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Logo of InVerse, 4th Quarter 2019: Nehemiah: Principles of Biblical Leadership

05-Through External Opposition - Prayer

Justin Kim Sebastien Braxton Jonathan Walter Callie Williams



  • November 2, 2019
    9:30 AM

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If someone were to stumble into you while holding a full mug what would come out from you know what spilled out all find out on this of a sort of inverse. Coming to you from Silver Spring Maryland welcome to enter the Bible based conversation on my principal contemporary issue and thought provoking. Now here's your host just in within the hour. Welcome to this episode of In verse we are in the middle of the topic of learning about leadership in the book of Nehemiah we are in week 5 and we're looking at different aspects on leadership and specifically in Chapters $45.00 and $6.00 of Nehemiah we're looking at friction and opposition and just a lot of tense tension and tense moments and that is a part of spiritual development unfortunately and it's part of growing up and it's a part of of Nehemiah narrative so let's have a word of prayer and Kelly can you pray for us before we read Chapter 4 Yes That's Father in heaven we thank you for your love for us and we thank you for giving us insight into your word now as we study I pray that we would apply these things to our hearts and minds and that you would draw closer so you can experience Jesus in human human human and so special can reach up to 4 verses one through 6 please. But it so happened when Sun balik heard that we were rebuilding the wall that he was furious in very indignant and mocked the Jews and he spoke before his brethren in the army of Samarian said What are these feeble Jews doing will they fortify themselves will they offer sacrifices will they complete it in a day will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish stones that are burned now to buy of the Ammonite was beside him and he said whatever they build even if a fox calls upon it he will break down their stone wall here or all gone for we are despised turn the reproach on their own heads and give them as plunder to a land of captivity do not cover their iniquity in Do not let their sin be blotted out from before you for their provoked you to anger before the builders so we built a wall and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height for the people had a mind to work Sebastian and Jonathan So if someone is watching this episode for the 1st time and they were not with us for episodes one $34.00 Give us a little bit of a jump start here so in the Chapter one realizes that Jerusalem is in ruins and something needs to be done about it so he says hey I'm going to pray about this and he and God makes it very clear to him gives him a purpose and strength and gives him also an opportunity to share this with his king and the king says hey go and Nehemiah petitions for materials and help and so on the in my goes out to Jerusalem he investigated by night make sure that he understands the problems and then he encourages or shares his testimony of how God has helped him to come to this point with the people in Jerusalem and they then react and say hey let's build this wall but as a as a 2nd narrative we see what's going on around Jerusalem with the people that are kind of looking at this people who have. Maybe certain ideas about what they want to do in Jerusalem and so amongst them are some ballads and some other dude. And. Those were I couldn't remember the names but dude category that's right. Anyway so what we see here though is very interesting because it's almost like the tension is increasing it starts Yeah you know this chapter's just being disturbed like what is this dude what is this guy doing. What is this guy doing here you know why so why is he here what does it want to with Jerusalem we don't like what he's doing and then the tension increases more in chapter 3 and there's they're starting to mock them to laugh but they're still thinking you know Ok maybe he wants to do something. You know this is not going to work just but now they're building and so they're getting angrier you're eous it says verse one it says he was furious and very indignant we're seeing this apex of client a climax of emotion going on here tell me why why are there and then me why are there people who are against God's work not just in this story but just like in life in general like I moved working for God can't just stuff be just easy and coasting along why are there bad things out because the devil is the devil I think you know I have and all the different mentions of samba lot next to it my Bible does have but why but why though why are you so mad because you don't really get is like oh it's humble that was really upset because that was like yeah he was helping the Jews black why does that make you so upset and I began is just the devil is the devil the devil is against everything that God is for and so and it also reminds me you know especially if I were in your mind this case like I was very. Towards and all them and it's a good reminder that you know we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and the devil uses people absolutely but they are not the devil. And but they're actually added by a demonic spirit like there's no real