by Rick Warren — April 7, 2021
“So I replied by sending this message to them: ‘I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?’ Four times they sent the same message, and each time I gave the same reply.”
Nehemiah 6:3-4 (NLT)
But you will face naysayers along the way. They’ll tell you: “You’re the wrong person. You’ve got the wrong idea. You’re doing it the wrong way.”
Take the Old Testament story of Nehemiah, for example. Nehemiah wasn’t a pastor or a priest. He was a businessman. Israel had been taken captive by the Babylonians. The Israelites had been in exile for 70 years—and then the Babylonians let them go home.
Jerusalem had been destroyed and was defenseless. But Nehemiah got a big idea to change that. “I’ll rebuild my city,” he thought. “And I’ll start by rebuilding the wall to protect it.”
Nehemiah’s story teaches that every opportunity comes with opposition.
For Nehemiah, the opposition was instant. Israel’s enemies didn’t want to see Jerusalem defended. They tried all sorts of things to stop him from rebuilding the wall. They tried ridicule, rumors, and threats. When none of that worked, they tried to slow him down by involving him in bunch of meetings.
Your critics—the naysayers who want to prevent you from doing what the Lord has called you to do—will use the same bag of tricks. They’ll ridicule you, spread rumors about you, and even threaten you to get you to stop doing what God wants you to do.
But instead of listening to them, respond the way that Nehemiah did: “So I replied by sending this message to them: ‘I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?’ Four times they sent the same message, and each time I gave the same reply” (Nehemiah 6:3-4 NLT).
You don’t need to fight with naysayers. It’s not worth it. If you try to take on people who have a negative opinion about God’s plans for you, you’ll just waste your time.
Nehemiah didn’t defend his work. You don’t need to defend yourself either. Just let the naysayers’ criticisms go.
One day God’s work through your life will be proven correct. Have enough faith to wait for that day to come.