‘It is reported … that you and the Jews plan to rebel;’ Nehemiah 6:6 NKJV
To prevent Nehemiah from rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls, his enemies spread rumours about him. ‘It is reported among the nations, and Geshem says, that you and the Jews plan to rebel; therefore, according to these rumours, you are rebuilding the wall, that you may be their king’ (Nehemiah 6:6 NKJV). Now, you can’t control what people think or keep them from saying it, but you can determine your response. Nehemiah did: ‘I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” But they sent me this message four times, and I answered them in the same manner’ (Nehemiah 6: 3-4 NKJV). This story teaches you three important principles:
1) Refuse to give more attention to a critic than you would to a friend. To Nehemiah, the people who mattered were those who were for him rather than those against him. So instead of trying to change minds, he changed gears and moved forwards.
2) Realise that with opportunity comes opposition. Paul wrote, ‘There is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me’ (1 Corinthians 16:9 NLT). Criticism is a sign of respect; if you weren’t succeeding, they wouldn’t even notice you.
3) Remember that it’s the big battles that produce the big victories. Satan won’t send you a congratulatory letter because you have decided to do God’s will; he will fight you every step of the way. ‘Because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world’ (1 John 4:4 KJV). Today God is on your side, so your victory is assured.
SoulFood: Eze 20-21 Mark 11:27-33 Ps 78:1-8 Pro 20:7-10
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023