Enabled by God for Obedience (Nehemiah 2:19–20) - Radical

Enabled by God for Obedience (Nehemiah 2:19–20)

“But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” Then I replied to them,” Nehemiah says I replied to them,” That God of heaven will make us prosper and we are his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.”
– Nehemiah 2:19–20

Now before I read these verses, let me set the stage. Nehemiah has now left the king’s palace, he’s come to Jerusalem, he surveyed the walls because he’s going to lead the people of Jerusalem to rebuild those walls.

Nehemiah 2:19–20 Shows Us the Opposition Nehemiah Faced

Oh, I love that verse. I love that response from Nehemiah. As he, from the very beginning, so don’t miss it. From the very beginning, he’s facing opposition in the work that God has called him to do, in the rebuilding of the wall.

In a way that almost inevitably, whenever you and I are following Christ, doing what God has put on our hearts to do according to his word, the leadership of his spirit, there will always be opposition. It will not be easy to walk in obedience to God, to do what God puts on our hearts to do according to his word, by his spirit, in this world.

This Verse Reminds Us that We Will Face Opposition

There will be opposition, and so Nehemiah is facing that opposition from the very beginning. They’re jeering at him, taunting him. He looks back at them and he says, “The God of heaven will make us prosper. We will arise and build. You will have no share in this.”

He knows, his confidence is in God. When God calls you to do something, you can be confident that God will enable you to do that something. That God will give you the strength, the grace, the wisdom, the courage you need to do that something. And so we press forward in obedience to him, confident not in ourselves, but confident in him. His grace, his power at work in us.

Nehemiah 2:19–20 Calls Us to Spread the Gospel

So we pray. God, we want to follow you, we want to obey you, we want to do all that you put on our hearts to do, all that you will put on our hearts to do in our lives in the days to come, we want to be the people you’ve called us to be. We want to be the men, the women, the husbands, the wives, the moms, the dads you’ve called us to be.

Lord, we want to be the leaders you’ve called us to be in your church, we want to be the followers you’ve called us to be in your church. We want to make a difference for your glory, for the spread of the gospel in the world around us. So God we pray for courage in all these things. We can’t do them on our own, we need you to do what you’ve called us to do in and through us.

This Verse Leads Us to Trust in Christ

So help us we pray and as we pray this, we say, we trust in you. You will make us prosper. We trust, prosper in the sense of experiencing what you have designed for us to experience in a life of obedience to you. Oh, we put our faith, our trust in you. We pray for endurance amidst obstacles that are inevitable around us. Help us to trust in you, to look to you, to believe in the strength and the wisdom and the grace that you give as we carry out your commands. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

Less than 1% of all money given to missions goes to unreached people and places.*

That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Let's change that!