- Nehemiah’s Great Work
- God wants to give ordinary people a pentecost so they can do a “Great Work” for him
- The “Great Work” we need to be involved in is to believe in Jesus.
- Only by obeying Jesus can we produce fruit in our lives. (Peter and fishing)
- We can’t believe in Jesus unless God draws us so we are praying for Jesus to draw us close to Himself.
- Nehemiah was empowered to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
2. Distraction # 1 Interruptions
If you set your heart on getting to know God better so you can believe in him and trust him more, you will stir up the gates of hell against you, but Jesus said that they will not be able to prevail against you.
If the gates were not able to prevail, then distractions will come your way that will turn our eyes from the goal of knowing Jesus.
Nehemiah 6: 2 – 4 Come and meet with me.
satan is terrified of those who set their hearts to get to know God and believe in the words that are in the Bible.
EXAMPLE: Phone will ring, person come to the door, children wake up.
IMPORTANT: NOT EVERY INTERRUPTION IS FROM SATAN,
Time with Jesus must become a priority.
Jesus withdrew from the needs around him and found time to spend with His father.
- Take control of thought life. (paper to write things down, cast down thoughts)
- Time for an appointment with Jesus
- Ask for help to come against distractions.
3. Distractions # 2 Lies
Lies from the enemy to accuse you. There are so many lies we have to deal with, but there is one that is pretty evident here in Nehemiah’s life.
- Nehemiah rebuilding Jerusalem because of their sin. ALWAYS REMINDED OF THE PAST AND WHAT CAUSED THEM TO FALL INTO SIN.
- Past keeps coming up. Same problem that caused them to lose the land in the first place.
LIE YOU WILL NEVER OVERCOME YOUR PAST BECAUSE IT IS TOO POWERFUL FOR YOU.
We set our eyes on the problems around us and we begin to identify with them and we take on the spirit of those problems.
Colossians 3: 2 Set you mind on the things above not on the things of the earth
Hebrews 12: 2 Set your eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of your faith.
I am focused on the ruins of the walls, I will never finish it, but if I focus on Jesus, I will complete my pursuit of him.
Vs 9 Trying to intimidate us imagining that they could discourage me and stop the work. Battle so intense we quit our pursuit of God.
Nehemiah’s reaction So I continued to work with even greater determination
4. Distraction # 3 Destroy Integrity
Nehemiah 6: 11 – 13 trying to make Nehemiah sin
How many fail because of choices we make.
Sampson was a judge rather than a seer. (HIS NAME MEANS SUNLIGHT). Died blind and in total darkness because of his compromise with those around him
Samuel on the other hand was a prophet (CALLED A SEER WHICH MEANS A BEHOLDER OF VISION)
Everything fell apart during Samuel’s life. Economy destroyed, army wiped out and ark captured.
Beholder of vision, because he did not let one word of God fall to the ground. (1 Samuel 3: 19)
I WANT TO BE A SAMUEL, BUT MANY TIMES I END UP BEING A SAMPSON, WHAT SHOULD I DO.
Last week I talked about Peter and his fishing excursion where he did not catch any fish until he obeyed Jesus.
John 21 Peter quits the ministry and goes back to fishing because he failed Jesus by denying him.
John 21: 3 fished all night and didn’t catch anything.
Vs 4 Jesus was on the shore but the distance they allowed themselves to get from him stopped them from recognizing him.
Vs 6 throw your net on the other side of the boat and so many fish they couldn’t get it into the boat. (LAST TIME THE BOAT SANK)
Vs 7 Peter jumped into the water to be with Jesus.
EXAMPLE: we take on the aroma of those around us. Smell like a fisherman
NOT TO AVOID THOSE AROUND US BUT TO BE THE AROMA OF GOD TO THEM.
- FEEL FAR FROM JESUS.
QUESTIONS FOR LIFE GROUPS
THESE ARE QUESTIONS FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS AS WE HAVE A GUEST SPEAKER NEXT WEEK. I AM SURE THAT THERE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH FOR EACH LESSON. ONE PLACE TO STOP WOULD BE IN THE AREA OF BATTLING THE PAST. (DISTRACTION # 2)
Great Work Obstacles.
Nehemiah is involved in a Great Work (See Nehemiah 6: 3) The work God requires is that we would believe in Jesus. This requires more than a mental ascent that I know there is a Jesus, but it also requires that I obey his voice and do what he is calling me to do. Today we are going to look at some distractions that may come our way that will stop us from being able to accomplish the great work we are required to do.
