Have you ever felt discouraged? Have you ever felt even if it was for a moment, an hour or a day that the whole universe had conspired against you? I have certainly had that moment, hour, week and if I am honest, year! I don’t know about you but living life from the comfort of my own head can at times be a very dangerous place. My own head at times lacks clarity, honesty and perspective. The truth is our heads are very good at protecting us by telling us we are right and everyone else is mistaken. I think the truth is that at times we have all felt discouraged by something. Sometimes there are circumstances, stories or people in our life that try and intimidate us and tell us we won’t make it. Nehemiah had a group of influential people in his world that were constantly telling him he couldn’t make it. They were constantly trying to intimidate him and hinder what he was doing for God. ‘They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So, I continued the work with even greater determination.’ Nehemiah 6:9
Nehemiah was a great leader and visionary because he had unlocked the antidote for intimidation and discouragement; Keep moving! If our desire is to live the wide-open spacious life that Jesus makes possible and do something significant with our lives there will always be people who feel threatened by our convictions and misinterpret our motivation based on their own experiences. Nehemiah knew that he wasn’t accountable for the hearts or actions of his accusers. Nehemiah was accountable for his own heart and he was determined to build what he felt God had called him to build. Jesus is calling each of us to build fruitful lives, great families and an amazing faith community. Anytime we feel discouraged or intimidated by others in what we are building that is the moment we know how important it is to protect that which is dearest and forge ahead with great determination. A wise man once said, ‘if you are going through hell…. don’t stop’. When you feel the most discouraged and are the most prepared to give up that is the moment the greatest victory can be achieved by even the smallest step. If your path is directed towards building with Jesus, no matter what, don’t stop.