A Change of Direction - Part 4

January 22, 2016, 12:00 am


Stay On Course by Overcoming Obstacles

One of the biggest challenges when making changes in our lives is to stay on course. The Bible has some great examples of people who faced enormous challenges but placed their trust in God to keep them on course. One of these people was Nehemiah. Nehemiah was challenged to journey to Jerusalem and rebuild a wall around his beloved city. In the process of rebuilding the wall he faced some major obstacles.

The first obstacle Nehemiah faced was fear. He was required to obtain permission from the king of the land to venture back to Jerusalem. Just by entering the king’s presence he was putting his life on the line. That is not a risk I would be willing to take.  Change is often met with fear causing us to question and doubt ourselves. Nehemiah faced his fear and, when he asked the king to allow him to go back into Jerusalem, the king not only granted him permission but some assistance, too. We need to face our fears in order to change. Giving into our fears will keep us right where we are. It might feel safe, but it isn’t where we want to be.

The second thing Nehemiah faced was criticism. When he arrived in Jerusalem there were people who didn’t want to see him rebuild the wall.  These people spread gossip and said harmful things to try to discourage Nehemiah and anyone who was assisting him.  Sometimes when we begin to change people seem to try and discourage us. Their intentions may not be bad. It may be that they don’t understand why we want to do something different than what we have always done. They may be jealous of our desire and dedication to improve ourselves. Often times the criticism will start with such remarks as, “You can’t do that” or “There is no way you can accomplish that.” Nehemiah didn’t allow criticism to stop him and neither should you. Don’t let other people hold you back.

Nehemiah also had to face the fact that he and his builders grew weary.  The Bible says that the strength of the laborers was giving out so Nehemiah supported them by placing others near them.  Change can be exhausting. This is where your accountability person comes in. Go to them for support.  Admit to them you cannot do it alone. Allow that person to be your sounding board. Perhaps they can see solutions that you can’t see. Just hearing their words of encouragement and belief in you can keep you focused on your goal.

Lastly, Nehemiah sought God’s guidance with every obstacle placed in front of him. He knew that God had called him to the task of rebuilding the wall and turned to God for help.  In one instance when things were very difficult, Nehemiah asked God to strengthen his hands. Whatever it is that you want to change, I want to encourage you to bring God into your challenge. He will help you complete the important journey you have started.

Talk to you next week.

Tom   

 

Posted by The Chaplain's Corner at 12:00 am
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