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REQUIREMENTS FOR REVITALIZATION: RESOLUTION

If living for Jesus were easy, then everyone would be doing it. If a church fulfilling its mission were easy, then all churches would be alive and growing. Jesus stated the terms, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me,” (Mk.8:34). If you want to live for Christ, you must die to self. If you want your church to be revitalized, it requires the kind of resolution we see modeled by Nehemiah in chapter 6.


RESOLUTION SUPPORTS OUR DECISION, (v. 1-4). Nehemiah’s resolve supported his public decision. He had set his face like a flint and there was no turning back. Nehemiah had faced difficulties again and again. There had been those outside who had mocked him and sought to depress him. There were those inside who had fought among themselves and that would distress him. Now, here is the enemy persistent, and trying once more to halt the work. What do you do, when you are punched again and again?  You get knocked down and you get up!  Sanballat wanted Nehemiah to come down to his level. He invited him to a private meeting in the plain of Ono, and Nehemiah’s response was, “Oh no!  I’m not doing it!”  The world begs us to come down to their level—to compromise at least a little. “Don’t be a fanatic!  Let’s be reasonable.”  Stop your ears to that!  Nehemiah had his priorities. He said, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down."

RESOLUTION REQUIRES OUR DEPENDENCE, (v. 5-9). Nehemiah’s resolve would not have been enough. There was at the heart of this a humble reliance on the Lord. He entreated God, “strengthen my hands.”  Here is the formula for keeping our resolution—-apart from God we cannot and apart from us, God will not. The enemy tried intimidation and accusation. The devil’s crowd cranked up the rumor mill. The critics got louder and louder.  Why must you have resolve? Because you are going to face criticism if you seek to be obedient to the Lord. The implication was that Nehemiah was seeking his own glory—-that he wanted to be a king. This man of God did not organize supporters to counter the protesters. he did not make a forceful move to oust his opponents. He just told the truth and trusted God. If people don’t lie about you then you have not done much good. Jesus was the only perfect Man and they lied about Him. We aren’t better than our Master!  Here’s what Jesus said, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matt. 5:11-12).


RESOLUTION UNDERSCORES OUR DARING, (v. 10-11). This was a subtle, sinister scheme of the enemy to discredit Nehemiah by tempting him to flee for his life into the Temple. To do so would break God’s command that only the priests were to enter the Temple. This man was planted by the enemy. He claimed to be a friend, but he was a fraud. Will we face adversity with fear or faith?  Frankly, it is easier to run than to take a stand. God uses men and women of daring.


RESOLUTION NEEDS OUR DISCERNMENT, (v. 12-14). Wolves in sheep’s clothing rise within the flock to deceive. They claim to speak for God, but the message is not from heaven, but the pit of hell!  That is where we need to resolve to have discernment that detects error. If the devil cannot get you to compromise morally, he will try to get you to compromise doctrinally. How do we know if a message is from God?  Measure it by the Scriptures. If Nehemiah had failed it would have made headline news. People are always watching. Be discerning.


RESOLUTION DEMANDS OUR DETERMINATION, (v. 15-19). Nehemiah testifies, “this work was done by our God.”  That which seemed impossible had been done through a man who trusted in the Almighty. A weak, beaten down people had accomplished the work of rebuilding because they trusted and obeyed the Lord. Their resolution was pivotal.



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