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

06-Through External Opposition: Watchfulness

Israel Ramos Justin Kim Sikhu Daco Jonathan Walter

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  • November 9, 2019
    9:30 AM

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You are ridiculed you are attacked and now you're even given a death threat how do you survive this kind of interaction you might have to forgive the arsenal of how biblical leaders served by these circumstances Stay with us on this episode of In verse. Coming to you from Silver Spring Maryland welcome to enter the Bible based conversation. Temporary. Talk of Ok. Now here's your host just in within for. Everyone welcome to this episode of verse we are in the middle of Nehemiah we're looking at principles of biblical leadership and regardless of where you are on the spectrum of leadership you are all a leader we're all called to do something and we're looking at last chapter of the last episode I should say and this episode and the next 2 on how God's leaders experience opposition it does it does unfortunately it does the one person I get from this is that it's a principle of physics movement when there is movement that goes forward there is always friction go on backwards and if there's no friction going backward that means there's really no movement going forward and so let friction be your encouragement is is what the physicists say in the spiritual world so let's go to Nehemiah Chapter 4 verse 7 through the end there and Sebastian can you pray for us before you leave us. Father in heaven what a blessing it is to be able to study your word we thank you Father for your spirits presence with us was willing to got us into all truth would we all know what it's like to be opposed to feel like there are individuals working against the calling that you placed upon our lives and so we pray Lord that you would give us a word today as we evaluate as we analyze as we study together and discuss this text is our prayer in Jesus name in Mn men seek you for some breeze which are now it happened when saddened by a lot told by the Arabs the Ammonites and the Ashtar diets heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps would be getting to be closed that they became very angry and all of them conspired together to come in attack Jerusalem and create confusion Nevertheless we made our prayer to God to our God and because of them we set a watch against them day and night then Judas said the strength of the neighbors is failing and there's so much rubbish that we are not able to build a wall and not adversaries said they will neither know nor see anything till we come into the amiss and kill them and cause the world to seize so it was when the Jews who dwelt near them came that they told us 10 times from whatever place you turn they will be upon us therefore I positioned men behind the lower part of the wall at the openings and I set the people according to their families with us for the s.p. is in their boat and I looked and the rose and said to the nobles and to the leaders and to the rest of the people do not be afraid of them remember the lord great and awesome and fight for your brethren your sons your daughters your wives and your houses they will stop there that's a great 1st that you and and so we are very William Wallace the kind of verse there are no brothers or a posh accent you want to put in there and we are going to impose too much on the Bible but. Set us up here what's going on for someone maybe who we watching for the 1st time in a verse and what's going on up to this point so we have Nehemiah Chapter One begins with Nehemiah being separated from his people he's serving as a King's Cup there. Someone comes to him and they're visiting the palace where he's working he asks Hey what's going on back at home and then all the sudden a burden falls upon the walls or broken down they're burned up the people are also a reproach and this place is a burden upon the heart of Nehemiah Nehemiah immediately his response is I need to pray so he begins to pray to weep to sit down to kind of look at what in the world is going on in his life what's going on back at home is during this time his connection with God during this Communion through prayer that the foundation of the rest of the book of Nehemiah takes place God comes communes with Nehemiah sets an experience or an e.m.i. to go through as he's struggling through prayer with God He begins to develop a plan of what he would do if God calls upon him to do that so the next thing is the king allows Nehemiah to go back and to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and begins his quest through the leadership journey the people begin to work he begins to assign it well 1st of all he evaluates what's going on how does the wall look what is taking place among the people he does a private work he rallies the people he identifies himself with them and he calls them for the building project people respond positively and they begin to work on the wall of Jerusalem Ok so what ends up happening is when people begin to see what is taking place you have now the introduction which is now like the 3rd or 4th time that we see so. They are the opposers of the truth every day of the work every time we try to do something for the Lord we will experience opposition this is what is happening the only thing now is that the