Summary: This two part message from the series Lessons in Leadership examines how the Christian is to deal with the attacks from outside the Body of Christ.
LESSONS IN LEADERSHIP – PART SIX
“BLUEPRINT FOR THE BATTLES” 1 OF 2
NEHEMIAH 4:1-6 ● ©Larry L. Thompson (2003)
“When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews,  and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, "What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble--burned as they are?"  Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, "What they are building--if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!"  Hear us, O our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity.  Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders.  So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.”
We are in a period right now as a church where we will have the opportunity to answer the call of God. To follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before us and take up the baton of vision, sacrifice and commitment as we invest in not only the future of our fellowship but as we rebuild the walls of His glory and recapture the imagination of South Florida lifting high the Cross of Christ with full understanding of His promise, “IF I BE LIFTED UP I WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME.”
Our campus development team has been diligently working for over two years to prepare us for this coming day. The day is coming in which the trumpet of God shall sound in all of our lives and we will be called to the challenge and the work of God. We will be called to join our hearts, our hands and our very lives as we submit to God and ask Him to use us to make HIS mark on this generation.
It will be an exciting time, a challenging time and for many a first time to see God use you and to realize what can happen when God’s people have a mind to do His work, His way. However, today we will learn an absolutely essential principle that must be received before we enter into this time together. We will discover today that in every great movement of God among His people there will be an opposition that will attempt to stop that Sovereign work.
However, attacks are not simply isolated to ministry. Every profession has them, every person has to deal with them, and certainly any LEADER will face the attacks as they exercise their leadership…either leading a family, an organization, a business and even in ministry. One thing is certain…if you are a leader, there will be battles so you better have a blueprint for the opposition and the blueprint better be biblical if you ever hope to be an overcomer instead of one who was overcome.
I. THE IDENTITY THE ATTACKER (verse 1)
“When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews”
A. THOSE THREATENED BY ANOTHER’S SUCCESS
This is a key principle in this story as it relates to every great work of God. There will always be opposition because there are always those who stand to lose position or power or prestige when God begins to work in the lives of others. Examine:
“When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about this, they were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites.”
Sanballat was a Hornite and came from Beth Horon, 8 miles NW of Jerusalem. He was Governor of that community and obviously wanted to include Jerusalem within his domain. In our society very few people are altruistic. They are out for themselves and when another moves forward others will do all they can if they believe it will diminish their own position.
B. THOSE JEALOUS OF ANOTHER’S WORK
Sometimes opposition will come against a leader not because of a real threat but simply because of jealousy. It is the oldest trick in the book that when one person is praised because of their work or heart others will through jealousy do what that can to criticize and cause disharmony to take the attention away from the success. (Neh. 2:10)
C. THOSE WITH DIFFERENT AGENDAS
We see this so often in a post-Christian America. A group in Orlando sued the city to remove a manger scene from the public property even though the manger had occupied that spot for years each Christmas. Was the manger a personal threat to the civil liberties group? Of course not. Any display of religion in a public place is their agenda and so goes the reason for opposition. We must be prepared as we launch forward with the rebuilding of our walls at First Baptist and know there will be those who have different agendas than ours and we will face opposition.