Summary: Renewed strength to serve the Lord!
INTRO: God has a unique plan for every single child of God. He passionately desires for us to know His good, pleasing, and perfect will. Though that is His intention, it is not automatic that every child of God is going to live in that will and be found faithful. The enemy will do all he can to make sure we lose heart and strength in God’s service. We must find renewed strength and courage to stay faithful to God in spite of opposition, discouragement, or even Satanic sidetracks. Nehemiah moved forward and so can we.
ILLUS: YOU PAY A PRICE FOR GETTING STRONGER. YOU PAY A PRICE FOR GETTING FASTER. YOU PAY A PRICE FOR JUMPING HIGHER. YOU PAY A PRICE FOR STAYING JUST THE SAME. —H. Jackson Brown, A Hero in Every Heart (Nelson, 1996)
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that renewed strength is found by pursuing godly wisdom and judgment as we do God’s will and stand against the continual attacks of the enemy. The wise believer will not give in to the tricky tactics of the enemy, but will stay true to the course God has laid out for him to follow.
I. STRENGTH FOR SPECIAL ASSIGNGMENTS
A. Dedication to God’s Plan Nehemiah 6:1
1. Looking at Nehemiah’s life and service is rewarding and faith inspiring because he is the classic picture of the underdog who overcomes!
2. Nehemiah was an exiled Jew whose job in life was serving as cupbearer to the Persian King, Artaxerses.
3. The odds of Nehemiah accomplishing God’s will seem stacked heavily against him.
4. The job seemed impossible and his enemies were extremely zealous in their attempts to pull him off course.
5. Nehemiah had received news that the walls of Jerusalem had not been rebuilt after his fellow Jews were taken into exile.
6. He knew that without strong walls, Jerusalem would be easy prey to attacks of their enemies and would be constantly defeated…so he asked God for favor and direction in beginning a rebuilding process.
7. God invites each of us into a lifestyle of special heavenly assignments.
8. Each assignment is special not so much because of the job, but because of the God who calls you to it!
9. Finding renewed strength for God’s great work requires diligent study of His Word with a will to follow His guidance.
ILLUS: I once came across seven rules for spiritual growth: 1. Daily Food. Take in the “pure milk of the word” through study and meditation. 2. Fresh Air. Pray often or you will faint. Prayer is the oxygen of the soul. 3. Regular Exercise. Put into practice what you learn in God’s Word. 4. Adequate Rest. Rely on God at all times in simple faith. 5. Clean Surroundings. Avoid evil company and whatever will weaken you spiritually. 6. Loving Care. Be part of a church where you will benefit from a pastor’s teaching and Christian fellowship. 7. Periodic Checkups. Regularly examine your spiritual health. K. Trivette, “Growing Church Members”
B. Dedication to God in Prayer Nehemiah 6:9, 14
1. Throughout Nehemiah’s life, we find a consistent life of prayer and the Word of God continually calls us to pray and seek God’s face.
a. We are only kidding ourselves if we think we can move on farther without first going lower to our knees in prayer!
b. Nehemiah prayed for himself, God’s work, God’s people, even his personal enemies!
2. Perhaps our greatest weapon against the enemy is the Word of God and prayer.
3. Satan cannot stop God from answering our prayer, but he can do everything in his might to keep us from praying faithfully!
4. It takes humility to admit your need in prayer before the Lord and the humble will find themselves being lifted up by the Lord! 1 Peter 5:7
a. Prayer is for the beginning, middle, and the end…our first resort instead of last resort!
b. Praying is not a sign of weakness, but wisdom!
c. James 1:5 says, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given him.”
ILLUS: There come times in our lives when we in our desperation and pain run to God and dial our 911 prayers. Sometimes we’re hysterical. Sometimes we don’t know the words to speak. But God hears. He knows our number and he knows our name and he knows our circumstance. That help is already on the way; God has already begun to bring the remedy to us. —Leith Anderson, Men of Integrity, Vol. 2, no. 2.
5. What heavenly assignment has God placed upon your heart? How serious are you about putting your faith in God into practice?
II. STRENGTH FOR SPIRITUAL ATTACKS
A. Distractions in Process Nehemiah 6:1-3