Nehemiah 2:19 – But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?”
Several years ago, I was spending time with a pastor friend of mine who I consider a dear friend and he asked me if I knew the secret to not getting attacked by people. Now, I’ve had my fair share of keyboard warriors attacking me online from their mom’s basements somewhere, so my interest was piqued.
He continued, “The secret to not being attacked is not to do anything, say anything, or have anything?” That’s a little tough, isn’t it? Especially for those of us He has called to preach in a public way but also for anyone who calls themselves a Christian.
It’s also been said that “The one who calls the shots must take the shots”, meaning that anyone in leadership is going to be the one who is opposed and attacked more. If Satan, or those who are working on his behalf, can tear down the leader, those who they’re leading will most likely scatter without leadership.
If you’re in any type of leadership role, especially in ministry, and feel like you’re doing what God has called you to do but are being opposed, you’re most likely in the will of God. You can take heart that you’re not the only one and that those in leadership are not called to an easy life.
Once Nehemiah reaches Jerusalem, it’s curious that the first people to greet him are Sanballat and Tobiah in opposition of what he’s doing. But, because he’s so confident in what God has called him to do, he can keep his head down, continue God’s work, and ultimately not let their opposition destroy him. When we’re confident in what God has called us to do (which we learn through Bible reading and prayer), we have that same power of the Holy Spirit working within us.
Nehemiah immediately faced opposition. Why are critics and enemies today weaponizing technology to cause more fear and failure than ever before?