Scripture: Nehemiah 4:6-9
So we built the wall and the whole wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work. Now when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repair of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches began to be closed, they were very angry. All of them conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause a disturbance in it. But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night.
Insights: Notice with me verse nine in light of yesterday’s Thoughts by Scott. Opposition intensified and an equally intense response was needed. So, what did Nehemiah do? He went back to his faith arsenal and us his favorite weapon: PRAYER! He prayed to the Lord and God gave him a practical response to the problem, set up a guard. God is the God of miracles, but often times He is the God of practicality as well. He did not tell Nehemiah to do a grand thing for Him. He told him to set up a guard. So often we want God to swoop in and rescue us and are not willing to do the simple things He asks of us. This truth reminds me of the story of Naaman and Elisha in 2 Kings chapter 5. I would encourage you to read the story. Naaman was willing to do the great thing, but not just bath in the river; fortunately, he was convinced to do so. Let me close this week with a quote from a speech by Theodore Roosevelt which he gave to the Hamilton Club in Chicago on April 10, 1899. Every time I think of persistence, I think of this speech. It went like this: “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually try to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
- What practical action is God calling you to make concerning your present opposition?
- Are you ultimately trusting in God or yourselves regarding your situation?
Prayer: Father, let me enter the arena and dare great things for You. I want my life to be a testimony to You. Amen.