opposition from these people is intensifying and so the whole thing is you see that people of Jerusalem again. More and more united and the work is progressing into an inverse 6th the wall was built about half its height so wall is going up it's not just talk but actually happening but you also see in verse 7 that we see December let in the toe by the Arabs but you see a new entity coming on the ash today and you see that this what we saw vertical Alliance has now completed north east south and west or south it was until it is now complete there. And also the author I appreciate you saying is this book is is is dripping with prayer you see from chapter one projected to prayer Tucker 3 not prayer maybe a list but you can almost imagine he's writing these details down prayerfully and therefore he's being attacked and he responds to prayer and you see prayer again in the 2nd half as well Sebastian you say something. Yeah the interesting thing also is this is to see that from the previous episode where we deal with them becoming angry we see here in verse 7 that the Bible says right there at the end that they became very angry so their anger is increasing as the work is becoming more successful so this opposition is not something that's like it's hard in the beginning and it gets easier you know it's the opposition actually continues to go up as you get closer and closer to the completion of the work that's happening this is a blessing to Nehemiah and to the people in disguise I think it's hard for a person going through that kind of a situation to see that as a blessing but as you're reading you can kind of see that it's a blessing because you already know the end when you get in the. 13 you see what ends up happening but. A lot of times you know we expect whatever we're doing something we expect for it to become easier as things progress so you many times you kind of face the greatest opposition in the beginning and then you know people we get used to each other or the enemy gets used to us and we get used to the enemy kind of thing and and that kind of you know there is this there's this tension and this disunity but it's kind of like they are who they are we are who we are we're going to continue and have a little scuffles here and there but this is not what's happening what's happening is that things are intensifying and I think as things intensify the test gets more difficult more challenging like Man Did God really call me to this or is Nehemiah calling me to like is Nehemiah brainwashing me is he manipulating me so many things can surface like we can be thinking now do Nehemiah is manipulating me saying like I need to protect my wives of my daughters and my sons and my brothers and whatever because he wants me to build a wall so that he can go back to the king and say Look what I have done you know so there's room for all these different nuances the kind of to please and I have found in my personal life when whenever things there's a breaking point you know. Where I or I get to the poor I'm like I begin to doubt what or not God has called me because the opposition does not seem to let up and this is a this is a lesson for leadership whenever you have been gone through Chapter one experience whenever you are sure that God has called you to do a work that calling is going to take it's going to go through testing and if we have not had Nehemiah chapter one you cannot endure chapter 4 and if you do have a chapter one then that is the only stable in factor that's going to give you that's going to give you get you to reach up before we are to me or 5 and 6 to my experience of when I decided to give my life to Christ I had never attended one funeral in my entire family not one person had passed with grandmother grandfather uncle aunts and it was almost within 2 weeks of my baptism in my decision to surrender my life to Christ my step father passed away then cousins you know pregnant cousins were killed and the baby didn't survive my grandmother died 3 days later like it was just crazy and so we're going to my grandfather's funeral who I had never met I was going to meet my grandfather for the very 1st time and an hour out he passes away. So when I arrive sort of going to meet him I'm going to his funeral and so all my cousins are all gathered there and they say you know Sebastian is so interesting no one died until you decided to become a Christian and I thought that now that you gave your life to God all these good things would happen and it puts you in a place like Israel same when you start questioning in your mind like the people were probably questioning men the walls were broken down and everything but I don't have these kind of problems you know it is like walls are broken down yeah the temple is not really you know that glory is God there's a scene that glorified there's issues but I wasn't being threatened by attacking people coming from all sides and angles and that's exactly where I found myself in that moment of time in it it took the encouragement of a person you know coming to me as a friend in Christ and saying Sebastian listen the devil is not going to patch you on the back and wish you will write oh you decide to follow Jesus are have a great life know if he was giving you hell before you can please believe like never can Estrin The fire a friend is going to sort of 7 times author because when the devil cannot persuade you to be unfaithful