If you think you are going to go forward in pursuing a dream, even a God ordained one and not face opposition, then you should ask Nehemiah. Nehemiah had won the favor of his boss, even to extent that he was given resources to re-build the wall in Jerusalem. He was given time off work, a letter giving him first class travel through enemy territories; he came intones beloved land and saw devastation and destruction throughout. Once surveying the land, he executed a plan. The plan was in full swing operation, with the cooperation of those who had been so disheartened that they had given up before Nehemiah came. What could possibly happen to keep this plan from going forth?
Nehemiah, like most of us, had not considered the work of the enemy of his soul. That enemy knows the things that will plague us the most. He knows how to get "under our skin" so to speak. And in the person of Sanballat the Moabite that is exactly what happened. The verbal torture began. Nehemiah and his motley crew were tormented and ridiculed. They were made to look foolish before an already disheartened people. To fan the flames, Tobiah the Ammonite joined in the mockery. He mocked their labor saying that it was so bad that even if a fox ran over the wall it would crumble. What was Nehemiah’s response:
Nehemiah: 4 Do You hear this? Are You paying attention, our True God? We are worse than nothing to these men. Turn their curses back on them. Plunder them. Pillage them until they are captives in a foreign land. 5 Do not cover over their wickedness or erase the reality of their sin before you—they have mocked You right in front of the men rebuilding the city for You.
6 We returned to building, focused and determined to work as one people. We stacked rock upon rock until one end of the wall met the other and it grew to half of its original height. Nehemiah 4:4-6 (The Voice)
Once again, Nehemiah did not give credence to those who persecuted him, instead he took his petition to the One who hired him. He went straight to the throne room of heaven and talked it out with his Father. Nehemiah understood something that we all need to understand; when the enemy comes after us, he is not after us really, he is after God. He wants to defile and defame HIs Name. So Nehemiah took his case to God and left it there and returned to doing what he had been commissioned to do. The result- he and his workers built the wall to half of its’ height.
There is no way that we are going to get through this life without opposition, and even more without persecution. Whether it is an internal struggle, or as in the case of Nehemiah an external one, it is sure as day breaks that we are going to have to fight the good fight of faith. Yet scripture admonishes us not to fight the opposition in front of us with fist or club, rather:
3 For though we walk in the world, we do not fight according to this world’s rules of warfare. 4 The weapons of the war we’re fighting are not of this world but are powered by God and effective at tearing down the strongholds erected against His truth. 5 We are demolishing arguments and ideas, every high-and-mighty philosophy that pits itself against the knowledge of the one true God. We are taking prisoners of every thought, every emotion, and subduing them into obedience to the Anointed One. 6 As soon as you choose obedience, we stand ready to punish every act of disobedience.2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (The Voice)