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Summary: Part four of a series on solving problems God’s way. This is a particularly good series for pastor’s/leaders instituting change within a congregation.

Introduction: New Coke

Read Scripture/Pray

Background: Nehemiah is headed into unfamiliar territory-four months and 8000 mi.

Purpose Statement: to be effective change agents for God it is essential that we...

I. Use the authority given you (v. 9)

A. Nehemiah went forth in the Kings Name

1. More importantly He went forward in the Great I Am

a. Car problem illustration

b. We have been give authority from God

2. We are to operate from that same authority

a. This is hard from self-centeredness

b. From Satanic influence

B. We wage a spiritual war everyday

1. We need to arm ourselves for battle

a. Paul in Ephesians

b. Nehemiah armed himself for battle as well

2. We need to recognize whom we battle for/against

a. power in the Name of the Lord

b. Satan and his minions are real

II. Prepare for opposition (vs. 10, 19)

A. People hate change

1. Cumford’s Law

B. Satan hates for God’s will on earth to be accomplished

1. Read the Screwtape Letters

2. We must be prepared for this at Eastside and in our personal life

C. Those who fight against you will share no part of the blessing (v. 20)

1. Whether for selfish reasons or out of spite Mule Illustration

2. Your reward awaits in Heaven Matthew 5: 11-12

III. Evaluate the work that needs to be accomplished (vs. 12-15)

A. Be sure to be properly ready (v. 11)

1. Never make decisions while tired or hurried

2. Never “ “ “ without thoroughly evaluating the situation

B. Pray for wisdom

1. Notice yet again the patience Nehe demonstrates

C. Make a list

1. Take stock in your life, it is a gift from God

IV. Exhort people to share in your vision (vs. 16-18)

A. They’d grown accustom to the mess

1. They overlooked it

2. CS Lewis quote

B. Whether a corporate or individual goal we need support

C. Shake people awake

1. We grow sleepy in our sin

2. Sloth illustration

Conclusion: Note Jesus’ life in this model, if He modeled this pattern ought we not to consider it important as well?

ILLUSTRATIONS:

New Coke

1980’ Coke found itself in danger of losing the cola wars. For the first time in history Pepsi outsold Coke in stores. Only a tight hold on restaurants and vending machines kept Coke ahead in total sales. Coca-Cola decided they needed to do something to improve the taste of Coke or else face being second to Pepsi. They undertook years of taste testing and finally found a flavor that bet both Coke and Pepsi in blind taste tests.

New Coke was introduced on 23 April 1985, and production of the original formulation ended that same week. The outrage of millions of Americans didn’t take long to sink in, and not all that much longer to be redressed. At an 11 July 1985 press conference, two Coca-Cola executives announced the return of the original formula. "We have heard you," said Roberto Goizueta, then Chairman of Coca-Cola.

Car Problem

In a seminary missions class, Herbert Jackson told how, as a new missionary, he was assigned a car that would not start without a push.

After pondering his problem, he devised a plan. He went to the school near his home, got permission to take some children out of class, and had them push his car off. As he made his rounds, he would either park on a hill or leave the engine running. He used this ingenious procedure for two years.

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