Great endeavors involve even greater risk…it’s easy to forget this reality! But it’s so important any time we’re looking to make BIG changes in any area of our lives, especially spiritually. As soon as Nehemiah began his work of restoration in Jerusalem, the opposition started. But great leaders respond to opposition with even greater resolve! What would it take for us to lead our lives with passion and resolve like Nehemiah?
1. It takes everyone to be strong.
- People think life is an individual sport, but it’s actually a team sport. God has made us as individuals and we have unique strengths and giftings. But at the same time, He has made us dependent on each other…we were designed to do life as a team.
- As Christians we are many members of the body, but one body in Christ Jesus. (1 Corinthians 12:12)
God wants to help us spread out the weight of the things we face. We don’t have to bear the burden by ourselves.
When our culture we live in is so individualistic, what would it look like for believers like you and me to be more practically invested in the lives of others, and to let others invest in us?
2. Expect opposition.
- Throughout Scripture we learn that no substantial work of God happens without some kind of pushback.
God has a plan for each of us, and we should go into everything expecting their pushback on that plan.
- If you go into following Jesus thinking that it’s going to be easy, whenever there is opposition you will get bummed out.
- For the work of God to go on, we can’t stop…especially in the face of opposition.
What are the things in your life that God has asked you to do and you are seeing opposition? What are the hurdles you are facing?
3. Your strategy determines your outcome.
- Nehemiah trusted God and built the wall, but he had a plan for how they were going to do it.
- We can’t focus on the outcome, we need to focus on the steps that will get us to the outcome.
- So much of life is knowing what God wants to do, and stepping into that work with a strategy.
- The life that God has for you is the result of daily decisions you make and steps you take to help you get there.
What is your strategy to get past the hurdles of opposition to God’s work in your life and be fully engaged in the work God has for you? Whatever your strategy is to engage with God’s kingdom – what steps are you taking to get you to where you want to be … and the Lord wants you to be?
Optional Follow-up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- How do you feel about that?
- How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
- Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
- What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
- Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?