This past weekend, we talked about how to overcome the “Sanballats and Tobiahs” in your life. These are the people who seek to hurt, harm, and wreck your God-given, God-driven dream.
These are the people who when you share, “I feel called to….” immediately say, “You? You can’t do that. You’re not ready. You’re not the right person.”
In Nehemiah 4, we saw how Sanballat and Tobiah attack Nehemiah’s person, purpose, and progress. And, ultimately, when that doesn’t work, they actually try to personally destroy him by sending an army to kill him.
The question is, how do you overcome people who attack you, seek to destroy your vision, and oppose you?
Well, what we learned from Nehemiah is to first pray.
Rather than wasting energy arguing with your enemies, take your hurts, anger, and emotions to God in prayer.
That’s exactly what Nehemiah does, and then he gets back to work on God’s vision. He doesn’t let his enemies suck up his time, energy, and emotions.
Next, Nehemiah knows that every great story has conflict in it, so he prepares for the future challenges.
He doesn’t expect God to save him from experiencing the conflict, instead, he expects that God will get him through it.
Nehemiah knows that all those who chase after making a difference in the world are not exempt from challenge, but rather will encounter it. So, he takes his responsibility seriously, and plans and prepares for the challenge, believing God will use him to get him through it.
Donald Miller writes: “Somehow we realize that stories are told in conflict, but we are unwilling to embrace the potential greatness of the story we are actually in. We think God is unjust, rather than a master story-teller.”
Nehemiah embraces the fact that God is “a master story-teller,” and begins to prepare for God to use him.
Lastly, Nehemiah trusts in God.
Once he has learned that his enemies are going to swoop down and kill him, he says to the people, “Remember the Lord.” (v. 14)
In this, he is trying to remind the people that God is in it with them. He is trying to remind them to trust in the God who gave them the vision in the first place, so He is the One who will ensure its completion.
So, how do you get past the opposition in your life?
It’s simple: Pray to God for faith in the difficulty, prepare for ways to push through the challenge, and remember that you can trust that God will get you there. That’s what He did with Nehemiah, and He wants to do the same with us!