Week six of the Live Bold series reveals that when we do a great work for God, we will face opposition. But with the right perspective, that opposition can actually create a divine determination that we may not have had otherwise. Nehemiah’s encounter with opposition teaches us four crucial truths we can apply in our own lives.
When we live for God’s purposes, we will have enemies.
In chapter 6, Sanballat works to distract Nehemiah yet again through a series of messages to get him to leave the work God has called him to do. We are reminded that when we’re doing a work for God, we are going to have opposition. However, what Nehemiah realized and what we can take from this is that although we have enemies that oppose us, they are powerless to defeat us.
The enemy’s motive in all opposition is to separate us from God’s purpose.
The enemy’s goal has always been separation. It’s why he comes between spouses, friendships, denominations of the church, etc. He knows that where there is separation, there is little to no effectiveness to accomplish a greater work. He separates us through a variety of tactics that we see mirrored in Nehemiah’s enemies.
We must turn distraction into greater determination.
One big tactic of the enemy is distraction. We see this happen in a variety of ways, but one of the most effective that the enemy (as well as Nehemiah’s enemies) uses is reminding us of our weakness. As Nehemiah did, we must recognize these attacks for what they really are. What the enemy thought would harm you can give you greater persistence. With God in the picture, there is power in your problems and in your pressure.
When we undergo attack, we defeat the enemy’s methods with boldness, discernment, and obedience.
Nehemiah responds to the final bout of opposition with boldness when he states in verse 11, “No, I won’t do it.” He’s able to respond in such a way because his ability to discern the messenger’s motives comes from a knowledge of who God truly is and what He actually says (v. 12). He also responds with obedience because he does not give in to fear, but stands firm in his resolve. We can mirror this in our own lives. We can firmly stand against the enemy because we can be confident in who God says we are. As a result, we don’t give in to sin and temptation, but rather rise above it into a place of obedience.
This passage in Nehemiah confirms that though our enemy roams around like a lion, he’s not the Lion. Because of this knowledge and the product of Jesus’ own divine determination in sticking with what God called Him to do on the cross, we can press on in our calling with that very same determination. View the Entire Sermon Video