This week Scott wrapped up our Reset series by talking about the story of Nehemiah from the Old Testament. Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem to find that the remnant of Israel was living in the ruins of their defeat. He gathered them up, moved them to action, and rebuilt the city’s walls.
While Nehemiah was overseeing reconstruction of Jerusalem’s wall, there were men who tried to frustrate his efforts. Nehemiah’s enemies were driven by their own fear and jealousy. They were afraid of what the Israelites might do if they rebuilt their city. They were jealous that a great work was being done without their influence, involvement or permission. Read Nehemiah 6:1-9, and note how Nehemiah responds to their tactics.
When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it—though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates— Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.”
But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.
Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter in which was written:
“It is reported among the nations—and Geshem says it is true—that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king and have even appointed prophets to make this proclamation about you in Jerusalem: ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now this report will get back to the king; so come, let us meet together.”
I sent him this reply: “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.”
They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”
But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”
Have you experienced a time in your life when you became content to live in the ruins of your failure, with no hope of things getting any better?
What tactics did Nehemiah’s enemies use to try to discourage him?
What was Nehemiah’s response when they tried to draw him away from his work?
What was Nehemiah’s response when they lied about him?
Scott said that any time we attempt to do something great, there will be some form of opposition. Have you ever had somebody oppose something you were trying to accomplish?
Have you ever allowed others to lure you away from what is important?
Nehemiah directly calls out his enemies’ lies. Is this something that we typically do today?
Do you presently face any form of opposition? What keeps you from living your best and following Jesus to the best of your ability? What needs to be done to deal with these oppositions?
PRAY FOR YOUR GROUP
Pray that we will have faith and boldness to confront the things that keep us from doing what God wants us to do.
PRAY FOR FCC
Pray that as a church we will identify and deal with any barriers that hinder us from doing great things. Pray that we will focus on the work that God has given us, and that we will not be distracted by any enemy’s tactics.
PRAY FOR OUR GLOBAL PARTNERS
Praise God for the amazing impact of last week's FCC India Team as they returned home from their trip with FCC global partners, Mid-India Christian Mission. Pray for the 700 distinct people groups in our global partner's state alone who've never heard the name of Jesus before. Pray for more pastors and missionaries to be raised up and equipped to take the good news of Jesus to these groups.