there's no godly reason for them to mock the Jews and to be mad for them to be benefits like that doesn't make any kind of sense in God's kingdom and so I mean in the same way even if we're not building walls we are we are used by God to build up his kingdom and to be his hands and feet in the world devils like I don't like that therefore I will mock you I will have people be mad at you with your success and you know sometimes Masters other things sometimes as you know mixed with other stuff but the end the day the great controversy is that every part of life and we will have that until the end of time you know it's so interesting how their their attacks on the Jews are talking about how feeble in insignificant they are but you're actually taking the effort to criticize Yeah people so it's like if it's almost like when you think of famous people who like argue with people on social media like oh if I criticize your movie or your basketball game or whatever and it's like you're really going to respond to this nobody so it's like oh what are these feeble Jews that will do so feeble Why are you gay why are you bright like why you and that lets you know that there's a greater spiritual significance to what's going on so I really appreciate the point there's a cyber bullying is so common these days you see so many of the criticisms happening on social media and it's a big issue it's not just someone saying you know your glasses it's it gets to the core of who you are and your I mean your glasses both of your. Side. Weaves anyway so. What is that what's the spiritual underlying principle behind a cyber bullying is what. I would say the spiritual principle in terms of what motivates individuals to bully I think it's really survive that well I think on the on the attacker side a lot of times we are empowered by the weakness of others the world operates on the principle that in order for someone to be on top others have to be beneath right I have to crush you in order to gain but I think on the on the spiritual side in terms of recovery it's really grounded in 2 things which is our identity in Christ who we are in God Yes Jesus knew who he was despite the mockery despite the criticism and on top of that understanding the mission in the significance of your work like one day the desire of Ages is going to come to this city he's going to come to this temple and the significance of what you're doing as it relates to the broader missions in visions of eternity things that were dated in eternity past is what you're fulfilling so this isn't some Christian religion lingo this is actually knowing who your creator is allows you to know who you are as his creation and know where your value comes from and that's the secret to security absolutely bullied because they themselves are in secure on some level hundreds so and like you said why do you have to say that you're so feeble if they're so feeble they're if they're feeble So I say what not yeah but hey I am grounded in where whole who my Creator is and how He created me so whatever you say just like water if you're. If you book back of a book now you know the insecurity that comes out I think also has to do with the fact that bullies or even in this case some belt and his dude's were they were fixated on yes they're realizing. They were realizing maybe they wouldn't voice that but they're realizing that the people in Israel are special they know maybe the stories from back in the times I mean they're like saying well they're her sacrifices you know under threat yes you have a member I mean everyone knows who. What happened in the past is the kings of em in the head so the so they might be mocking it but they are also maybe insecure and scared of what could be they might not say I'm scared but you know they showed through making fun of it so it's very interesting that what you are made fun of and to what you react to often indicates of which your identity is based Yes Yes You know as a male as an Asian male If song makes fun of my my male miss I'm really not concerned because I'm I am 100 percent secure that I'm a male and one of my asian this very secure of my I I am you know the way that my eyes are added. But if someone were to criticize you know whatever I mean secure in yes it's it buckles my my confidence in that and so you know the anecdote is you have you know a cup of some you know and then you're walking through and someone pushes you are bumps into what comes out and if you're full of Jesus Jesus should come out but you're full of other stuff you know that comes out if it's an anger or you action that's really at the core of people you know are this is what's happening in these both of these guys both parties and you know there's an old African saying that empty barrels make the loudest noise empty barrels make the loudest noise right so when you think of a proverb or continent of Africa yes since I've heard it in multiple countries in Africa so I consider it an African proverb this is when you think about that whole idea that these empty barrels make the most noise because you have no substance you have nothing in you so this is why you're you're making so much fuss this is why you make it so much think versus these people are quietly building the walls of their city they're not disturbing they're not announcing they're not broadcasting