Pastor David Lawson

It’s been quite the journey through Nehemiah the past week as we have been discovering what it looks like to be a pioneer! If you haven’t been with us, check out the series of posts on pioneering here. God has something new in front of us as we enter 2018 and we’re excited to go after it with all of you! Don’t forget that God accomplishes great things through a pioneering spirit. Here is the last characteristic of men/women with a pioneering spirit. A pioneer…

Faces opposition from the enemy.

Nehemiah’s work wasn’t easy. He found opposition at every turn. There was opposition from enemies outside of Jerusalem. There was opposition inside the walls of Jerusalem – within the ranks of the people and the leaders themselves. There were spies among the people. Nehemiah faced opposition from every side. He was mocked, criticized, and betrayed. Yet, each time, he met it with unquenchable faith and relentless hard work.

In the midst of raucous laughter and sharp criticism, one quiet confident voice could be heard – the voice of Nehemiah – praying. Throughout the book of Nehemiah, we see this strong, humble, ambitious leader praying no less than 11 times in 13 chapters. In the face of opposition, Nehemiah chose not to engage in argument or debate with his enemies, but to lay the whole matter out before the Lord. Nehemiah simply prayed for a solution.

But not just faith, but hard work, too. In Nehemiah 4, Nehemiah observed that progress on the wall was being made because

… the people worked with all their heart. – Nehemiah 4:6

At one time, because of threats from surrounding nations, the people did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other.

Friends, fellow pioneers, the Bible tells us that the Enemy prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He does not want our ministry of the gospel to expand. The Evil One will try to discourage you, he will try to lull you into complacency, he will try to rob you of your zeal.

Don’t let him do it. Greater is the One who is in us than the one who is in the world. It is the Lord who brings the increase. Serve with all the gifting and energy the Lord has given you by His grace, because he has given them to you for that very purpose.

Jesus has promised that the gates of Hades will not overcome the church. And Jesus has made it clear that He wants to use you and your gifts and your abilities and your time and your resources to build His church. Let’s stare down the opposition in the name of the Lord. Let’s pray as if everything depends on God. Let’s work as if everything depends on us. And let’s invite because everything depends on grace.

Let’s allow God to do something new this year and to be ready to serve and work alongside him!

Reflection Questions:

Do you feel opposition as you continue to do what the Lord has called you to?
What do you turn to when you are being criticized in your calling?
What opposition do you anticipate as we launch this new worship venue?
Write out a simple prayer to God with your concerns and turn them over to Him.