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.” Nehemiah 6:9
While Nehemiah served as a cupbearer for a king, he was informed that his home, hundreds of miles away in Jerusalem, had been destroyed. The walls that protected the city were demolished and the gates had been burned down. Immediately, Nehemiah wept, prayed, and fasted before God. A burden for his people weighed on him, and he was granted favor with God to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem. The king released him to return back home, and he provided Nehemiah with an army of protection and other resources for the journey. Nehemiah left the comfort of the palace to fulfill a mission God placed on his heart. What I love about this story is God’s favor and provision over Nehemiah. In Jerusalem, Nehemiah recruited other men with a shared vision to help him rebuild. God gives him strategy and a team to restore the wall and protect the city.
When God calls us to fulfill a purpose, He will provide everything we need to complete it.
Now, we all know that we have an adversary who doesn’t like to see God’s plan unfold. The enemy will try to stop us when we decide to live on mission, and we see that all throughout the book of Nehemiah. Three men, Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem, repeatedly try to interfere with the rebuilding of the wall. The used countless tactics to get him to come down from the wall. They mocked him, circulated slander, conspired to kill him, and other unrighteous ploys to distract him. But Nehemiah was a righteous man who knew God and obeyed His word. He knew God’s plan was a plan that could not be ignored nor abandoned.
Throughout all of the attacks the enemy threw at Nehemiah, God gave him discernment, wisdom, and strength to withstand and fight against their schemes. Nehemiah did not lose focus of his mission despite the fiery darts that tried to take him out. The hurtful words and deception of Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem did not prevail, and the wall was rebuilt! Don’t let the enemy stop you from completing your mission!
If you notice in the reading, Nehemiah never stopped what he was doing to correct or challenge what people were saying about him -- even when they were lying. He stayed focused. He didn’t write a passive aggressive post on Facebook, go moan and complain to a friend, or blast Taylor Swift’s song “Haters Gonna Hate” while secretly plotting his revenge. He was not frightened or anxious. He stayed the course. He drew near to God and prayed for strength. He unceasingly labored and gave his everything to something bigger than himself. In the end, the enemy was defeated.
The next time someone tries to pull you down will you respond by asking God for strength to continue the mission or will you react emotionally and take matters into your own hands?
I pray your eyes are open to the enemy’s attempt to keep you from what God has called you to do! May your heart be fully submitted and yielded to God’s will. He will use you to accomplish His great works. You are needed, my friend. You are not discredited from the divine assignment no matter what your friends or family tell you. When you face opposition, I urge you to stay posted on the wall. Do the work God’s called you to do!
What burden has God placed on your heart to fix, resolve, or restore?
Who or what is attempting to keep you from building? (i.e. Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem)
What lies are you believing about your calling?
Ashley K. Stovall
Originally Published: 2/24/20