Men of the Bible Series - Nehemiah (Nehemiah 6:1-4) – PART 2
Nehemiah 6:1-4, Now it came to pass when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;) 2 That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief. 3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? 4 Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.
Nehemiah was doing a great work for God and he faced great trials as he did it. The trials were both internal and external in nature. We see that the enemies saw the rapid progress and resorted to offer a compromise to try to slow the work down and eventually stop it from its intended purpose. They did not have a change of heart, but only a change of strategy in their effort to stop Nehemiah. Compromise has crippled many local churches, softened many pulpits, and undermined many homes. The righteous remnant must seek God with all their heart as we need a heaven-sent revival more than ever.
When we decide to live for God on a higher level the Devil uses every weapon in his arsenal to derail us. As Nehemiah leads his people to rebuild the wall, we have seen Satan's weapons of external opposition from pagan enemies and internal opposition in the form of dissension. According to Revelation 12:12, the devil knows his time is getting shorter and shorter. The closer we get to completing what God has called us to do, the more intense and sophisticated the wiles of the Devil become.
Bible believing local churches are completely different than the world. The World and the true Church are by the nature of them irreconcilably opposed to each other. This opposition arises not from the things they do or do not do, but from two opposing spirits which dwell in them.
Focus is very important, and we need to rebuild the walls of focus as God’s people and as families. It is so easy to lose focus and get distracted. Distractions are costly and detrimental to churches, individuals, and families. Distractions in the church can cost people their souls. Jesus calls for us to faithfully follow Him and keep our eyes on Him. We are to look to Jesus, learn from Jesus, and live for Jesus. Distractions are part of life; it is how we deal with the distractions and learn from the distractions that will make us or break us.
This would not come without opposition from his enemies and his own brethren. Nehemiah knew this was birthed from the Lord and would bless future generations, so he was willing to obey the Lord regardless of the hostility from naysayers. When we’re taking a project for God, we understand that not everything is going to go as we would plan. In fact, there is going to be opposition from within your own people and from outsiders. At all times, the enemy was present and persistent (Nehemiah 6:4-5). Vision always attracts criticism. Critics will always resist change. Critics associate with other critics. Critics fail to see God’s hand in the work. You know you’re doing the Lord’s work when opposition comes. According to the Scriptures, some things are worth fighting for (I Timothy 6:12). When Paul spoke of the ministry, he stated “so fight I” (I Corinthians 9:26), and he did so until the very end of his life (II Timothy 4:7). We are in a spiritual fight and we have been instructed to take and put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11, 13).
Those who truly try to live a life based on faith in Christ and the assurance of His Word will often face ridicule and rejection. One reason unbelievers will oppose those who serve the Lord is because of the moral standards of the Christian life. Unbelievers will criticize a Christian’s devotion to the Lord Jesus. Unfortunately, you will see more and more of this kind of persecution take place publicly more and more in our day in which we live. It’s been said, “Many professing Christians evidence little interest in the things of God. They do not read their Bibles or pray, they seldom attend church services, and they have no interest in missions and other efforts to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. Their interests are instead in such things as politics, sports, and making money. They get so wrapped up in these pursuits of the flesh that they have no concern about God’s work and the things of God.”
Point to Ponder:
God is always faithful to do His part; we must be faithful to do our part.
We need to pray that the Lord will help us understand distractions and deal with distractions in a godly manner.
God is looking for his children to rise up and meet the great challenge of the hour and serve him with all our heart.
Question to Consider:
When is the last time we have wept over the condition of the church?
What are some areas in your life that you struggle with distractions the most?
Are you willing to take your stand and serve God without compromise?
PRAYER: Father, as this present world in which I live in is opposed to Your message and morals, help me to remain focused and faithful to fulfilling Your Great Commission. In Jesus name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.