Have you noticed that it’s not easy to live in a way that honors God in this world? There are plenty of obstacles and roadblocks. In the book of Nehemiah, we see Nehemiah and his fellow Israelites facing opposition again and again as they work to rebuild the protective wall around Jerusalem. This past Sunday at Watermark, guest speaker Dan Roseman shared three tactics that Nehemiah’s enemies used to try to stop the rebuilding of that wall.
Three Tactics Nehemiah’s Enemies Used to Try to Stop the Wall
1) Distract From the Work (Nehemiah 6:1-2)
As Nehemiah neared the end of the project, his enemies seemed almost desperate to lure him away from the work, maybe hoping that if they could take out the leader of the project, they would doom it. And a lot of times, that would work; but Nehemiah wasn’t falling for it. He stayed focused and locked in on completing this vital work.
There are plenty of ways that you might get distracted from the good work God has called you to… raising your children to love Jesus, living with integrity, building a healthy marriage, and so much more… don’t fall for it! Stay focused on the important work ahead!
2) Delegitimize the Project (Nehemiah 6:3-9)
Nehemiah’s enemies couldn’t distract him, so they tried to delegitimize his work. They made up lies, saying that his ultimate objective was not to restore Israel, but to overthrow the Persian king! They hoped they could discourage Nehemiah and cause him to give up. But Nehemiah didn’t fall for this tactic; he remained resolute!
There will be plenty of people who try to delegitimize your efforts to honor God too; don’t be discouraged or defensive. Every moment you spend defending yourself is another moment you cannot commit to the work ahead. When his enemies were trying to tear him down, Nehemiah simply prayed, “Strengthen my hands.” He called on the Lord to give him the strength he needed to continue in the work God had called him to. You can do the same thing! Utter that simple prayer when you’re thinking or feeling like giving up or giving in. The call to follow Jesus is not easy, but God will give you the strength you need!
3) Discredit the Leader (Nehemiah 6:10-13)
Some of Nehemiah’s enemies were trying to compromise him, to discredit him by deceiving him, specifically by acting like they were his friends yet all the while leading him down a destructive path that would soil his good name. Be careful! There will be people in our lives who may appear helpful and well-meaning, but their words and guidance must always be measured against the truth of God’s Word.
Nehemiah’s Two Responses to Opposition
Despite the opposition, Nehemiah was not deterred! He remained resolute and the wall was completed in 52 days! It was completed because he persisted and he prayed. When you feel like giving up, don’t… press on, praying every step of the way! What God has called you to, God will see you through!
For much more, click here to listen to Dan’s message: Resolute: Part 5 - Manage Opposition.