Distraction # 1
- Read Nehemiah 6: 2, 3 the distraction of turning away from our work.
- What was the distraction that the enemy tried to bring into Nehemiah’s life? Interruptions to obeying the voice of God. How many have ever had to deal with interruptions when we set out to follow after God? Any Examples?
- Read Matthew 11: 28 – 30 What are some things we can learn from this verse that have to deal with working for Jesus and distractions. We have to follow Jesus call to come to him. We must work with Him because we are yoked to Him. When we work with Him our work is easy because he is working with us by being yoked to us.
- Read John 6: 44 Jesus calls us to come to him, but now nobody can come to him unless the father draws him. If we try to come to him on our own power we are defeated already. Why would Jesus ask us to do something that we can”t do? So we would rely on him power to accomplish it. God said he will raise us up on the last day. What does this say about dealing with distractions in our lives? We have to rely on God to cut out the distractions and trust him to draw us to himself instead of striving in our own power.
- What about stray thoughts that come into our lives. WE can start to pray and wild thoughts come bombarding us and we have a hard time focusing. How do we deal with that? READ 2 Corinthians 10: 3 – 5
- What do these verses say about stray thoughts that come into our minds? They are a part of warfare that comes from satan. Some thoughts that come into our minds are from satan himself.
- How can we battle them? We are to cast them down and remove them from our minds. EXAMPLE: it is like taking the thought that comes into our minds and imagining it on a piece of paper. Then take the paper out and throw it away.
- Why are we called to capture rebellious thoughts? They can run rampant in our minds.
- Any practical ways that people have of keeping focused when praying? (Music, Notebook to write down things we may need to do so we can forget about them. Etc)
Distraction # 2
- Read Nehemiah 6: 6 – 8 What is the distraction that came at Nehemiah’s life? False accusations. How can what others say about us stop our pursuit of believing in Jesus? We can become offended by what others say. What if what they say is true and we are failures?
- Nehemiah was rebuilding the walls that were knocked down because of Israel’s rebellion. He was constantly reminded of their failure every time he smashed his finger or ran into a problem. We need to keep our focus on the great work and off of the problem if we are not going to be distracted.
- Read Colossians 3: 2 How do we set our minds on the things above? Read the Bible, shut off voices that bring fear and despair Ask the Holy Spirit for focus.
- Read John 21: 3, 4 Why did Peter quit the ministry and return to fishing? He denied Jesus and felt like a failure. What was the result of his fishing in his own power? No fish (does this sound familiar) Why don’t you think Jesus disciples recognized him? When we are distant from Jesus, we have a hard time hearing his voice. How can we stop lies and failure from distancing ourselves from the voice of Jesus? Learn to obey the voice of Jesus again.
- Read Nehemiah 6: 10 – 13 What is the distraction that the enemies are trying to do to Nehemiah? They are trying to make him compromise his belief and ruin his testimony.
- Two examples used were of Sampson and Samuel as people of integrity. Sampson was a judge (See judges 13 – 15) His name means sunlight and he was a Nazarite which was a person set apart for God. They were set apart by doing three things.
- Never touching a dead thing
- Never drinking wine
- Never cutting their hair (Numbers 6: 1 – 8)
- Everything fell apart for Samuel nation lost its army
- They were taken over by the enemy
- They lost their religion as the ark was captured.
- The economy fell apart.
- How did Samuel keep his focus on God and not fall into despair? 1 Samuel 3: 19 “he never let a word fall to the ground. He obeyed everything God told him to do. He kept close to God and was in turn able to trust God.
- Peter did not recognize Jesus because a distance had grown between them. What was the first step in restoring that relationship? (Read John 21: 6) start to obey the voice of The Lord.
- Read John 21: 7 What did Peter do? How do you think that relates to us? When we fail, we tend to try and hide from Jesus. Peter obeyed the call to come to him. When we fail, we need to run to Jesus to receive forgiveness.
- Is it possible to hide or distance ourselves from God? No, He is everywhere
- Read Ephesians 2: 21 We are the temple of the Holy Spirit so can we run from God? IF we feel distant from God is it a reality or some lie in our mind?
Close in Prayer for the three distractions that stop us from doing the Great Work
- False accusations