Two Facts About a Vision
19 September 2018
Nehemiah 2:18-20 'I also told [the leaders of Israel] about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king [in Persia] had said to me. They replied, "Let us start rebuilding." So they began this good work. But when [our enemies] heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us… I answered them by saying, "The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it."' (NIV)
Two things will always appear near the start of any great project for God – divine favour and spiritual opposition. When Nehemiah set out to rebuild the walls of his beloved Jerusalem, he found the God had already prepared the hearts of other leaders who would join him in the quest. That's how God works. He puts his word into the heart and mouth of one appointed and anointed leader who, when he/she boldly shares that word, draws others of like mind to the task. Sadly, there are times when people are ready to do a good work, but the leader God has called to announce and oversee is not willing to pay the price. When the leaders heard from Nehemiah, they responded for one reason: they could see the visible favour of God upon his life. Here was a man who had dared to ask permission from the king of Persia to rebuild the walls of a conquered city, thus restoring its defences. Nehemiah had come away not only with his life, but with permission to do the work and letters of approval from the king himself. Whenever God calls you to do something, especially when it involves help from other people (it usually does), he will set you up with a platform of favour. Other people will willingly follow you in the project because they've seen the hand of God on you. The second thing that comes with a new vision is opposition. As soon as Nehemiah gave voice to his plans, enemies came out of the woodwork – or, in the case, the stonework! Spiritual opposition usually starts as soon as the plans are announced, before the work even begins and often before other workers have come on board. That can be a lonely time, but we must do as Nehemiah did. He remained adamant, saying right in the face of his enemies: 'This is none of your business. God will help us to succeed. We don't need your approval, or your support!'
Prayer: 'Lord, help me to have both the favour and the determination of Nehemiah. Let others see your smile on the vision you've given me. And help me to stand up to the spiritual opposition that may come…'
© Mal Fletcher 2003-2004