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
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?
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.
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.
Ill health forced the Jackson family to leave, and a new missionary came to that station. When Jackson proudly began to explain his arrangement for getting the car started, the new man began looking under the hood. Before the explanation was complete, the new missionary interrupted, “Why, Dr. Jackson, I believe the only trouble is this loose cable.” He gave the cable a twist, stepped into the car, pushed the switch, and to Jackson’s astonishment, the engine roared to life.
For two years needless trouble had become routine. The power was there all the time. Only a loose connection kept Jackson from putting that power to work.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,