Then I came to the governors of the province beyond the river and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen. But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah, the Ammonite servant, heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel. ~ Nehemiah 2:9, 10 (ESV)
READING: Nehemiah 2:9, 10
Nehemiah wasn’t a church planter, but he might as well have been. We can learn a lot from him about working to bring the transforming grace of God into a community rife with brokenness.
Nehemiah began with a compassionate vision. He prayed, and he put together a good plan. The steps he took next are instructive for any church planter entering a new community with a dream in his heart. Imagine if Nehemiah could give us advice.
First he might say, Work your plan. As Nehemiah made his way from Persia to Palestine, he faced plenty of challenges. But he had done a thorough job of preparing ahead of time. His king had given him letters to permit travel and to requisition supplies.
Someone has said, “Plan your work, and work your plan.” That’s what Nehemiah did and that’s what we must do, too.
Nehemiah might also say, Expect opposition, but don’t let it distract you. Nehemiah had enemies from the day he arrived in Jerusalem. They were a thorn in his side throughout the project. But he didn’t panic, and he didn’t get diverted.
Church planting brings opposition. Don’t be surprised, and don’t be deterred. Keep praying, step out in faith, and trust the One who called you.
Lord, Please grant me holy perseverance to stay true to the plan You gave me. And deliver me from the evil one, to Your honor and glory. Amen.
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