The phone rang. It was Derrick. Again. He was the guy in our church that could turn a five-minute stand-up meeting into a full-on Wednesday night, 9 PM, filibuster! “I don’t think we should proceed with the church renovation. We really ought to crunch the numbers on the carpet before we spend the money. And I don’t like the contractor. I think he’s got his own agenda. I bet he’s not even a Christian. I know he came with solid recommendations from Jeff, John, and Bill but I really think we out to wait for a couple of months and see how everything pans out. Could we get together and meet about this? I think we should propose the stoppage to Pastor Alan.” I hang up the phone after sharing my concern about the delay and sighed. How could I let Derrick get into my head so quickly?
Nehemiah’s “Derrick” was Sanballat. He chaired a coalition of sarcastic, no-gooders who hated progress and did everything they could to derail Nehemiah’s mission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. His buddy, Tobiah was no different, proclaiming that even a fox could tear down the wall they were building. There’s one thing that’s certain. We will always run into negative, controlling critics and adversaries. It’s our choice as to whether we will relent to their controlling schemes or set our mind to the work. Whenever we try to make a radical, God-honoring change at work, church or in a community, we will always face opposition, negativity, mockery, sarcasm, minimizations and even threat. Expect it. We can either let them get in our heads or press forward. Let’s follow the crew of Jerusalem who set their mind to work.