The Passage: Nehemiah 4:10-14
The Point: We have to fight to believe.
Any time you attempt something great, the naysayers will line up to discourage you ― your friends, your family, and even words in your own head. Entrepreneurs know this. There are dozens of books on mindset written for people starting new ventures, in part because it is really hard to do. Recovering addicts know this too. Often, their efforts to get off drugs and back to health are undermined by family and friends as much as anyone else. Nehemiah was trying to do something few thought was possible, and sure enough, doubters and discouragers lined up to take him and his workers off mission.
The same temptation befalls us when we try:
- Creating something new ― a business, a novel, an album
- Improving ourselves ― earning a degree, losing weight
- Reaching a family member who doesn’t believe
- A daring ministry venture ― like planting 100 neighborhood churches
Believing in God’s preferred future is a fight ― against the unbelief of others, against your own doubts, and against the way things have always been. In fact, the battle in our minds to believe the preferred future might be harder than actually bringing it about.
Nehemiah models the right combat posture in Nehemiah 4:14: refuse to fear, focus on the Lord, and fight.
- Refuse to fear. Fear is faith in the enemy. You can choose where to place your faith.
- Focus on the Lord. It’s easy to forget the greatness and power of God when you’re in the battle. Lift your eyes and remember whose side you are on.
- Fight. Nothing new or great happens without effort and sacrifice. The preferred future is worth it!
- For what preferred future is God asking you to fight?
- What do believe about that future?
- What aspects of God’s character might you be forgetting in the battle?
- What is one step of faith that you could take today?