Monday, September 21, 2009

Nehemiah 6 and oppossition

Nehemiah 6:14,19 Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, according to these things that they did, and also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who wanted to make me afraid. . . . Also they spoke of his good deeds in my presence and reported my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to make me afraid.

Whenever a leader faces opposition in making progress, they will have enemies from within and enemies from without.  Those who are in the community of faith and those outside the community of faith that will seek to bring them down.  Here, Tobiah and Sanballat are from without and Shemaiah (v. 10) and a number of prophets are from within.  Both groups are trying to intimidate him into quiting his call to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem.  Fear arises when we are not certain of the outcome and expect the worst or at the least unfavorable results.  In this way Nehemiah's enemies were seeking to intimidate him into quiting.  They were attempting to convince his mind that God was not with him and would not help them to finish the rebuilding - walk in unbelief.
Yet God promises that he did not give us a spirit of fear but of power and love and self control (2 Tim 1:7).  We are not to walk in fear because God’s Spirit in us is a Spirit of boldness not cowardliness.  There was a time last year when I was questioning my call to CCC.  After my resolve I got an anonymous email that did not have a return address nor could I trace with the words, “Quit!”  Was it a fluke or by evil design to intimidate me, question God, and my ability to hear the voice of God?  I think the latter!  Evil was trying to intimidate me to cower and walk in fear and insecurity rather than allowing God's spirit to spirit rise up in boldness and in the confidence of him who called me!

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