Day 303

Ever notice the root word of intimidation is timid?

Muhammad Ali is known not only for being a great boxer, but a legendary intimidator.  He has to be the best trash talker the sport of boxing, or maybe any sport, has ever seen.  He told George Foreman before the “Rumble in the Jungle”, “If you even dream of beating me, you’d better wake up and apologize.”  He told reporters before the same fight, “I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalised a brick; I’m so mean I make medicine sick.”

I’m so mean I make medicine sick?  Now, that’s a good one!  Why did Mr. Ali talk so much trash?  Because he wanted to make his opponents timid!  He knew if they were intimidated by him just a little bit, that he would have the upper hand… or the upper cut.

Intimidation is a tool the devil tries to use against believers all of the time.

In Nehemiah 6 a group of Nehemiah’s enemies were trying to get him to meet them in the plain of Ono… “Oh no you don’t!” Nehemiah thought to himself.  He knew they were plotting to harm him.   He told them he was hard at work and unable to make it.  They sent the same request 4 times and he sent the same reply 4 times.  The fifth time they sent him a different message.

Nehemiah 6:6-7  “There is a rumor among the surrounding nations, and Geshem tells me it is true, that you and the Jews are planning to rebel and that is why you are building the wall. According to his reports, you plan to be their king.  He also reports that you have appointed prophets in Jerusalem to proclaim about you, ‘Look! There is a king in Judah!’  “You can be very sure that this report will get back to the king, so I suggest that you come and talk it over with me.”

These guys were trying to intimidate Nehemiah and cause him to stop work on the wall.  Nehemiah didn’t panic.  He didn’t run out to meet them and explain that there had been some kind of misunderstanding.  He didn’t stop working on the wall.  He didn’t grow timid.

He simply wrote them back and told them they were full of it.

Nehemiah 6:8 “There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing.”

What an awesome response!  He saw through their attempts at intimidation and wasted no time worrying about the made up rumors going around about him.

A few verses later Nehemiah records that the wall was complete and it only took 52 days!  The ones who were trying to intimidate Nehemiah were now the ones who felt intimidated.  Verse 16, When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God.

Ali was a great fighter, but he didn’t really handcuff lightning or throw thunder in jail, he was just talking trash.  Your enemy is a skilled opponent.  He prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, but if you listen closely you’ll notice that scary roar of his is just trash talk.  The stuff he says he can do to you or the things he says about you aren’t really the truth, He’s simply trying to intimidate you.  He’s been defanged and declawed.

Remember what God told Satan in the garden of Eden?

Genesis 3:14-15 (NIRV) So the Lord God spoke to the serpent. He said, “Because you have done this, “I am putting a curse on you.  You are cursed more than all of the livestock and all of the wild animals.  You will crawl on the ground.  You will eat dust all of the days of your life.  I will put hatred between you and the woman.  Your children and her children will be enemies.  Her son will crush your head.  And you will crush his heel.”

That wasn’t just trash talk.  It wasn’t just something God said to intimidate the devil.  It was a warning about what would really happen when Jesus, the little baby born in Bethlehem grew up and conquered the grave!

Satan is full of fear and humiliation, just like the enemies who heard that Nehemiah had finished the wall.  You intimidate him!  Don’t let him intimidate you!  Tell him he’s full of it and get back to work.

  1. Her son crushed his head!
  2. Greater is He who is in me than He who is the world.
  3. I don’t have to be intimidated by the roar of Satan.
  4. Nehemiah’s awesome reply.  What a great way to deal with anybody who tries to intimidate you.
  5. Enjoyed reading some of Ali’s best quotes.  That guy was awesome at coming up with such clever trash talk.
  6. The pretty pink and dark blue sky this morning.
  7. When Beau woke up I took her to see the sky and she said, “Jesus made it!”
  8. Nana & Papa are at Disneyland today!  It makes me happy knowing 2 of my favorite people are at my favorite place!
  9. Felt so good outside this morning.
  10. Watching Beau pretend to take her green rubber duck to get frozen yogurt in her little tikes truck.
  11. Free “Wonder Pets” episodes on Amazon Prime!
  12. Loving our summer routine.
  13. Power nap!
  14. Successful grocery shopping day.
  15. Fridge and pantry are stocked for another week!
  16. Freshly made tortillas from Kroger.
  17. Yummy black bean burritos for dinner.
  18. Kids laughing hysterically at Josh making funny faces at the dinner table.
  19. Such a nice evening to spend in the backyard.
  20. We have a good sized backyard.
  21. Bubbles!
  22. Watching Gus & Josh kick around a soccer ball together.
  23. Clean hair and the next time it gets washed and dried it will be my hair lady instead of by me!
  24. Joyce Meyer is celebrating her 70th birthday today!  She is one amazing woman of God.
  25. Beau thanked God for “Wonder Pets” in her bed time prayer… and suckers.
  26. All of the pretty pictures of Santa Barbara I looked at today.  I can’t wait to be there in person in just 26 days.
  27. Our fridge lets you know when the temperature drops too low.  Smart fridge.

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