like oh you feeble Ammonites all you feeble people in the South you know you Arabians this were greater than you were holier than thou site Wait I'm just as the techs and I just have a mind to work and I'm trying to finish what God has called us to build and. You're going to come along and make all the fuss and raise all this ruckus and racket about what on doing because what is the purpose and aim of your life and that goes to show you that insecurity that's present inside of these other nations around the security manifests itself in 5 questions in verse 2 what are these people Jews doing will they fortify Will they offer will they complete it will they revive the stones I mean these are if you analyze those questions different attacks on different levels are they are the idiots do they no one up are they do they can handle the sacrifice Are they religious enough are they competent and even a racial What are these people Jews doing it's almost a racial comment that he isn't and then the verse 3 just in my weird imagination every bully has a sidekick. Until I know you've got the main guy and then them in the psyche is like yeah they're always going to say that one of the thing that they do about something it'll break up like a little girl yeah I just said yeah that's my arc you were pretty and the Bible mentions it like with the limited space the Bible has the Bible in it was that inspired Tex now to buy them and I was beside him and said what it whatever whatever they build even if a fox goes on to what a fox is known for for their life with a new witness it'll break in and here's the reaction in verse 4 it doesn't say but contextually it's pretty clear who's saying this and this is Nehemiah and what is Nehemiah see here for we are despised turn their reproach on their own heads and give them as plunder to a land of captivity do not cover their iniquity and do not let their sin be blotted out from before you for they provoked you to anger before the builders we come back from after the break we're going to look at this is Nehemias reaction to being bullied and is this a biblical reaction is this appropriate and how do we get around that Nehemiah is basically asking God to punish them and to remove them from the Book of Life How does this work well find out after the break. Has embraced been a blessing to you Do you have questions comments or feedback you'd like to leave us find us on social media by searching. On Facebook Twitter and Instagram for you to while there join us like us sums up my handle again and invest Bible Milstein Now back to the discussion. And welcome back we are in Nehemiah chapter 4 and we just read Nehemiah's reaction to the bullying going on if I can say that bullying and does he ever talk back to send Ellen to buy an absolutely not and I remember I was bullied as a kid and you understanding now being a Christian when at the time I was not a Christian yet I still had the same emotional reaction that Nehemias having I just didn't call upon God is that you're going to this thing of this person that is oppressing you making your life more difficult unnecessarily and you almost feel in a sense kind of trapped like there's no real there's no real way out of this situation you begin to wish harmful things on this person right you start losing a certain sense of compassion for them like oh man if his car broke down I would not help if you broke his leg you'd be like that's what you deserve and there's a certain sense in your heart that the world is not right for a bully to get away with those things you feel like something is wrong and unfortunately without God there is no other party that can intervene even with social media movements now against anti bullying campaigns like Planet Fitness and other companies that have that kind of push they can only do so much but it still goes on and I but I believe that here in the in my it raises our consciousness that there is a person who is going to be a transcendent interferer someone who is going to step in and to remove these things and it's Ok to pray to God to provide that removal and we understand this in the context of the god. Well that if these people repent and they turn away from this type of behavior we know that God will forgive just as Nehemiah quoted in this prayer and Shafter one but yet it still here it is a spiritual action that Nehemiah is engaging this is not just a personal angry vindictive prayer Lord destroy this person I hate him because that doesn't reflect the character of God but it does reflect God's hatred of sin in those who continue to indulge in it in you know in his presence in the Bible nowhere mentions that Nehemiah was angry he didn't even say this prayer spitefully hero of God but he does but very interestingly the Bible does not say and Nehemiah prayed insinuating that Nehemiah was just so impatient to write the prayer down he just went straight to the prayer and had no time to write and I said he just said Lord I hear a word or God there's this kind of urgency to be wrong with God and right directly with him I think we also have to understand an end up in those cultures when you attack another nation or another city or another people you are you also it's almost like a controversy between my deity and your deity So here the insult is not so much just towards the Jews but towards