We are a nation and a world desperate for men and women of God to lead. Today you begin or continue that journey. As Joshua directed the people of Israel I also direct you, “Choose this day who you will serve.” As leaders in this modern world we can be tempted to follow the latest fad or chase after money, fame or power. Will you serve those idols or will you choose to serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
Read Nehemiah chapter 4
The theme of chapter 4 is in the Face of Opposition
If you are doing God’s work you will be opposed. This is an absolute truth. Every prophet in Scripture, every leader and even Jesus, himself, was opposed. Yet today in the American church have become soft and desire comfort over faithfulness to Jesus. Maybe we should pray as a French paratrooper prayed during World War II.
Notice, Nehemiah does not take it personal. Think back to the identity portion from chapter 1. You are made in the image of God. The enemy HATES God. Since you look like Him it makes sense that he will come after you. Now you are rising up to start acting like Him. That makes you even worse in his book. When you wake up each day declare yourself as belonging to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them." –Deuteronomy 32:35
We must step back and allow God to do things His way. Nehemiah does not strike back. Now waiting on the Lord can hurt and be frustrating. But trust Him to take care of things. Stay focused and do not take the matters up into your own hands. Simply trust God.
Despite the opposition the people are not discouraged. How do we make this happen with the people that we are leading? There are many theories and ideas and you likely can glean ideas from other blog entries in this series. What we see is Nehemiah’s strategy. Let us celebrate even small victories. Look carefully for something to be excited about and celebrate. Consider joining your staff for lunch and proposing a toast. It does not need to be a major event. Keep it simple and celebrate often.
When words don’t work, the enemy will turn to violence to get his way. Brace yourself. Many years ago I joined in on the fight to end human trafficking. As part of those efforts I partnered with another organization and offered a location to hide victims. Months went by with nothing happening but one day I received the call. The police were conducting a raid and would need a place for one of the young ladies they were rescuing. We made the arrangements. I hung up the phone and attended a meeting. It was a short meeting 20-30 minutes. Before I had gotten out of that meeting two of my three children had broken arms. The enemy had turned violent and was taking out his wrath on my children.
Give it to God and take action. We know the enemy is coming. Stand.
The battle will make you weary. There is no doubt.
Faith is often slipping. Begin to recite Scripture. Read the Bible. Seek His face. Pray as the man in Mark did, “Help my unbelief!”
Jesus I know that you are near. Help me overcome my fear.
Do not let this fear slow you down. Focus on Him.