his only result is to turn to persecution Physically I'm going to attack you why can't get them to stop building the wall I can get them discouraged to ridicule So what can I do are on the threaten attack I will kill you as a result I mean listening to you guys and like on one level and yeah then the other level I'm like that's heavy and that's and then a lot I don't know if I want to sign up so that speaks to the and this is a thing what do we say to people who are thinking well this is the thing it's you know Nehemiah chapter one does it happen in the as mine as preparation to chapter 4 in other words the amount is not like thinking you know what in the future I'm going to face a lot of opposition so let me work and fast to prepare for that and so what happens is that God leads the a my on a journey Nehemiah is blind to Chad. For a job what he doesn't know what's going to happen but what book God knows and so God is preparing Nehemiah step by step and he's giving them small challenges small challenges modul inches there are building him up see near my eye has learned to endure through his prayer time in the Chapter one he has he's built the foundation and everything God doesn't waste any of his experience in chapter one to prepare him for a chapter 4 and so that speaks to the critical importance of now like what I'm going through right now requires me to be faithful to God because the challenges ahead are bigger there unforeseen but yet as God gives me Greece to be faithful him to for him today he is preparing me for something greater and something larger in the future and I appreciate that and I appreciate discussing and talking about these kind of things because. Sometimes a picture can be drawn of Christianity where you follow Jesus and everything will be Ok because God will take care of you etc Which is true then you also have Jesus saying that in this world you'll have tribulation I am Jesus saying Take up your cross and follow and if if that picture isn't presented then when the trials come it's like whoa you know I didn't sign up for this but Jesus never in his ministry he didn't call people to an easy life he said Foxes have holes I don't the Son of Man has no way to lay his head so I think having a realistic picture of what the Christian experience looks like in terms of there will be trials. And yet Jesus says in this world you'll have tribulation but you don't have to worry about it because I have overcome the world which is what Nehemiah ends up saying to them in verse 14 so as we are here as we relistening that God does not take us away from suffering he gives us strength through the suffering especially in positions of leadership when come back we'll look at this chapter which is essentially a play book on all the tactics of the enemy and the responses on how to avert them when we come back 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 by room on Facebook Twitter and Instagram for you to while there join us like us comes up next I'll handle again and invest Bible non-state Now back to the discussion. Welcome back friends we are in Nehemiah chapter 4 and we're looking at a heavy chapter of which Nehemiah is being gunned down by all these temptations and trials of the enemy Let's pick up from verse 15 verse 14 saw pick up from work 14 in s. Sebastian read from verse 15 and I looked as verse 14 and I rose and said to the nobles and to the leaders and to the rest of the people do not be afraid of them remember the lord great and awesome and fight for your brother and your sons your daughters your wives and your house is verse 15 Sebastian please and it happened when our enemies heard that it was known to us and that God had brought their plot to nothing that all of us returned to the wall everyone to his work so it was from that time on that half of my servants worked at construction while the other half held the spears the shields the bowls and war armor and the leaders were behind all the house of Judah those who built on the wall in those who carried burdens loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction and with the other held a weapon every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built and the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me then I said to the nobles the rulers and the rest of the people the work is great and extensive and we are separated far from one another on the wall where ever you hear the sound of the trumpet rally to us there our God will fight for us so we labored in the work and half of the men held the spears from daybreak until the stars appeared at the. Same time I also said to the people let each man and his servant stay at night in Jerusalem that they may be our guard by night in a working party by day so neither my brother and my servants nor the men of the guard who followed me took off our clothes except that everyone took them all for washing Ok so you have the narrative for the narrative sake but the Bible is giving kind of like a back backstage view of the spiritual war that's going on and you have the tactics of the enemy on one side and you've got tactics of the the good guys the good deeds on the other side and these tactics are still the same tactics today and that's where shocking to me so if I can I can ask you guys what are some tactics of the enemy will start from the bad side we'll go to the good side the 1st thing I think is verse 8 Got the same