Summary: In Nehemiah 6, we see examples of persistence and dependence on the Holy Spirit.
“Finish The Shot”
Intro: As most of you know, I coached football and wrestling for many years in the local school. One of the major challenges that I faced in coaching wrestling was the concept of what I call “finishing the shot”. The shot is the most basic and primary move in wrestling but it is also the most important. We teach the mechanics of this move every day of wrestling practice. The shot allows you to take your opponent down to the mat from the standing position and allows you to control him. This puts you in a position of not only being awarded two points but almost all of your other moves are predicated on the fact that you have control of the other wrestler.
. What happens in a real match is that the wrestler will take his shot or try to take the other guy down and get halfway through the move and stop. Either his mechanics were not right or the other guy has great defense. Either way, he is stuck halfway in between what he wanted to accomplish which was to take control of his opponent. He can’t finish his shot and many times the inexperienced wrestler will just give up and never finish their shot and accomplish what they set out to do.
. We see this concept in all areas of life as well. I’m not talking about wrestling but I am talking about finishing what we start.
. My wife is in Children’s Church this morning so I can talk about her. I’m sure if you asked her she could give you some examples of things that have gotten started around our house but have never quite gotten finished.
. We all have had experiences where something got started but was never finished haven’t we?
. As a church, we are having some of the same experiences.
. We have started well and we have our mission which is “ to encourage and develop those we meet into committed followers of Jesus.”
. Our struggle is the same as all other churches; we need to stay the course and finish.
. The finish line by the way is either our going home to be with the Lord or Jesus’ return.
. We must stay the course and finish what God has laid out for us to do.
. Our scripture this morning in Nehemiah teaches us some valuable lessons about finishing the work that God has for us.
. The walls are built but the gates and doors had not been put into place and as has been the case since the beginning, there was still opposition to what God had called the people and especially Nehemiah to do
. 1Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies found out that I had finished rebuilding the wall and that no gaps remained—though we had not yet set up the doors in the gates
.2So Sanballat and Geshem sent a message asking me to meet them at one of the villages in the plain of Ono.But I realized they were plotting to harm me,
3so I replied by sending this message to them: “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?
4Four times they sent the same message, and each time I gave the same reply
.5The fifth time, Sanballat’s servant came with an open letter in his hand,
6and this is what it said:“There is a rumor among the surrounding nations, and Geshem tells me it is true, that you and the Jews are planning to rebel and that is why you are building the wall. According to his reports, you plan to be their king.
7He also reports that you have appointed prophets in Jerusalem to proclaim about you, ‘Look! There is a king in Judah!’
“You can be very sure that this report will get back to the king, so I suggest that you come and talk it over with me.”
8I replied, “There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing.”
9They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination.
10Later I went to visit Shemaiah son of Delaiah and grandson of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home. He said, “Let us meet together inside the Temple of God and bolt the doors shut. Your enemies are coming to kill you tonight.”
11But I replied, “Should someone in my position run from danger? Should someone in my position enter the Temple to save his life? No, I won’t do it!”