Nehemiah. Now that's a book of the Old Testament that I don't ever think about, much less study. It is, however, the story that Pastor David is focusing on during the series Feel the Heat at Church by the Glades.
Did you know that the people of Jerusalem under the leadership of Nehemiah were able to rebuild the city walls in just 52 days? This is a project that should have taken years, even decades. We were tasked with reading Nehemiah 3 as homework, which details the different families coming together to build the great walls. Not just the carpenters, mind you, but everyone. The goldsmiths, the mayor and the priests all worked together to do God's work.
And of course, there were the haters, which was the particular lesson on Sunday, the nay sayers who tried to tear the people down and attend to their own agenda. When these men sent word to Nehemiah, trying to pull him away, he replied with the following, "I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down." Pastor David spent the entire lesson breaking this sentence down and showing how we can apply it to our lives.
God doesn't want us to do good things, He wants us to do GREAT things. And when those negative people in our lives try to pull us down and take away our focus, we should take the same approach as Nehemiah and tell them to go away. When they sent another request to meet, I particularly liked Nehemiah's response, "Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head."
Pastor David cautioned us to pray for those who are against us, but do not trust them.
I've spoken of it here before, but it has been a while. Our church, in the midst of a recession, is in the process of building a new worship center. A worship center that is costing us $11-13 million. That's $11-13 million being asked of the members of the church to pledge. And you know what? The building is swiftly coming along. I can look out my office windows and see the massive concrete structure that stands like a beacon of hope. A church that is overflowing with people looking for God in a section of the state that's not exactly known for its moral upstanding. If that's not amazing, I just don't know what is.
What's God calling you to do? Pastor David said, if you feel a great deal of excitement, but also like you're going to pee your pants, then you are probably right where God wants you to be.