Nehemiah obeyed God, against all obstacles. He traveled to Jerusalem to begin to rebuild the walls and refortify the city. He surveyed the damage, rallied the people, and the work began. It was going fabulously… until the opposition started.
Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem – the enemies of the work of God – found out and boy were they mad! They threatened Nehemiah. They started a smear campaign against him (v. 5-7). They did everything they could to hinder his efforts for God. But Nehemiah had determination. He could not be stopped.
They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination. (v. 9)
Finally, Nehemiah prayed for God’s judgement on them (v. 14). So, on October 2nd – they finished the wall! Just 52 days after they had started.
What does Satan use to oppose you? How does he try and stop you from doing the things God wants you to do?
Fear? Failure? Discouragement? Distraction?
How can you defeat him and obey the work God’s called you to? Crystal McDowell makes the following suggestions.
1) Put aside all sinful behaviors.
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1)
2) Trust in God for strength and wisdom to deal with the obstacles.
“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation” (Isaiah 12:2)
3) Deal with the strongholds in our mind.
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-6)
4) Know that nothing is too hard for God.
“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)
5) Recognize that God uses obstacles for His purposes.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20)
Obstacles come with the territory – they’re a part of the journey. Ask God today to give you the power to rise above them like Nehemiah did.
By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor