I was chatting to a friend yesterday about not being moved or intimidated by other people’s actions or opinions. I used Nehemiah in the bible as a great example of how to succeed and remain focused even when under extreme pressure.

I love what Nehemiah said to his enemies when they were trying to distract him from his task to lead his fellow countryman to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem after he and his people returned to their homeland after many years in captivity.

Nehemiah’s response was, “I am doing a great work, and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” In other words, “I’ve got an important assignment here, and I don’t have time for distractors.” (Nehemiah 6:3)

Nehemiah’s leadership and wisdom on facing challenges in life enabled him to succeed where others had failed. His leadership highlights the importance of:

Letting our life motivated by purpose and vision – Nehemiah refused to be distracted or discouraged by those around him. Instead, purpose and vision helped him to focus regardless of what his enemies or even his countryman said.

Commitment – Nehemiah was committed to the assignment and task he believed God had given him. This enabled Nehemiah to draw the best out of others and to complete the wall in 52 days.

That fear is not an option – Nehemiah didn’t allow fear and doubts to cloud his perspective of what God had promised. The people were under attack, had suffered failure and discouragement and didn’t know what to do. Because of this, Nehemiah knew he must stand strong. So he remained up on the wall away from his distractors and made the decision that fear and doubt were not an option.

To pray about everything – Nehemiah sought God’s wisdom. Whatever the situation is, we are to pray – we actually cannot afford not to pray.  Nehemiah prayed, “Lord let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant…give your servant success today by granting him favour”. (Nehemiah 1:11)

The bible encourages us “to not worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

To be courageous – There is no doubt Nehemiah, and anyone else who has overcome the pressures of life and gone on to succeed in their purpose has chosen the path of courage. God’s Word also refers to courage as “good cheer”, which means boldness and confidence. Thus, God repeatedly encourages and empowers us not to fear, be of good cheer, and to have courage in life.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9-11)

“Finally be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” (Ephesians 6:10)

Whatever situations you face today, know that God has a plan, and with Him, you will overcome. He will guide and lead you in how to face every challenge.

Take the time to clarify your purpose and assignment in life.

Commit to the task at hand and make the decision that fear is not an option.

Pray about everything, and then with boldness and courage, choose to stay above the “noise and distractions” as you keep moving forward.

Prayer: Lord, thank you that I have a purpose and reason for being here. I choose to not listen to fear, distractions or those that would cause me to lose heart. Instead, I commit to keeping my eyes on you, your Word and who you say I am today. In Jesus name Amen.