I have really come to believe that leaders who do what God wants them to do will face opposition from someone. Even more, I believe that if a leader doesn't face opposition, then he should ask himself if he's really leading the way God wants. Nehemiah faced critics in the wall rebuilding process, and they were pretty harsh opponents. He had a few options: he could give in to discouragement, or he could press on with what God had called him to do. Nehemiah decided to pray and to take action (sometimes prayer isn't enough). He prayed for God's protection AND he put people into place to help keep them protected. Was he showing a lack of trust that God would watch over them? Absolutely not! It would be foolish to pray for protection and then not take wise steps to protecting oneself. In the end the neighboring peoples were scared with the new wall because they recognized that God's hand was on the whole process. Nehemiah didn't allow the critics to keep him from doing what needed to be done; true spiritual leaders never do allow the critics to halt God's plans.
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Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.