Forums Focus: weekly blog to enlighten and encourage Christian business leaders to lead their business using biblical principles.

Leadership Lesson
Business Principles of Nehemiah 4 (Opposition) – Last week we looked at how the people were committed to the project Nehemiah had planned and communicated, how they got to work, and how well Nehemiah knew the state of their work. Have you identified and listed what is worthy of peoples’ commitment in your organization?

Have you ever had a project go from start to finish without any opposition? Opposition can be external or internal. Sanballat was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and mocked the Jews, saying in front of his friends and the Samarian army officers, “What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they are doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a day if they offer enough sacrifices? Nehemiah 4:1-2 NLT The world will tell you business and religion don’t mix.

“Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you, everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, will be repaid many times over in this life, as well as receiving eternal life in the world to come.” Luke 18:29-30 NLT God promises to reward faithfulness. Who would you rather trust, God or man?

What was Nehemiah’s response to opposition? Then I prayed, “Hear us, O our God, for we are being mocked. Nehemiah 4:4a NLT Do you pray about everything? Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves. Nehemiah 4:9 NLT Nehemiah’s practice was to pray then act, not just pray and do nothing!

Internal Opposition – The people were wearing out. (4:10)
External Opposition – The enemies were saber rattling. (4:11)
Nehemiah’s project was at the 50% completion mark (walls at one half the original height). How did he keep the project from failing?

Solution – After praying, Nehemiah acted on the wisdom God gave him by placing armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas. (4:13)
Leadership Team – Nehemiah wasn’t a solo leader. Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the leaders and the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your friends, your families, and your homes!” Nehemiah 4:14 NLT
Team Work – As they went back to work, ½ stood guard while the other ½ worked, and they were all armed. Because the work was spread out, Nehemiah implemented a plan to support any group needing help.
Max Effort – Maximum problems need maximum effort. Under Nehemiah’s leadership the work was carried out from sunrise to sunset, and they pulled guard duty at night!

Leadership includes planning, organizing, casting vision, encouraging, and adjusting to changing conditions. Tom Landry, the legionary coach of the Dallas Cowboys said – Leaders get people to do what they don’t want to do so they can accomplish what they really want to accomplish. He was referring to getting NFL players to do two-a-days in the preseason before the season begins so they can make it to the super bowl!

How well do you lead your people to excel, especially in the face of opposition?

Bit of Wisdom
Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I assure you that you can say to this mountain, ‘May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,’ and your command will be obeyed. All that’s required is that you really believe and do not doubt in your heart. Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you will have it. Mark 11:22-24 NLT

Forums Ministry News
Running your business God’s way in 2011 begins with learning His principles for business. The Business by the Book Workshop is an excellent way to learn these principles. To view a promotional video go to
If you have not attended a Business by the Book Workshop or Seminar, consider hosting a Workshop at your company or church? For more information email
We plan to begin additional Forum Groups in 2011. For more information on Forums Groups go to If you’re interested in exploring joining a Forum Group, or know someone who might be interested email, or

The Forums Ministry journey includes Business by The Book Workshops, BBB Groups, and Forum Groups. For more information email or

Paul Lantz
CBMC Forums