Last week we looked at the huge challenge that God gave Nehemiah to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. The opposition came in the form of criticism – confusion – doubt – intimidation. The enemy uses these same 4 strategies on us today.
Look how Nehemiah handled it. He had a plan. I propose that the plan that Nehemiah used is the same plan that you and I can use to face the opposition and any of the challenges we have in life. You give specific application of Nehemiah’s plan for your life.
1. Declare – God is great. (v.14) In response to all of the opposition, Nehemiah insisted that God was greater than the opposition. If we think that God is not capable of doing something, we will be overrun. If we believe that God is greater than anything that will ever confront us, we are on the right track.
Before the people of Israel occupied the Promised Land, they sent in 12 spies. 10 came back reporting that the place was occupied by giants and Israel had no chance to conquer the giants. Many of them formed the “back to Egypt committee.”
But 2 of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, acknowledged that there were giants, but reminded the people of the reality that “God is greater than the giants, let’s go forward and take the land.” Opposition will win out if we succumb to the false assumption that God is not big enough to fulfill His purpose. When you have a big challenge, don’t tell God how big the challenge is – tell the challenge how big your God is! (Tweet that!!)
2. Fight (v.14) – Rather than sitting back and being overwhelmed, Nehemiah said that we need to go into battle when necessary. The enemy always looks much bigger when we simply over think the situation and give the enemy more power than he actually has. If David had just looked at the giant, Goliath, and kept looking at him, he probably would have thought he was much bigger than 9 feet tall. David didn’t look at the giant – he ran towards the giant to fight him. The best way to defeat the opposition is to face it and fight.
3. Work (v.15) – Nehemiah said that the people would work from sunrise until sunset. They accomplished a little bit every day. That gave them confidence. They could see that the work was moving forward.
Some people want to sit back and study the situation. There is a time to study the situation, but very soon study needs to give way to work. One of the things that can be a copout for us is to say that we just want to continue to pray for the situation. Prayer is wonderful and great – but it can become a substitute for going about our daily work. It’s easier to pray than to work!
4. Plan (v.16) – We always need a plan. We plan our work and work our plan. Nehemiah said that half of the people would work and half of the people would stand guard. Then there would be a rotation and the people who had been standing guard would work.
If you don’t have a plan, you probably don’t go anywhere. You can have a dream, but a dream without a plan can become a nightmare. What plan do you execute in facing everyday situations?
5. Faith (v.19) – Nehemiah kept reminding the people that their greatest strength comes when they trust God. He instilled in them a faith that God could do anything, and they redefined the possible. Nehemiah and his group finished building the wall in 52 days – that’s incredible! They knew they weren’t responsible for doing it, but their obedience to God enabled them to do what He had called them to do.’
We’re living in 2019.
I believe God is raising up Nehemiahs in ’19. Are you one of those Nehemiahs?