“It is reported among the nations—and Geshem says it is true—that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall…I sent him this reply: ‘Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.’ They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.’ But I prayed, ‘Now strengthen my hands.'” Nehemiah 6:6, 8-9 (NIV)
If you are afraid of heights, standing on the top floor of any building can be intimidating. One look out the window will cause your stomach to sink to the ground. Intimidation creates fear, and fear can be paralyzing.
Nehemiah had committed to rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. When the wall was almost built, people started conspiring against him. They wanted him to feel intimidated in order to prevent progress on building the wall. Basically, people were coming to Nehemiah telling him that the wall couldn’t be built. Nehemiah had a choice. He could give into fear and intimidation instead of being obedient. On the other hand, he could continue building the wall. Nehemiah overcame intimidation through prayer. How can you combat intimidation? Ask God to strengthen you to overcome the opinions of others. Most of us will not face fear in regards to building a physical wall, but we will receive opposition as we are building our lives. People will want to tell you that your dream cannot be accomplished. They will want to point out the roadblocks instead of the opportunities. Your confidence can easily be determined by other people’s agenda. But, when you look to God, He will provide strength and a quiet confidence as you continue to pursue His direction for your life.