Episode 80 - Deadly distractions and learning to say no
In this episode, Jen and AJ are looking at Nehemiah chapter 6 and talking about different types of distractions that Nehemiah faced as he was on a mission to build the wall, and how this relates to our lives today.
Do you have a problem setting boundaries? With saying “No”? Nehemiah is an example of saying no to quite a few different things. And he had the discernment to understand why he needed to say no, why it was actually imperative for him to say no.
Last week, (if you didn't hear last week’s episode, go back and listen!) we talked about the two different types of opposition to the mission: the external and the internal opposition.
In chapter 6, the tactics of the enemy shift. We see three different types of opposition, and that in and of itself is a lesson for us: to know that if you are really good at fighting a particular type of battle, the enemy is going to change his game plan.
We need to recognize that we can stand against the opposition because of Christ in us, knowing that we're gonna fight these types of oppositions that Nehemiah also fought.
It's important to recognize our opposition, but also that we have the strength to overcome it, and will have victory over it.
Nehemiah was persistent in his building of the wall, in his mission. He did not let this distraction, this diversion stop him. He kept up the mission of the wall, and each time he responded, “I will not come down.”. He recognized his enemy’s true intent, and that they were not worthy of his time.
Bringing it to our everyday lives, that helps open our eyes. How often am I distracted? By the smallest little things? When each and every one of us, we have a mission in life? We have a noble calling and yet it's so easy to be distracted from that.
A lot of things that draw us away from our mission and away from God are morally neutral. They're not bad things. But they are drawing us away from the best thing. The fact that Nehemiah understood what his mission was and didn't let go is important to us to understand. We likewise need to think on the question, “what is my mission as a believer? Why are we here? What has God given us to do?:
And articulating that well, embracing it, and then recognizing how we are to do that every day, as we encounter those relationships, the loved ones around us, our daily lives?
That's super important in order to say no to the distractions when they come. Nehemiah once again exhibits this for us when he asks God to strengthen him. And just like we need to understand our mission, we also need to be in constant community and communion. We need to be in constant conversation with a mighty God who is the only one that can strengthen us for the mission.
The next thing that happens in chapter 6 is something we can all relate to. They were saying untrue things about Nehemiah, false accusations. The enemy will come against us, and one of the tactics will be to say things about us that are not true.
Nehemiah could have felt frightened and wanted to quit. And we must realize, we're building the mission, but we're also building each other up in faith because the enemy will not just come against you, but he will come against those that are working with you and those around you.
When you hear someone saying something that is faithless, encourage them. Gently encourage them to believe in God and to believe his word, because not only is that going to affect them, it's going to affect you and everybody else around them too.
Let's remember our mission, and remember the reason we have to say “no”. Our mission is to build the kingdom of God and to glorify him so that he can draw others to him. It is not up to us to save. We can't do that, but we can do our part to build a wall, to be on a mission so that he can work through us.
We’ll see you next week with the final episode of the Nehemiah Series.
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