- Rebuilding Ruins
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“When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews.” (Nehemiah 4:1 NIV2011)
As a leader, Nehemiah faced opposition from those who had a great deal to lose should the Jews succeed in rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. Those who opposed him made many attempts to stop the work. However, their efforts were unsuccessful.
If you are going about God’s work, you will face opposition. Satan will not sit idly by while God’s people do God’s work. If you are going to be successful, then you need to learn how to deal with the opposition you face.
Nehemiah 4 tells of four things you are going to need in order to be able to continue working and succeed in the face of opposition:
1. A mind to work
“So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.” – Nehemiah 4:6 (NKJV)
Don’t focus on the words of opposition. Rather, focus on the work. The best thing to do when opposed is to pray, commit the whole thing to God, and then get back to your work. Anything that keeps you from doing what God has called you to do will only help the enemy.
2. A heart to pray
“But we prayed to our God…” – Nehemiah 4:9a NIV
Nehemiah calls the people to prayer. On paper, Nehemiah and the Jews would be no match for a military attack by their opposition. They were surrounded and outnumbered.
The battle against our opposition is not meant to be fought alone. Sometimes you need other people praying with you. There is power when God’s people pray together.
3. An eye to watch
“… and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.” – Nehemiah 4:9b NIV
Prayer is important for us, but so is posting a guard. Jesus called it “watching.” He told his disciples to watch and pray.
You need to always be spiritually alert and ready. To do that, you must “post a guard” on your heart. You need to always be diligent about doing the necessary things to guard your heart against attack.
4. An ear to hear
“Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!” – Nehemiah 4:20 NIV
This is a call to defend one another; to rally to one another’s defense in times of opposition and danger. You can count on opposition to come when you do the work of God. You can count on God to help you in your time of need. The question is, “Can you count on us, and us on you?”