Summary: How to deal with distractions from God’s purposes
Dealing with Distraction
RSVP Your Regrets to Your Distracters
Refuse the Rumors of Your Distracters
Receive the Strength of the Holy Spirit
Resist Advice Contrary to the Word
How many of you have ever started a home improvement project?
It takes a lot of work and energy to get going on a project.
How many of you have unfinished home improvement projects still around?
While it takes a lot of work and energy to start a project, it takes a lot more work and energy to actually finish the job.
Why is that? It is because other things come up that take our attention.
We get distracted.
And if we are not careful, the same thing can happen
in the church and
in our life,
Because it is much easier to begin a project or change in the church or in our life, than to see it through to completion. Because that requires that we continually maintain our focus,
and learn to deal with distractions.
We have been studying Nehemiah and seeing him begin this great project that the Lord had laid on his heart to
build the wall of Jerusalem to
remove the disgrace from the people of Israel.
We have seen that if we want to receive a vision to do great things for the Lord, it requires us to be faithful with the smaller things that God has us doing now.
We talked about how we should respond to the vision.
We spoke last week about realizing the vision by facing the challenges of leadership.
This week we are going to continue to talk about how to realize the vision by Dealing with Distractions.
Satan does not want things accomplished for the Lord.
He is going to put all kinds of obstacles in our way. We saw some of those last week
When those obstacles and challenges don’t knock us off course, he is going to try and distract us personally.
We need to be aware of ways he may try to distract us and know what we can do about it.
This applies to all areas of our life. In what ever we are doing.
When we are striving to just live our life for the Lord and do the things He wants us to do, we are going to face distractions to get us off track.
Maybe you are facing some of these right now.
Maybe in your personal life
Maybe you are being distracted by all the activities in your life
Maybe in your devotional life
Maybe you are being distracted from spending time with the Lord
Maybe in church
Maybe you are trying to be distracted from serving and being part of the church. You may already be a member but Satan is trying to get you to be unuseful.
Maybe in your marriage.
Maybe he is trying to distract you from being a godly husband or wife.
Believe me, Satan is cunning and his distractions will sound reasonable to us. But how should we respond and how can we prepare?
We are going to be reading in Nehemiah 6 today. (p. 345). We are going to see some of the distractions he faced and learn for our lives how he dealt with them so that we can deal with them.
1 When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it-though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates- 2 Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: "Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono."
But they were scheming to harm me; 3 so I sent messengers to them with this reply: "I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?" 4 Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.
A little background up to this point.
Nehemiah had overcome many of the challenges of leadership. His enemies were not able to defeat him by discouraging the people, so now they sought to distract Nehemiah. They said come and let us meet together.
They were giving the appearance of civility.
Well, since we are going to be neighbors, let’s meet together and seek to get along, you and your people and me and my people.
Nehemiah was still in the process of building the wall and knew from experience that Sanballat and Tobiah were not trustworthy.
So He sent his regrets, “Sorry, I am busy and can’t make it.” And that is what we need to do
You need to