you just confusion Yeah I mean he uses different forms of information and rumors and gossiping and discouragement and whatnot what are some other tactics usually used as he also uses anger uses anger very angry I rates what is the reverse to was a very few of us one very furious and very indignant Ok yes if you go to the Levin 11 the Bible says and I was sorry said they will neither know nor see anything till we come into their midst and kill them and calls to work to say so here that is the straight up propaganda young murders oh yeah wait this isn't it this may happen yes oh yes you see there anything else keep looking I think you know fear Ok because these tactics are still used today the the enemy uses the same as attackers today Ok let's go to the tactics of of righteousness if I can say it the good ones how do we battle against it. The obvious one is prayer like the 1st thing that he goes to his prayer prayer. And verse 14 also invest 14 when he's saying not to be afraid of them focusing on God Just remember the Lord remember who God is who it sounds like a simple thing but it looking Seeker was saying is huge for biblical leaders this tool of encouragement is huge yes and it's rallying the people and so they do not be afraid of them in the sense this is where eloquence has its role is not being eloquence for artistic sake but he's release appealing to them and say fight for your brother and your sons your daughters your wives he's using that there's there's there's there's there's courage come from words if you think it's a weird thing if you talk to someone and they're a it does away with their fears that's right what difference between you know Nehemiah and then the general of an awesome army is that the courage to draws is the courage that is drawn from the word remember so he says like remember and then based on this remembering then you fight for your house or whatever and so over and over and over that we're remembers used in the. Remember the word of the Lord that came you remember right and now he's telling the people remember God And so we can't underestimate the significance of that he's saying look. Don't focus on acknowledge the enemy but don't focus on the enemy you know acknowledge the anger but don't focus on the anger at the knowledge the desperation the need that we're in but don't focus on that focus on remembering that's what you need to focus on and a lot of times we're obsessed with the problem rather than obsessing with the fact that we need to remind ourselves to remember who got is you know remember who God is remember his character remember his ability remember his power remember with his word and so and so Nehemiah is really reminding the people of their need to remember and I will remind you this story this pastor was saying that he was preaching out a series and he was talking about the power of prayer and you can bring anything to God And so this elderly woman comes up to me she says An excuse me Pastor is can I bring big things to God Can I ask big things of God and he said to the woman he said well ma'am everything in your life is small to God there are no big things to go on like when you come to God You're like Lord we have these Ashta Dighton Ammonites I mean on this little small little planet in a vast universe in which God says look I'm the one that spread the curtains of the stars like this is a small problem to God and that's what he says great and awesome right so the recognition of really restoring God to who he is and having lofty ideas of God inspires us as biblical leaders to say look guys listen you need to remember who your god is who you worship in the midst of your problems yes we go to the tactic of watchfulness in preparation but at the same token the foundation has to be who our God is because it starts in verse 15 by saying it was known to us that God had brought their plot to nothing so God can defeat all of that while you're over here built into the wall because he's great an awesome and so it's the recognition that when my problems come I should be laughing when issues come I should be sincere thinking of myself because I. I know God this is small and everything in my life is small to God Well I learn to love verse 15 I love verse 15 am asking the question What are some of the tactics on going on on the side of good and the best tool not that God is the best resource that we have at our disposal verse 15 and it happened when our enemies heard that it was known to us that God had brought their plot to nothing were not given any details on how God doesn't doesn't really go but God dealt with them so we just continue moving on yes it's the greatest response to bullying like God dealt with them so we decided to actually work one to 2 to turn back to you we were comparing the enemies and you know this right as I guess tools. The power of rhetoric actually has on both sides so they use words on the one side to instill fear in the gossip in the room mongering that goes on to try and discusses the work of God but on the other side the power of words to encourage people and to encourage people to move forward if you like sometimes it can feel like you know what's the point of me saying anything because it's. Just words but was actually powerful and you know if the sticks and stones can break my bones but words can break my heart you know but yeah you know what's going to hurt me but I actually do