Consistent and Firm-Your Response to Opposition
Neh. 4:7, 8 When Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.
The account of Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem reveals many Kingdom principles for today’s leaders. Nehemiah faced spiritual opposition from neighboring pagan groups who were against God’s plan of restoration. These groups were in spiritual agreement with demonic forces empowered by their idolatrous worship of false gods.
Today’s leaders will face opposition to bringing God’s plan for individuals, churches and ministries to fulfillment. We do not fight against flesh and blood, but we do fight. We must resist evil and continue with the work of God’s plan. One key principle for succeeding with God’s plan is found in how Nehemiah responded to opposition. Each time Sanballat and allies devised a plan to undermine Nehemiah’s work; Nehemiah had a consistent and firm response.
Nehemiah’s first response to news that Sanballat was opposing God’s plan was, “The God of heaven will give us success……..you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.” Neh. 2:20
Nehemiah’s words to his Jewish brothers as they considered the opposition were, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your homes.” Neh. 4:14
Sanballat sent a nice sounding message, but Nehemiah discerned the motives saying, “But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply; ‘I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?’” Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer. Neh. 6:3, 4
When Sanballat devised a lie about Nehemiah’s motives for rebuilding the wall, Nehemiah responded with “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.” Neh. 6:8
When all external attempts to get Nehemiah off track failed, the opposition arose internally among his people. A prominent man in the priesthood, Shemaiah, was used in an attempt to manipulate Nehemiah into hiding. Nehemiah replied by saying “Should a man like me run away? Or should one like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!” Neh. 6:11
A key reason for success in repairing the walls was Nehemiah’s response to opposition. No matter the form of opposition, the tactics of the enemy, or the subtlety of manipulation he chose a consistent and firm response. He refused to withdraw. He refused to be manipulated by strategies of the enemy, even when they came from within!
You may be encountering opposition to God’s plan in your personal life or ministry. I encourage you to be the Nehemiah of today! Be consistent and firm in declaring God’s victory and your resistance to every attempt by spiritual opposition to what God has called you to accomplish. Let every attempt by the enemy to get you off track be met with the same powerful response!! “I will not!”