it comes to exercising authority in the spiritual realm, is being in relationship with other Christians in a church community, and cared for by church oversight. So our key advice in these instances is to take these issues to local church leadership or to gain help from someone referred from a church.
      Sorry Christopher I’ve edited out some of the graphic descriptions you’ve given. I do pray you can find the help you need.

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