Commitment: How to Beat Your Problems

One of the great teats of leadership is how you handle opposition. Nehemiah faced the usual tactics of the opposition: ridicule (Neh 4:1-3), resistance (4:7-8); and rumour (4:11-12). Nehemiah modeled the right response to all three of these challenges. He…

  1. Relied on God (4:4-5)
  2. Respected the opposition (4:9)
  3. Reinforced his weak points (4:13)
  4. Reassured the people (4:14)
  5. Refused to quit (4:15)
  6. Renewed the people’s strength continually (4:16-23).

While Nehemiah 4 concerns problems from without, chapter 5 deals with problems from within – disputes about food, property and taxes.

Persistence is the ultimate gauge of our Christian life; the secret is to outlast our critics. Nehemiah tauht us this lesson by staying committed to his ultimate calling

Adapted from John Maxwell’s Leadership bible (p.600)
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Defend Your Walls Against the Enemy

You would have already started to build back your walls; the walls of your soul. These are the walls which would have been broken down by sin and caused the enemy to come into your life with his depression, addiction, resentment, hatred, envy, low self esteem or any of his other negative qualities. These are the walls of your soul, through which seeking the face of God through prayer, and seeking the help of soul builders around you, God has helped you to start to rebuild your wall.

The rebuilding of this wall will begin with your changed attitudes, you will begin to focus more on God, focus more on reading the word of God and hearing what He has to say to you as His child and what He expects of you in order to live a holy and righteous life just as His. We have been made in the image of God as outlined in the book of Genesis.

What God outlines in Nehemiah 4-6 is that there will be times when you will encounter people (being used by the enemy) to pull you down back down. They will insult you, and try to make you think that you are not worth it but remember that God who is mighty and greater than he who is in the world, is in the process of rebuilding your life and changing your character. Some people around you will NOT forget where you were before and will try to pull you down by constantly highlighting your sins from the past. But just as Nehemiah did, press on. Seek a change in your life. For the devil only comes around to destroy us since he hates us so much, but God who said he gave His son to die for us so that we may have everlasting life, loves us dearly.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Here’s the thing which God wants you to know: YOU ARE FORGIVEN AND THROUGH THE BLOOD OF JESUS YOU HAVE BEEN SANCTIFIED. GOD REMEBERS YOUR PAST NO LONGER AND WANTS TO WORK WITH YOU TO CONTINUE REBUILDING YOUR WALLS SO THAT THE ENEMY CANNOT GET BACK IN NOR CAUSE THEM YO BE WEAK NOR BREAK THEN DOWN.

In Nehemiah 4 we encounter Sanballat who was the distracter being used by the enemy. When he heard that the walls of the city were being rebuilt, he sought to stop the work, by mocking, insulting and ridiculing the Jews. As a response to this behaviour, the man of God Nehemiah sought God’s face again. He prayed to God for his strength and for him to cause these mockers’ sin to fall upon their own head. Knowing God as the Protector, they continued to build; however, as the wall continued to go up, Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonities and the Ashodites became even more angered and sought to attack the Jews in order to kill them so that the work may be stopped.

Here’s what Nehemiah did:

Nehemiah 4:9

9Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.

Again Nehemiah sought God in prayer and through his trust in God’s power, strength and wisdom placed guards to keep watch day and night to prevent the enemy and his people from attacking them and their efforts to destroy the walls again. Just as Nehemiah did, we as Christians must do. Continue to seek God and His guidance in prayer, prayer for strength and ask God for his assistance in helping us fight our past habits, issues, addictions and emotions while focusing on rebuilding what the devil’s devices destroyed in the past.

THERE WILL BE DISTRACTIONS IN YOUR CHRISTIAN JOURNEY BUT GOD IS THE ANSWER.

Here are Nehemiah’s words of confidence:

Nehemiah 4:14-15

14And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the LORD, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.

The result:

15And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.

The work on the wall continued, but the wise man, Nehemiah kept the guards with spears and swords around the walls day and night, while the rest of the men continued to work. The ones who worked also had a weapon in one hand, while working with the other.

Wasn’t this a superb strategy of looking out for the protection of the rebuilding process?

Your goal in rebuilding the walls of your soul against the enement and keeping the enemy out is to always be guarded with your sword at all times while pressing forward. This is not the same type of sword which Nehemiah used, but THE WORD OF GOD which will cut down the enemy in the same way.

The Sword of the Spirit forms part of your armour which God gives you to protct you against the wiles of the enemy. This is confirmed in Ephesians 6:11-18 as follows:

11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

In all that is said John Maxwell in The Maxwell Leadership Bible (p.599) indicates that there are four valuable lessons which we need to learn from Nehemiah and these are:

  1. Expect distractions
  2. Don’t give them the time of day
  3. Trust God to protect you and your reputation
  4. Keep your hands to the plow and don’t look back