Have you ever been doing something you felt God called you to do and experienced opposition? Nehemiah knows what it feels like. He felt called by God to return to Jerusalem from exile and rebuild the wall around it. He went to King Artaxerxes and received his blessing to go and do as he desired.
Almost from the moment he arrived in Jerusalem, he had opposition coming at him trying to avert his efforts. He, and those who went with him, finally finished the wall. All they had left to do was hang the gates and Sanballat and Tobias came at him again, trying to distract him and lure him away from his task. His response is recorded in Nehemiah 6:3: “I am doing a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave and go down for you?” I love it! Nehemiah refuses to be distracted by the enemy.
When the enemy’s tactics didn’t work, they regrouped and tried to sow seeds of fear in Nehemiah and the people. Nehemiah’s response to fear was simple…prayer. Immediately after the enemies spoke fear into the situation, Nehemiah went to the Lord in prayer addressing the very thing his enemies presented [Nehemiah 6:9]. Just six verses later you read the wall was completed and it was completed in record time.
Can you relate to Nehemiah? I can. As some of you know, I’ve been working on a book about the human sex trafficking of minors in Atlanta for over a year. The book is written and now I’m down to the final editing stages before it is submitted to publishers. The enemy has tried to throw every distraction imaginable in my path and I have clung to Nehemiah 6:3 declaring “I’m doing a great project and I cannot go down.” As I am in the last days of the project before submission, I’ve seen him try to plant seeds of fear and I have followed Nehemiah’s example and run to the Lord in prayer the instant those seeds try to take root. John 15:1 calls the Father the Gardener and if there’s one thing a gardener doesn’t like is weeds. He’ll pull them out by the roots. The Lord has done the same thing with the fear the enemy has attempted to plant in my heart.
What has God recently called you to do? Are you meeting opposition? Don’t lose sight of your project. Paul encourages us in Philippians 3:12-14 to “press on toward the goal.” If we will follow Nehemiah’s example, we will see God move in us and through us and we too will do things beyond our abilities [Nehemiah 6:15]. God desires to see you succeed in the task He has given you and He is right by your side every step of the way.