Summary: Key Point: Draw On God to help Us Press on with His Work—no Matter What the Challenge.
How to Stick with God’s Work When You Think You Can’t
New Tribe (in danger of being expelled by Chavez)
Haven vs. Reality: Evangelistic Training is easier than doing it
What kind of opposition do YOU face from the OUTSIDE that might discourage you?
Overhearing conversations at work that critique your beliefs?
When people seem to find another answer than the one YOU have to offer in Christ: Latino’s and Islamic Faith
Key Point: Draw On God to help Us Press on with His Work—no Matter What the Challenge.
(No challenge or threat can defeat us when God backs up our work!)
God will give us what we need to carry on with His work—but it doesn’t absolve us of our responsibility
Transition: Square One for the Christian should always be
1. Go to God in Prayer
Constant theme of Nehemiah—He goes to God
I doubt you can find one example of a Spiritual Giant who didn’t find his/her strength on bended knee.
Nehemiah pours his heart and frustrations out to God
And so do the people—TOGETHER (WE in v. 9)
NT Christians did—Are WE NT Christians?
When we schedule all church Prayer—few people come. That is a fact. (don’t know why, movitivation, JUST the fact.
Transition: Fact is Great things happen when God’s people get together, and pour out their heart to God, because
2. Our God is a God of Power
Angie reminded me of the story in Acts 12.—God responds to the prayers of his people, his CHURCH gathered together.
Nehemiah had already experienced God at work
• Remember his weeks/months long foundation of prayer/confession/plea
• God gave him success with the king v. 18, 20 (chapter 2)
Is that power still there for us?
Transition: Make no mistake, all of our efforts fail without God, but we see over and over that God’s people are not idle bystanders, but actively in the trenches. Nehemiah knows that and follows up his prayers by
3. Carrying out a Plan
Vv 6, 9, 13
Exactly what part is Nehemiah’s (God-given) leadership talent, and what part is God placing a specific plan, we don’t know. But there IS a plan, and it gets adjusted to meet the needs..
I can not stress how important God’s power and wisdom is to direct our paths
(Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding . . . )
Aimless Fools we are not to be—
• Noah had specific instructions on the ark
• Abraham didn’t always know the whole plan, but was guided by the promise and leading of God
• Solomon had specific plans to build God’s dwelling
• Jesus gave specific guidelines on carrying out the “great Commission”—and his followers worked in combination with the Holy Spirit and common-sense and laid out plans to fulfill that
Plans help us stay on task when challenges start getting in our way—focus on what needs to be done, reminds us what we are to be doing—even as obstacles try to distract us
Plans bring order to chaos
Plans allow us to prioritize what we do
What action to take
How to allocate our resources.
Plans bring Unity
Our church needs a plan—we have a mission
Your family needs a plan—how are you going to raise up your children to love and depend on God? How are you going to weather the storms of marital difficulties? How are dad’s going to be the leader’s God has called them to be?
Transition: If you haven’t caught it already, you might realize that to carry out a plan you need
4. People working together
Came up last week (next to him etc etc)
Nehemiah had a great plan but couldn’t have done it without the people
The people provided the bulk of the labor but may not have focused on God or worked as efficiently without the leadership of Nehemiah and others.
People worked with all their heart. ½ worked and ½ stood guard
Working together toward a common goal (brought out by the plan)
Ask yourself these two questions (and answer . . .)
• What am I doing to contribute to the work of God’s Church?
• What work to I value most? Mine or others?
Transitions: if we lose sight of our goal and feel the weight of our challenges (-ers), we can be tempted to slack off. We need to be reminded that:
5. Persistence Pays off with Fulfillment
Though challenged from the start, the people worked with all their heart and completed the wall to half height
The Challenges mounted, but they pressed on and we read later that after about 8 weeks, the WALL WAS FINISHED.
We might get discouraged because:
Fight for your brother, daughters, sons, wives etc
What gets you passionate
The difference it makes in youth ministry.