No Surrender

“But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth (angry), and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end (finish it) in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?”

Nehemiah 4:1-2

I was born in the 70’s which I did not recall much about, but I do remember the times from the 80’s on. It seems this world has changed a lot since I was a kid, and things we all agreed upon have now become points of contention. There is a great divide between people, and what was once done under cover of darkness is now championed and paraded in the light. There is no longer shame associated with sin, but the ones who stand for truth are shunned and criticized. There are some in our society who call you a bigot for standing for the truth and having a godly worldview as opposed to going along with the status quo of this world. People want you to have an open mind to their ideas and philosophy, but will not reciprocate when it comes to your Christian worldview and theology. As Christians living in a sun-cursed world, now is not the time to surrender, now is not the time to compromise.

My friend’s dad had taken me and another kid who was older than I on a day trip. The kid did not have a father figure in his life, so he was trying to be an encouragement to him. I was not too fond of the kid, although it was no fault of his own really. He just rubbed me the wrong way and I was a bit jealous of him. We went fishing and did other things out in the country, and the vehicle we were in had gotten quite dirty. My friend’s dad always kept his car fairly clean, so he stopped at the car wash at the end of the day and employed us to help. I am not sure how or why things got out of control, but we did more than just wash a car.

We were cleaning the car when the kid accidentally scraped me as he was banging the car mat on a pole outside the car wash. The grippers on the back of the mat scraped my back, and I was not pleased. I turned around and went after him as he had worn on me throughout the day. I tried to punch him, but he was much bigger than me and he swung the car mat and struck me in the face with it. I did not stop and continued to try and attack him, but he hit me with that mat all over my body and face. I am not sure how many times he hit me, but I simply was bent on revenge and I had grown quite angry due to the beating I was taking at the hands of him and the car mat. He begged me to stop as I clearly was losing, but I simply was not going to quit.

His arm grew tired from swinging the mat, and I finally was able to tackle him to the ground. He was no longer smiling and laughing at me, but his eyes were wide open and I saw fear in his eyes for the first time since this fiasco started. My friend’s dad saw me on top of him and ran over to pull me off before I could get all of my frustrations out, and he made us make up. We shook hands and the kid told me that he thought I was crazy and asked why I just didn’t give up. I was not sure why myself as my face and arms were riddled with little spike marks. I told him I thought I could win even after taking several blows and it was not in me to quit or surrender. Looking back, I learned a lot about that kid and how hard his life was, and I am ashamed that I gave him such a hard time. It was not my first dust up and it was not my last, and my goal in every one of them has been to win. My parents did not raise quitters, but there is a bigger thing at stake in my life, more so than getting hit in the face by a car mat.

The world swings that car mat in attempts to stop us, and we have a choice whether or not we will strand up for the truth or if we will back down and walk away. Nehemiah faced opposition from Sanballat who was angry with him and mocked him. He looked down on him and doubted his work of rebuilding the wall would amount to anything. He sounded a lot like Goliath in his mocking, indignation, and anger, and he was not merely mocking Nehemiah, but he was mocking almighty God. 1 John 3:12-13 tells us, “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore (why) slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.” The world will always hate what it right and true, but this is no time to surrender and this is no time to compromise. We are not to be obnoxious and unloving, but we are called to be the light of the world.

Have you faced opposition? Have you faced ridicule? Have you faced mocking from those at work, old friends, family? Have you quit on your God? Have you quit on the truth? Will you get back in the fight? Will you not surrender to the opinion of man and take a stand for what is right? Will you obey God rather than man? May we care more about how God views us instead of being concerned with what the world thinks. Popular culture will always oppose the Word of God, but it is more important to please God rather than to be seen to be popular in this world. No matter what the world hits you with or how many marks they make on your face, don’t quit and never surrender.

Stay in the Fight!

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