When big Spiritual challenges come your way, are you up to dealing with them?
Or do you hope the challenge, the Issue, the Decision, the Person, the Ministry will JUST Go away?
Sometimes Christians want to head for the Hills when big Spiritual challenges come.
Elijah ran from the threats of Jezebel when God had already given him great spiritual victories!
Moses was not immediately interested in dealing with Pharaoh.
Do you remember his, "but I'm not........." list? In Exodus 4, Moses said, "But they will not believe me, But I'm not a good speaker" and on and on. What was Moses doing? He was Making EXCUSES as to why he could not do the Lord's work.
Jonah did not want to face the Ninevites!
Oh you remember the story in Jonah chapter 1. God said "go to Nineveh" but Jonah fled to Tarshish."
Then we have the disciples in the N.T. They certainly had their moments of running and hiding.
Finally! Christians today, including Teens, may want to RUN from the spiritual challenges that confront them.
It's so important for you to learn early in life, NOT to RUN from challenges! Now there are some things you should run from. You should Run from immorality! You should Run from Temptation or someone who is trying to tempt you to sin. However, there are things that God has called believers to do and WE shouldn't Run from our responsibility.
Nehemiah teaches us some valuable lessons about dealing with Spiritual challenges.
Nehemiah saw a Great Need! The wall of Jerusalem had born torn down. The City of God was a mess and something needed to be done about it. Unbelievers were mocking God and His people because of the condition of God's Holy City.
Have you ever looked at your own life or at a situation in your family, or your youth group, or you neighborhood or even in your church and thought to yourself
"SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT THIS? This person's life is a MESS! My spiritual life is a Mess!"
But you're hoping God will send someone Else to deal with the Challenge. If you respond to challenges this way, you're doing what Moses did, "Please send someone else."
Nehmiah didn't do this! No, he started dealing with the spiritual challenge in a biblical way.
The first thing Nehemiah teaches us, is that Great spiritual challenges call for Intense Prayer!
That's right - prayer! When ever we find great spiritual activity in God's Word we find believers PRAYING! The very first thing Christians need to do is become broken about their sin before a HOLY God! They need to confess "everything"!
What needs to be confessed in your life? You cannot pray and ask God for spiritual strength to take on spiritual challenges when you will not even ask God to give you the ability to deal with your own sins. Confess your sins, become a pure vessel in His hands. Rely on God's strength to KEEP from sinning.
Second, Nehemiah teaches us that we need to realize who God is!
Who are you crying out to? Are you praying to a little tiny God? Are you crying out to a God that is weak and limited in ability? NO! Our God is anAwesome God! He the Creator of the Universe. He's created thousands of stars bigger than our Sun! Our God has INFINITE POWER. He is Truly an AWESOME GOD !!!
All to often people throw the word awesome around without really understanding what it means. One Who is awesome leaves you Awe struck! Stricken with Fear mixed with Honor and Reverence. God is the only one that this should be true of.
When you pray to God, to you realize His Infinite Power? Do you understand that you are communicating with the Creator of the Universe? We can come boldly before the throne of God, but always remember, we come Before the KING of kings on His throne.
Why is this so important?
When you realize WHO we pray to, our faith should not waver, because we understand God CAN bring our prayer request to pass if it is HIS will.
Nehemiah also teaches us that Constant prayer is needed when facing spiritual challenges! Nehemiah cried out, "I pray before You now, day and night."
Ah! Do we really want spiritual victory that Bad? Bad enough that we'll pray and pray and keep praying with unwavering faith. When was the last time you spent days praying to God for just one thing? Have you been praying for the salvation of a friend, over and over again? Have you been praying that God will open doors of opportunity to tell others about Christ? Pray without ceasing and pray without fainting.
Not only was Nehemiah's prayer constant, but it was so focused that he gave himself to fasting. He set aside physical things to focus on the spiritual. Teens, what are you willing to set aside to spend time in prayer. Perhaps some of your own fun time or utilizing that wasted time of just "hanging around". If prayer is a priority, YOU WILL PRAY! If prayer is a priority, you will give time to prayer, even if it means sacrificing your own time.
Great Challenges also require Bold Actions:
Nehemiah spoke to the King! 2:2-4. Maybe you'll have to speak to the school principal or the pastor or youth leader to see a spiritual need met. It could be that God would lead you to start a student led Bible study in your public school, or maybe start a Bible study for teens in your neighborhood. You'll have to face some people! You'll have to ask some questions and make some request. God will give you the strength and the courage to do HIS Will.
Great Spiritual Works also depend Completely on God! You must face the opposition in God's strength (Neh. 2:20 "The God of heaven, he will prosper us).
Great Spiritual Works often require the help of the saints, Neh. 2:17 "come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach."
Great Spiritual Works will be opposed, so you need to be ready to deal with opposition!
You'll probably hear others say "We Can1t do it!" "It's too much Work!" "There are too Many Enemies!" see Neh. 4:10-14
Great Challenges & Spiritual Works require you to Avoid Distractions:
Read Neh. 6:2-5. What distracts you from doing the Lord's work? If you really want to be used, you'll have to discipline yourself to be available for the Lord. Give time and energy to God!
Finally! Great Spiritual works will manifest God's Power , Neh. 6:15,16. "So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days. And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God."
So what spiritual challenges are before you? Are you Ready and Willing to do the Lord's work? If you need some more help or would like suggestions, please contact us.
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