January 21, 2023
Successful People Prepare For Opposition
Nehemiah - “When I came to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River, I delivered the king’s letters to them. The king, I should add, had sent along army officers and horsemen to protect me. But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of my arrival, they were very displeased that someone had come to help the people of Israel.’ (Nehemiah 2:9-11)
Jesus - "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also.” (John 15:18-20)
People are naturally resistant to change. They don’t like it. They want the status quo. There are many reasons why people are resistant to change. It’s the job of a leader to learn why people are resistant to change and then deal with it. That’s exactly what Nehemiah did.
Nehemiah had two main opponents: Sanballat, the governor of Samaria, and Tobiah, the leader of the Ammonites. Nehemiah had not even arrived in Jerusalem when he learned about their opposition to his plan. The Bible doesn’t exactly say how Nehemiah knew they were going to oppose him, but it’s possible that he sent scouts ahead of his entourage to discover who might possibly oppose his efforts. However Nehemiah discovered this, he was ready for the opposition.
Whenever we’re leading people to achieve a vision or a goal, we should be prepared for opposition. Any time we try to do something positive, someone will always rise up and say that we shouldn’t do it. In addition to Nehemiah, the Apostle Paul also experienced this in his ministry. In his first letter to the Corinthians, he wrote: “I will stay here at Ephesus. There is a real opportunity here for a great while and worthwhile work, even though there are many opponents.” (1 Corinthians 16:8-9) The leadership lesson that Nehemiah, the Apostle Paul, and every great leader eventually learns is that there is no opportunity without opposition.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
Look over your goals once again. What opposition do you anticipate encountering as you move forward with the projects related to these goals? Write them out and be prepared to address them in the upcoming days. If you’re leading your family through this activity, help them to understand how we can address opposition without being ugly. Then, choose one goal as a family to review where your family might face opposition. Discuss how you should handle the opposition as a family.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, I know that when I attempt great things for You that I will encounter opposition. Help me to be prepared to address any opposition in a godly manner. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Today is Day Fourteen of our prayer and fasting emphasis. On this last day of prayer and fasting, take time to review your prayer list in order to see how the Lord has worked in each of your requests.