Bible Order: Proverbs 1–3
Chronological Order: Isaiah 9-12, 2 Chronicles 27
New Testament Only: Acts 12:20–13:12
Do Not Fear!
Boy I wish America could find a leader like Nehemiah. This guy did not brag on himself. He was honest and honorable and wasn’t afraid to tell the powers that be that they were crooks. While our politicians today point fingers at each other; blaming this guy, and that guy, and those guys for anything and everything that is, was, or will be wrong; Nehemiah gets things done. I was most impressed, however, with how Nehemiah was not cowed by the many attempts to frighten him into giving up.
His enemies wanted to kill him, but he was too wise for them. They sent prophets and even friends to encourage him to run and hide, but he was not moved. If Nehemiah were president today I don’t think he would be listening to the media or polls. He wouldn’t need to. When one has the kind of relationship with God that he had, you know what is right and needs to be done. It is always about the condition of your heart, and his was humbly submitted to God’s will. From that relationship Nehemiah was able to perceive the threats against him. He was able to side step the traps and reject fear. He was able to perform a mighty work with dazzling effectiveness and speed. Boy, could we use a Nehemiah today.
Actually guys, you and I are each supposed to be Nehemiahs. We are supposed to have the kind of relationship with God that he had. We are supposed to place ourselves humbly in the service of our Lord and Savior and accomplish mighty things in His name; not for our glory but for His. Do you know what mighty thing we are supposed to be doing in His name? We are to be building His kingdom. We are to be sharing the Gospel with this lost and dying world.
I’m afraid I have not lived up to this expectation. Unlike Nehemiah I have been intimidated by the words of the enemy. I have allowed the idea that sharing the Word of God with people is somehow judgmental, and bigoted, and intolerant, to dissuade me from doing the work I am called to do. I don’t like the idea of being viewed in such terms. I know those accusations are false and yet I am still intimidated. I don’t want people to think I am judgmental. I know that, but for the grace of God, I am as guilty as the next guy. I don’t want the sharing of the Gospel to be viewed as an intolerant act nor do I want my character impugned by such false accusations.
The answer to such false accusations is not to stop the work. The answer should be as Nehemiah’s.
Nehemiah 6:8-9 ESV
“Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say have been done, for you are inventing them out of your own mind.” For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands.”
Realize that those that are truly hateful and judgmental in their alleged dissemination of the Gospel are actually servants of the enemy. They labor in an effort to bring condemnation on the heads of God’s true servants. We must stand up and say “These people are charlatans and do not represent us. We have no part in them nor do we have any part in the false accusations you bring. You have made them up out or your own mind in a vile attempt to muzzle the children of God.” But the one thing we must never do is stop building the kingdom.
We must be wise as was Nehemiah. We must depend on God to guide our feet so we will side step the traps. We must stay focused and refuse to hide. We cannot allow our attention to be diverted toward defending ourselves; the enemy would love nothing more. Yes, we must stand up and call the lies what they are, but, as you see in today’s reading, Nehemiah simply swatted the allegations away and kept building; just as we must do.
I heard someone once say that we must not use Satan’s weapons to fight God’s battles. I’m sure they were quoting someone famous and I’ll be chagrined when one of you tells me who said it first; still, the saying is right on the money. God will fight the battles. We must simply show up and lay one brick on top of another. If we humble ourselves, obey, and follow His leading, the job will get done.
Have a fearless day brothers!
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!
(Originally posted 5/28/10)