so words are really powerful and you see that in this interaction it's pretty profound if you look at it as how the war and haven't started war and having those not with light light sabers and you know guns or whatnot but it was a red rhetorical and that taking place behind the scenes here on that level the further response of that god tactic is to remind the people for them to remember and then also I interpret the rest of that to be to recommit to their game so you know whatever you see the work of the enemy whenever you see seen pygame then the people begin to up their game too right they recommit themselves and why do they recommit. I feel like the reason why they recommit themselves is because when we remember God we're not remembering God like God is not he doesn't stay static we're not remember like oh yeah i remember God when I was like 3 years old and you know he made the whole world that's not the kind of remembering we're doing we're remembering like remember when this happened and God pulled you out of that remember when that would happen and that was big your time in life and then he got you out of that remember how you thought for sure he's not going to get you out of this and he got you out of that and so the remembering is like a crescendo of God's unstoppable in this throughout history and so he's saying Now don't forget how great an awesome God is don't forget don't forget how you know we were we built the walls how everyone came together don't forget any of this and then the response from the people is because God is unstoppable because God is on our side and because these people are attacking and it is critical now for my response to be I need to be more serious with God because that is that is the only relationship that matters my relationship with him that's the most critical to our faithfulness to God is also Christian doing as it should is us funding to all the problems as Christians and this question and that's actually what's happened yes as the enemy is ups is his game against the people the people respond by saying all right we're going to up our faithfulness to go we're going to not up but in terms of like I'm going to be more holy right I'm going to be more determined to be more dedication yet the level is off the off the charts here verse 22 I mean they're not doing laundry They're just up all night right I mean I love where in verse 17 they got you know a trial on one hand I got a knife and the other hand and they're going to multifactorial in every single way the dedication level is just picked up because I love the work that if God has worked this loud in the past at this episode he's going to work even louder I got to be open for that. I love that and I like that in verse 17 and as much as you know remembering God and what God can do yes it goes with which we talked about earlier about namei is prayer and planning that just because you are committing something to God doesn't mean that you do nothing like that they are praying and they know that God is the one who ones who wins the victories they wouldn't say that in verse 15 but as they work they go forward to work and they also have a weapon in their hands because they are aware of the dangers that are around them though the awareness of God working doesn't take away from our I guess our responsibility in that action as well thing you know God is upping its ante up in my anti as well you know like in the work harder to in all the aspects that I realize now that I need to and I've always said that we live in a great generation where everybody gets a phone new phone comes out a new computer comes out new whatever comes I want to agree right new car oh there's a new version of the Honda Accord there's a new version I want to upgrade and it it always brings me back to this question is would have God came to us right now and said hey your commitment your love to me I want to know agree so it's like this is what I was doing before but there's more that we can give you would think after all they've been through what they've done to build this wall to halfway to its heights in the time that they did it it's like man we've given pretty much everything but here we see in chapter 4 they're like nope I can give even more so it's like I can't even give him a more in and they're giving God an upgrade because God is giving them an upgrade in protection and bring in plots to nothing Amen to that maybe you out there are have been discouraged with your current experience with whatever you're going through and I know he's from this up to sort of my takeaway is that Are you ready for your upgrade with God God has blessed you in the past and in this episode in your life God is Christian into the next level of volume are you up for that are you ready for the blessings of God to help you deal with your current trial and tribulation that's my take away hopefully that's your takeaway and blessing are prayer thanks for joining us with you next week here on. You've been listening to inverse a Bible based part of the station the callee word is wrong God Jonathan Walter Sebastian Braxton. And your host Justin. Inverses brought to you by the folks at the television that changes lives for good and more inspiring episodes there's an inverse hope t.v. news that Origen find this on social media. In the 1st 5 until next time this isn't verse.

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