Read Nehemiah 6
Focus on verse 15
Nehemiah rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem in fifty-two days. That is less than three months. This is quite a miraculous feat considering that during the process they were constantly being harassed and threatened by those who opposed the project. When the project was complete the naysayers were silenced and they recognized that the God of Israel had helped Nehemiah and his people get the job done.
One of the realities of life in our fallen world is that there are always some who will do everything they can to hold you back from succeeding, because if you succeed, it stands in sharp contrast to their own failure. It is this attitude that keeps the cycle of poverty going in poor communities. It’s nothing short of the old “misery loves company” adage. If we are all poor and miserable we can commiserate together and blame the nameless rich folk out there somewhere for our poverty, but if any of us work hard and actually succeed in rising above the rest – well, we can’t let that happen because it brings us face to face with the reality that if we change our attitude and behavior, we might just succeed as well.
Perhaps the bottom line is that we don’t want to change, or perhaps we are afraid to change because the way we have lived for years is the only life we know. What if we were to actually succeed? Then we’d have to be responsible and disciplined and learn new patterns of behavior. Nope – it’s too hard. Better to just keep on living in the delusion that nothing can be changed.
Then, along comes a Nehemiah, and he inspires people to rise up and work…to rebuild broken down lives, and in so doing to rebuild our courage, our self-esteem and our pride. Suddenly everything is changed. Life is better. It’s still hard but we have a reason to get up in the morning. We begin to dream of a better life, a fuller life…we begin to experience life the way God intended us to.
The deceiver is very subtle with his lies. It is the power of the lie that holds us back, that keeps us afraid of success…what if Nehemiah had allowed the words and threats of Tobiah and Sanballat to intimidate him into stopping the project. Nehemiah kept his focus on the truth of what God had called him to accomplish. This is what helped him to recognize the lies of the deceiver in the taunts of those who opposed him.
Know the truth, believe the truth, and obey the truth. This will expose the enemy’s deception and keep us motivated to pursue truth.