“But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king? Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.”Nehemiah 2:19-20
I imagine in anything you do for God, there will always be people who oppose you or think the work is too great for you. This also happens in the secular world whenever someone else is hired or promoted instead of another. I have been in a position of envy and jealousy when I have seen someone promoted above me where I thought I was the perfect candidate for the job (even though I became upset when someone said the same about me). There will always be people who do not believe you can do the task you are given to do, but as it has been said, “Never doubt in the night what God has given you in the light.”
I’ve had people oppose me in endeavors I felt God has called me to do, and there have been people who have questioned my credibility and credentials. I remember one particular Saturday afternoon after bus ministry visitation that my pastor and I were going to grab a bite to eat. We were talking as we always did when he pitched something to me that sounded pretty far out there. He asked what I thought about starting a Christian school out of our church. I thought it was a great idea until he went a step further in his discussion and asked if I would be interested in being the principal of the school. I had just graduated from college a few months prior, and I was looking for the perfect job. I will say that this job was not on my radar and my mind was spinning with the thoughts of running a small Christian school.
I went home and spoke to Rebekah and we both prayed about it. I felt peace about taking the role, even though I would be making less than I was currently making. I knew nothing about running anything, much less a school, but I felt God was in it and He would help me achieve what needed to be done. We held a general interest meeting and the small prayer room was full of people who wanted to know more and feel us out. We received all kind of questions, some of which did not seem so friendly and some that held little confidence that we could be successful in running a school out of our church. My college degree was questioned and some even wondered how my field of study related to the task at hand, which frankly I questioned myself. I left this meeting with more questions than those who had attended the meeting.
I came home not confident in starting the school, but I knew God was in it and I still felt a peace about it. I know some of the attendees had good intentions, but there were others who were not so kind and did not even intend to send their kids to the school. The truth is, I was ill-qualified to run the school, but God is always the qualifier and gap-filler. He does not need our talent and skill as all things we possess come from Him. He gives us all things, and He always equips us to complete whatever task He has given us. A lack of confidence in ourselves to do what He has called us to do should only draw us to Him and ask for His help. There have been many other instances in my life when God has called me to do something and there has been a “Sanballat” and “Tobiah” around who brought about doubt and fear.
Will you allow the antagonistic person Satan sends to stop you in the work God has called you to do? Will you be like the great leader Nehemiah and proclaim, ”The God of heaven, he will prosper us”? There will always be those who oppose the work of the Lord, but if God has called us, we should follow Him with the same confidence in Him as Nehemiah had. Will you obey and follow God where He leads you or will be discouraged by the whisperings of Satan in your ear? May we allow God to do great things through us, and may we remember it is the God of heaven who will prosper us and equip us to do the work.