Last week’s article warned us that if we want to build great lives and lives that honour Jesus one of the obstacles we will have to face is those that mock us. We saw how those who may mock our desire to break from mediocrity and live a faith driven holy life do so because they feel threatened by our desire to dream bigger. If we are to build our best life, we must learn to overcome the lack of faith that can be shown in us (sometimes by those closest to us). In last week’s column it was a guy called Sanballat who mocked the Jews in an attempt to discourage them from breaking out from under oppression. In Nehemiah 4:2 we read his attempts to squash Nehemiah and their building efforts. ‘What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they are doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day just by offering a few sacrifices? Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap – Charred ones at that?’
Here Sanballat mocks the Jews in three ways.
- You are not good enough for a great work.
- God is not with you.
- You will never experience success.
In the face of this opposition, Nehemiah and the Jews rebuilt the wall from the ‘charred rubbish heap’ in just 52 days! This was a wall which had laid in ruins for 140 years. Not bad for feeble Jews working with a rubbish heap! How did they do it? The answer is the same way we build our best life. If we are to build our best life we need to have the convictions that Nehemiah had
- God designed me to do great things
- God has promised me that He is always with me
- I may be broken but if I commit to the process nothing can stop me being rebuilt
Those who mock will generally try and sow doubt into the 3 areas above; that is the art of mocking. There is a greater art however and that is the art of building. Once God is introduced into the equation nothing is off limits or unattainable. Without Jesus in my life the mockers may be right. With Jesus in my life they better get out of the way because Jesus never intended us to be ordinary. Jesus desire for us is always to be building our best life!