the god of the Jews just because he obviously hasn't taken care of them in past 100 years because look at their city so they're mocking and they're even I mean they're mocking God implying it when they saying you know I'm going to sacrifice that tomorrow I'm going to sacrifice and so knew my here his his reaction is like God like they're mocking you hear us do something about your name about your character kind of reminds me of the story of Hezekiah were the Assyrians were mocking us and. What are you going to do hell no call upon your god other nations the night of the them down to that's right is so that was the cultural understanding as well so I think Nehemiah here is calling upon God to to make sure that his name is is not on the repro into your point the added other die. Mention to this is the promise of Abraham of being a Jew I will bless those that bless you and I will curse those that curse you so in essence he's calling upon God to fulfill something he already promised them as a descendant of Abraham so in in looking at this this is not just the odd of the out of the blue like oh you know what you guys are hindering my work and that's just frustrating me so I'm just going to you know pray a curse will prayer upon you this is actually read the fact that if you become a tool of the devil God had already promised us from the time of Abraham that if you curse us equal curse you and He will bless those that bless us and we see that you threw out the book of Nehemiah from the New Testament perspective we are to pray before their death yes yes. But not their body because they didn't Ok this is a very good. For the death of their carnal nature Roman 6 Yeah so yeah I mean they're attacking God they're sure they're manifesting doubt of existence of God and the benefit of benevolence of God and of faith and what not yet pray for their conversion pray for that their carnal nature and I pray that the that this goes away and then pray that my anger for this person goes away to pray for a mutual death in that sense so that we're can be like like minded brothers Kelly. I mean I'm going somewhere else so you go I don't want to go I see Jesus here but really you know and then. Maybe it says here you know he's praying that they will you know give them as a plunder to a land of captivity he's basically praying for his enemies to experience what Israel experienced just don't know gone yeah but that was the judgment of God had a purpose to lead them back to the truth on the I don't know if this name I had that in mind or he was just like Please God take him away but you could say there could be an implication of here God deal with them because you know hopefully they will come to their senses in that sense all I think the dynamic is a possibility here and we might not just be a national Thank you Kelly So we said the beginning that name I didn't respond to them but I think he did because a verse 6 says so we built the wall. And so you're there mocking them is like Ok I'll talk to God and then we're going to we're going to do and sometimes that is the only adequate response I know some like there are some circumstances when I really struggle with this like should I wait till I'm calm and say something or should I mean obviously I should like explode if I'm like mad of someone but like anyways so. It's coming after that so but sometimes we do speak calmly but sometimes no conversation of any kind is going to be helpful like don't respond full stop just build the wall like just do what you need to do it will amuse. Look at the Cali universe to just maybe look at it from that perspective verse 2 he spoke before his brother and the army of scenarios who sent out a talking to he's talking to his own internal people right there's some there's some smack talk going behind the scenes right now like that's where we go well that's present a rumor going around and somehow in the him I gets word of this and this drives Nehemiah tutus to his to his knees and I appreciate that like I think when we have a issue with a brother who's smoking it was talking bad smack smack talking to me we should kind of run through the person you know but if it's going on you don't have to deal in and managed gossip control and it is why don't you sit and go to this person and what not just as you said get to work and focus on what you have to do and let the Lord take care of it and I appreciate that and imagine Cali's you know point even further is how many times do we see Jesus taking that same route even at the crucifixion yes prices not taking time that's really or if I ever. Just continues to die for our lives and stuff so quick if you talk to you right it's like I'm just going to continue and have a mind to work in the finish glorifying my father in dying for your sins even while you're cursing me at the same time yeah and that that's a certain humble dignity to that absolutely it's beneath you and the reality as he prays in his prayer as we're dealing with this episode of prayer being a response to external challenges he ends his prayer in verse 5 by saying for they have provoked you. Before the builders So this is a provocation to God and he recognizes Lord when things are don't deal with on a spiritual level that's where they need to be dealt with Lord you take care of it you bring justice and glorify your name in