THE OPPOSITION. NEHEMIAH 4:1-3 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
THE OPPOSITIONAs we continue to look at the vision God has communicated to us for the upcoming year, we want to continue to look at the book of Nehemiah. We learned last week how Nehemiah is a picture of Jesus Christ. Like Jesus, Nehemiah left the comfort of the palace and answered the call of serving us with his life. Like Nehemiah, Jesus has rebuilt the walls of our lives, so we can know His glory and security in our lives. Today we want to discuss the opposition Nehemiah faced. In so doing, we will see how it parallels the opposition Jesus faced, and the opposition we face as we desire to do Gods will.Lets look at Nehemiah 4:1-3
1NEHEMIAH 4:1-31 Now it came about that when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and very angry and mocked the Jews. 2 He spoke in the presence of his brothers and the wealthy men of Samaria and said, What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble even the burned ones? 3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was near him and he said, Even what they are buildingif a fox should jump on it, he would break their stone wall down!Please understand, the opposition we face, is coming from the enemy. We like to put faces and names on our problems and opposition, but the Bible says, Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. The enemy uses the same tactics on Nehemiah on us. Take a look. The first tactic used is found in the verses we just read.
2DERISIONDerision is defined as mocking or scorn. It means to ridicule. To put someone down, and dismiss them. Nehemiah, when trying to do a work for the Lord, faced derision. In verse one we read Sanballat heard they were rebuilding. When he heard they were rebuilding the wall, he became angered and upset. Sanballats name means, Hatred in secret.
Please understand there are many people who will tolerate just about anything except you doing something of significance. People often, in secret, become envious and jealous and it will become manifested in their mocking, belittling; in their derision of you. There are many people, when they hear of two churches coming together, will quickly jump on dismissing it, and saying it will never work. They will ridicule, and often it is out of jealousy and envy.
In your own life, when you begin to communicate a dream and desire for your life, many will begin to deride you, and speak negative things over your life. Look at the life of Christ. The religious people actually called Jesus the devil. How sad that they would claim to be looking for the Messiah, the promised one, and miss Him so badly, they would mistake Him for the devil. They were filled with envy, jealousy and hatred. It is recorded in the Bible, many believed Jesus to be the Son of God, but they wanted the approval of man more than the approval of God. Let this never be said of us.
Another tactic of the enemy was not just derision but.
3DISCOURAGEMENTLook at Nehemiah 4:10 4NEHEMIAH 4:1010 Thus in Judah it was said, The strength of the burden bearers is failing, Yet there is much rubbish; And we ourselves are unable To rebuild the wall.The heart of the people began to experience discouragement. Their strength began to fail. They saw the rubbish and trash rather than the potential. Often in our lives, when we set out to do something of significance, people will mock and doubt us, and we begin to see the obstacles instead of the opportunities. Maybe today you are feeling overwhelmed. Maybe you are seeing a lot of rubbish and ruin in your life.
Please hold on. God has destined us for success in and through Jesus. Dont give up.
Understand the enemy is the one who brings derision, discouragement and also.
5DANGERNehemiah 4:116NEHEMIAH 4:1111 Our enemies said, They will not know or see until we come among them, kill them and put a stop to the work.The enemies then and the enemies we face today are out to destroy. Jesus said in John 10:10 the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. That is the job description of the enemy in each of our lives. As it was in the day of Nehemiah, so it is today. If you are experiencing these things in your life, know it is the enemy. But be of good cheer, for the job description of Jesus is also in that verse in John 10. Jesus said, I have come to give life, and have it abundantly. We may be facing adversity, but Jesus is speaking life over us in abundance.
Hold firm to the hope we have in Jesus, no matter the derision, discouragement, danger and fourthly
7DISCORDNehemiah 5:1.8NEHEMIAH 5:1Now there was a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish brothers.The people began to be in discord as they looked at the work ahead of them and began to question why they had invested in such a work. Let me tell you folks, this happens today, often in churches. Lets check out this video.9NEHEMIAH 5:1Now there was a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish brothers.Let me tell you folks, this happens today, often in churches. Folks start off with excitement and then realize how difficult growth can be and how uncomfortable it can become. The people experience derision, discouragement, danger and all of a sudden, here comes discord. People get in their groups and begin to speak out against each other. How sad, but it is interesting to note how Nehemiah dealt with it, and how we should deal with it. Nehemiah first..
10HE FACED IT HE FOUGHT ITHE FIXED IT
He Faced it. He recognized what he was dealing with. He didnt deny the problem. But as he faced it
He fought it. He came up against it. It is important in our lives, as we set out to do what God lays on our hearts, that we stay steadfast to the vision and call. Face the discord and fight against it. Do not tolerate nonsense. And then Nehemiah
He fixed it. Nehemiah fixed the problem by dealing with it head on and relying on the strength and word of God. Let us follow the same example as we look to Jesus and make Him the focus of all we do.
Nehemiah also had to deal with
11DISTRACTIONNehemiah 6.12NEHEMIAH 6:1-31 Now when it was reported to Sanballat, Tobiah, to Geshem the Arab and to the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall, and that no breach remained in it, although at that time I had not set up the doors in the gates, 2 then Sanballat and Geshem sent a message to me, saying, Come, let us meet together at Chephirim in the plain of Ono. But they were planning to harm me. 3 So I sent messengers to them, saying, I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?Trust me, just like Nehemiah, as he set out to do a great work faced distraction, so will we. As folks see the glory of God, and His favor in your life, they will try to pull you away. Often they will use good things to pull you away from Gods best. Let your response be the same as Nehemiahs; I am doing a great work for the Lord, and I cannot come down to you. Dont come down to other peoples levels. See and believe what God speaks over you and how He sees you. See yourself as more than and not less than. Rise up into His glory and begin what it is God is laying on your heart. Get plugged into His work. Start building up what has been torn down. This is the year of increase in your life and in the life of the ministry!
Illustration: I heard the story of a farmer who found a wounded eagle. He set out to fix the eagles broken wing. In so doing, he placed the eagle in with his chickens.(Illust. Cont on the next slide)
Every day the farmer would come out and feed his chickens and out would come the wounded eagle. Before too long, the eagle began to behave the chickens. It started to walk like a chicken, talk like a chicken and eat like a chicken. It appeared the eagle forgot who he was, and started to believe he was a chicken.
The farmer was so amazed he called his friend, who worked as a Ranger for the National Parks. He told his friend he had something amazing to show him. The ranger came over and to his astonishment, he witnessed the eagle that behaved, believed and had become a chicken. The ranger, while amazed, was saddened. He challenged his farmer friend to a bet. He wagered his friend, that if the eagle was brought away from the farm and chickens, and brought out to a clearing on a cliff, the eagle would remember who he was and would return to being what he was created for. They placed the bet and set the time and place to meet.
The day came for the eagle to decide who he would be. The farmer, the ranger and the eagle assembled on the cliff away from the farm and chickens. The sun was rising, and the air was crisp. The eagle at first looked bewildered and confused. The eagle looked around and saw other eagles flying. As the eagle witnessed the flight of his brothers, the farmer quickly threw chicken feed down and cried out, here chick chick, here chick chick. The eagle began to pick at the chicken feed, but suddenly a wind began to blow, and it caught the attention of the eagle. The eagle looked up and spread its wings. Almost, without effort, the breeze began to pick up the eagle. The eagle, with a mighty blast of strength, whipped his wing through the air and the eagle ascended into the heights, where it was meant to live. (Go to the next slide)14
All too often, we are like that eagle. We surround ourselves with people, who are content with chicken feed, while we have been created over thin