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Progress over Opposition

I've often wondered if all the opposition I face on a regular basis is new to this day and time or if it's always been? After reading Nehemiah 4 I've come to believe, it's always been!

Nehemiah faced great opposition when guiding his people to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. He faced many challenges, not the least of which were 3 nearby empires that wanted to destroy them all! The forces launched attacks on them that included: anger, mockery, negativism, intimidation and discouragement. The funny thing about these attacks most of them came from the outside, but a few came from the inside as well.

As believers we face the very same challenges today. When we as individuals or as the church step out to do what God has told us to do, we get much of the same response. The sad part is that much of the attacks are from family, friends and faith believers in the church. Some people are scared to change. Some people have lost hope and believe change is pointless. It seems that the older we get we see change as just time taking away more of who we are rather than seeing it as a growth opportunity.

Nehemiah led his people to do a few things to oppose the opposition. He immediately went to prayer. Prayer is the key. Connect with the One who has the power to do what needs to be done. They had to refocus their hearts. The Bible says they had a 'heart' or a 'will' to build. Many times that takes a refocus of the heart. Nehemiah always had his eye on the enemy and they were ready at any time to defend God's actions for them. It says they even carried their weapons when they bathed. Other than making for a rusty sword, it also highlights the need to always be ready.

How much of a fight do you put up when attacks come before you give up? Maybe you are like the faithful dog that rolls over as soon a challenge presents itself. We are not to give up! God's will for our lives isn't as hard as we might think. It gets hard when we mix God's word with the attackers thoughts planted to distract us. Our God Reigns!! Follow Him and you cannot go wrong. I'm not saying that it's all easy. I'm saying if God gave us the vision and direction He certainly gives the strength to follow.   

Posted by Dr John Heading with

Before Extraordinary There Is Ordinary

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“Before Extraordinary There Is Ordinary”

 When we read the Bible and take to heart what God has to reveal to us, it’s easy to look at those characters as more spiritual than the rest of us. It’s also easy to think that God had some type of special dispensation for them and not for us.

 But to look at the Bible as a whole we see that God has a plan for all of us. Ephesians 2:10 (NIV2011) “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” This belief also applies to the individuals of the nativity Story.

 Let’s consider Mary and Joseph for a minute. It is widely accepted that Mary was a young woman about to be married. She was a virgin. The angel said this, Luke 1:28 (NIV2011)
28  The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
I don’t think this statement means that there was something about Mary that can’t be said of other faithful believers or even other faithful young ladies her own age or in her own town. Think about this, is it possible that God knew Mary’s ordinary, day by day faithfulness and chose to ask her for the extraordinary?

Let’s consider Joseph. His plan was to get married, have a family build a house and live the regular, ordinary life But that all changed when an angel came to him to tell him the new plan. After that encounter, Jesus responded in faithfulness. Matthew 1:24-25 (NIV2011) 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
25  But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”
And even when it was time to leave and go to Egypt, Joseph was faithful when God told him it was time to go. We see the extraordinary actions of Joseph, but is it possible the extraordinary actions would not have happened if he had not been faithful in the day to day, ordinary life of faithfulness to god?

Also, consider the many ‘One Hit wonders’ in the Bible. So many people used by God in an extraordinary way, ONCE. They lived the day to day, ordinary life of faithfulness – and then God chose to guide them to the extraordinary.

Most people want to leave a legacy. We want to do something that really makes a difference. The message of the Bible is to be faithful to God in the day to day, ordinary faithful life and let God decide when or if we are called to the extraordinary. Luke 16:10 (NIV2011) 10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…”

The following quote from DL Moody really sums things up: “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.”

 Don’t worry about being extraordinary for God – life the faithful, day to day life of a disciple and let God worry about the extraordinary.

 “Before Extraordinary There Is Ordinary”

 By: Dr John Heading,  Beavercreek Baptist Church

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