your time we're going to get back to doing your work and that's such a powerful model and paradigm to operate with you know what I. I'm not even to deal with what's happening here on a spiritual level I'm just going to keep keep doing what God has called me to do and have a mind to work. Well with another thought here to you know thinking about the situation here we have you know all of these pagan groups against the Jews but if we take the principle of it and apply it to maybe now it is in our churches sometimes. We might be to send ballots and and the dude that mock others or criticize others what they're doing just because we don't agree with what they're doing or we think their ways not the right way we think we have a portion in Jerusalem we have a portion in what God has called them to do but we don't. And I I I I want to pray that God will help need to be able to let go and stop criticizing because this comes very easily I think we're talking in one of the another episode about this it's very easy to criticize but to say hey. This is a big God is called them to do and you know this is and I don't have a portion in that directly goes the direction I want to ask you my next question have you have any of you been attacked. Been bullied and there's a difference here Nehemiah was not bullied personally nor made fun of Nehemiah the name made fun of Nehemias commitment his face his spiritual work has your ministry not in terms of pastoral ministry but even lay ministry or whatever ministry have you guys ever been attacked for that and how have you defended or if you want to say this have you attacked somebody else's ministry and just let your personal question in bringing it real Maybe because all you guys can think about it I was part of a ministry that tried to do a project and we encountered a lot of opposition from within the church yes and it was we were being ridiculed we were being made fun of mocked and then in the beginning and then it went to active opposition and it was hard not to respond and I'm. Sure I'm guilty of responding maybe in my heart negatively but our reaction to it was as a group of us prayer. Trying to be kind but continue to build the wall because we had a very clear purpose an understanding of our identity and what God had made clear for us to do it this time. It wasn't easy but the Lord blessed in the process and praised God I see that I'm friends with some of those people that were opposing us and the Lord does work things out and Moon Moon as a kind of similar of but I'd probably a different project no doubt project it was a different project. But I've done some projects where I've been attacked and kind of what I present but also attack me personally just not being up to the task or not being good enough for home enough or whatever which I'm not wholly But anyway so just all those details and I think I definitely think I feel that test I think I was pretty I think I was fine with that person but because I'm like I'm no good but I got my friends and I let all of the anger and unkindness out and I think sometimes real progress was so real and simple. But I you know that's a really good way of tricking yourself because you're like I didn't have a harsh word I didn't drop anger with them I was so I so many saw the eyes of the person but then I went got all my pent up anger to my friends a new life they're going to Cali you're right they are the worst I'm holy they're not so that is the same but that's honestly it's just a different way of standing but it's still a sense and so what we you know we need to do is you know Maya did even if he wasn't angry but to be like hero God For we are despising this is an issue in please take care of it and you know we still can seek counsel like how should I deal with this inspection is like all the time asking questions but at the same time like it's not an outlet just to put your anger somewhere else but I think we still need to ask God to get that out of our heart and out of our reactions and by God. Infinite grace I think I'm getting to a place where now when I'm angry it's like that's not good like this is very selfish anger and I want to you have to change me it is a human reaction to want to express what you're going through Yeah or maybe even in Christian circles to repress me like now this is and we're told by a psychological psychological studies that that's that gets even worse it gets even pent up but we are true to what to allude to confess to the Lord not just as an early human vent ventilation check but how do I process on God's level and that is a challenge for me and especially a very quite a very big challenge for him as well and thank you for the both of you sharing Hopefully it's been a challenge for you and we need to be wrong with God That's the core tool for leadership in the Biblical framework here and that's our prayer for ourselves and for you thanks for joining us here on in verse will see you next week you've been listening to invest a Bible based conversation with the us is wrong with Jonathan last Sebastian back. Just. In verses brought to you by the full time with television that changes like the this and more inspiring episode things that interest the. More large the Amazons also move at the 1st 5 until next time this isn't vice.


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