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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Walls & Borders (Nehemiah 4)

My dad used to say, "fences make great neighbors." But from my observation over the years, it seems like anytime anyone tries to put up a fence, a wall, or a border even on their own property or with permission, people get angry. Apparently that's nothing new.

When God put it on Nehemiah's heart to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall, people got angry.

Nehemiah 4:7-9 Now when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repair of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches began to be closed, they were very angry. All of them conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause a disturbance in it. But we prayed to our God ..

When God calls us to build a wall, we need to be prepared for opposition, lean into God, and keep doing the work He has called us to do.

When Nehemiah gathered the Jews together to obey God in rebuilding the wall to protect Jerusalem from their enemies, Sanballat and Tobiah, used ridicule to try to discourage them. But instead of responding to their enemies, Nehemiah prayed for direction and strength, and then continued to obeyed God in rebuilding the wall.

So when we are criticized or mocked for doing what God is calling us to do, what should we do? How should we respond?

1) Refuse to respond to your accuser in the same ungodly way.

2) Remember that Jesus was also ridiculed for the work He came to do.

3) Draw close to Him and rely on Him for strength and direction.

4) Continue to do the work God has called you to do.

5) While you continue to obey God, make sure your lips are honoring Him.

Dear Lord, It is so hard to not get angry and discouraged when others criticize and mock me for doing what You are calling me to do. It's hard not to retaliate in the same way. Lord, help me remember that responding to ungodly accusations in an ungodly way will never bring You glory. Give me the strength, courage, and wisdom to draw close to You, seek Your direction, and stay focused on the work You have called me to do. In Jesus' name, amen.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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