Day 2 - Nehemiah 2:16-20

Opposition in following God's Calling

We experience opposition daily from minor things like the blare of an alarm clock to more serious situations like a sick family member. 

We’re not surprised by opposition. In fact, we’ve come to expect it. But what if we’re doing something God has called us to do? Shouldn’t we expect Him to remove all opposition? Actually, that’s not how it works. Check out what happened to Nehemiah as he began to build the wall of Jerusalem.

16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work. 17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” 18 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me. They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.

19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are 
doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?” 20 I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.”

Nehemiah was called by God for a great redemptive purpose -to rebuild the walls of the holy city of Jerusalem. Just because his calling had great value, didn’t mean there wouldn’t be people standing against him. God didn’t remove those standing against him, but he did give him people to stand with him. Just like God did with Nehemiah, he puts people in your life to stand with you through the opposition.

Who has God put by your side to accompany you through the opposition you receive in your pursuit of God’s Calling? Who do you need to stand by as they face opposition? How?

The book of Nehemiah proves again and again, the presence of opposition doesn’t mean we’re doing it wrong. Jesus himself warned his disciples and thus warns us that this would be true:

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (John 15:18-19).

We follow a holy God who calls us to be set apart from the world. That’s not always a popular stance. Nehemiah suspected that he would face this opposition and did two things. 

  1. He trusted that if God called him to it, God would bring him through it.
  2. He knew that his identity was rooted in being a servant of God.

It’s easy to allow opposition to distract us from God’s work. Like Nehemiah, we must trust that if we’re called, he’ll follow through and our identity is to serve Him.

What opposition do you sometimes face when trying to be obedient to God?  How can Nehemiah’s story give you courage and peace?

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