Leaving the Shore of Your Dreams
Nehemiah 6:5-9 (New Century Version)
5 The fifth time Sanballat sent his helper to me with the message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter. 6 This is what was written: A report is going around to all the nations, and Geshem says it is true, that you and the Jewish people are planning to turn against the king and that you are rebuilding the wall. They say you are going to be their king 7 and that you have appointed prophets to announce in Jerusalem: "There is a king of Judah!" The king will hear about this. So come, let's discuss this together. 8 So I sent him back this answer: "Nothing you are saying is really happening. You are just making it up in your own mind." 9 Our enemies were trying to scare us, thinking, "They will get too weak to work. Then the wall will not be finished." But I prayed, "God, make me strong."
The story of Nehemiah begins with him being an ordinary guy working long hours at a high stress job (anti-poison wine tester for the king) for a company he didn’t care for. Nehemiah loved God’s people but hated the fact how at the time they were scattered all over the land and that Jerusalem lay in shambles. He would literally cry and mourn about it for days until the day came where he knew he had to do something about it. He prayed to God for favor. Scared spit-less he used his position of employment to ask his boss for permission and rite of passage to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. As the story goes, Nehemiah was given full approval and permission by the king, but as you can see, not everyone was happy about it.
The day you ‘leave the shore’ of your dreams and begin fulfilling them will be one of the greatest days of your life. Turning dreams into goals is exhilarating. As you journey out, there comes with it an incredible amount of resolve, self confidence and focus that builds every day. Mix it with faith and that determination is unstoppable. However it’s that determination that also seems to bring out from the woodwork the ‘Sanballats’ of life. They are the ones that no matter how great your idea is, no matter how much sense it makes, no matter how nice you are or kind you’ve been, they show up with just one simple goal. To stop your goal and make life as difficult as possible for you. They don’t think twice about twisting words and saying things that aren’t true. Sanballat uses intimidation and tries to destroy every shred of self confidence you thought you had. Sanballat will make you out to be an awful person. Sanballat is relentless. But so was Nehemiah. As he put it, “…our enemies were trying to scare us…then the wall will not be finished.” Regardless of the constant pressure to cave, Nehemiah didn’t let Sanballat get inside his head. When he gets in your head, he gets to your dream. Instead Nehemiah simply prayed, “God make me strong”. God did. He built that wall in 52 days. As a result, he went from ordinary guy to leader in less than 2 months. Governor in less than a year.
It pays to not let the opposition get in our head. Oftentimes that’s easier said than done. But when determination meets faith it’s amazing what one simple prayer can do!
Have a great week!