"I'm doing a great work. I can't come down." by Pastor Kent Munsey
January 20, 2019
"I am doing a great work. I can't come down." - Nehemiah 6:3 (MSG)
In Nehemiah 3 God mobilized people and money to rebuild the wall and re-establish his people.
In chapters 5-6 we see Nehemiah facing opposition as he is doing God’s work. Whenever we begin to build the life that God has for us, we are going to face opposition.
Opposition does not always represent that we are heading in the wrong direction; in fact it is often an indicator that we are headed in the right direction. The Bible says we have to be aware of the enemy’s devices. However, we can't respond the same way to every opposition.
From Nehemiah we can learn how to respond to two different types of opposition that will come at us when we are doing God’s work.
1. When facing discouragement from within, speak to it.
One of the strategies of Satan is to get us down in discouragement. He wants to bring us down. In Nehemiah 4, the ones who were doing the work of building the wall were becoming tired and losing their confidence. They were distressed over conflict that had been ongoing within their own people.
There is real opposition that we will face when we begin to do God’s work. Sometimes we just need to ignore it and sometimes we need to speak to it. The greatest enemies are not on the outside but the ones that we let in. Our enemy uses real fears, issues and challenges to get us down, to get us discouraged.
When faced with this internal opposition, Nehemiah rallied everyone, and he spoke to the discouragement. We've got to speak to the voices of discouragement in our life--whether internal fears and anxieties or the voices of close family or friends.
2. Remember the Lord.
In Nehemiah 4:14, he says, “Remember the Lord for he is great and glorious!” He spoke to the discouragement by rallying the people in a specific place around this principle. The principle is that the Lord is great and glorious. On Sundays, we gather to remember this same principle.
When fear, anxiety, and opposing voices show up in your life, remember the Lord and that he is with you, and he is faithful to finish the work that he has started. You have to speak to your discouragement. Discouragement was meant to bring you down, but the only way it can is if you ignore it. You've got to speak to it and rally to remember--our God is great and awesome.
Nehemiah also had to deal with the opposition of distraction from without. In Nehemiah 6 there are distracting voices. They continuously invited him to come down to the valley of Ono. This is where a small group of people with small opinions were angry about what he was doing.
The discouragement that came from within was worthy to be addressed. It's important to encourage ourselves, let others encourage us, and let God encourage us when we are discouraged.
3. Ignore the voices of distraction.
Other times when we face outside opinions of people who don't approve of what we're doing, it's just the devil trying to distract us, and it's not worthy of our time or attention. There were lies and rumors to try to discredit and distract Nehemiah.
There are voices that you need to speak to by remembering God. You speak to those voices and relationships that you have allowed in. When it comes to the external voices, don't come down.
4. Don’t come down.
When you're doing a great work, your discipline has got to be greater than the distraction.
We don't have time to defend myself against every rumor and attack because we are doing a great work.
Don't come down. Stay in that marriage, stay in school, stay at that job. We’ve got to fight for the assignment that God has given us.
What is the great work that God has called you to do in this season (school, your job, your marriage, etc.)?
What are some examples of internal opposition that you have faced or are currently facing in regard to this work?
How can you encourage yourself, or allow God or others to encourage you when you’re feeling weary or discouraged?
What are some examples of external opposition that you have faced or are currently facing in regard to the work you’re doing for God?
How should you respond to these external voices of distraction or opposition?