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Nehemiah received his call of duty to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. He presented his plan to the people of the city and they rallied for the project. The mission is in motion. However, there is no opportunity without opposition and the wait is short before the nay-sayers begin to taunt and ridicule Nehemiah and the workers. The Jews are troubled and distracted by the threats against them and they begin to fear. They run to Nehemiah saying, “Wherever you turn they will attack us.” Who are the “they” that the Jews are referring to? The opposition is led by three men who hold prominent positions in the province around Jerusalem. They are scary guys, but Nehemiah reminds the people that the project belongs to the Lord who is awesome and strong and on their side. The entire project could have easily been abandoned if Nehemiah had allowed the opposition, the wrong “they” to influence him and the workers. He was strong in his faith and resolve and didn’t allow the opposition to detour his call of duty.

Neh 2:19-20, 4:12, 14

Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn they will attack us.” (Neh 4:12) After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” (Neh 4:14)

Have you ever considered the sway of “they”? Who are “they” anyway? No matter your age or place in life, “they” have influence. Whether or not the “they” in your life are right or wrong depends on whom you choose to hang out with. The right “they” helps to keep you moving forward, on task and answering the call God has placed before you. However, the wrong “they” will cause you to be fearful, shrink back, and ultimately, the wrong “they” will keep you from being you, as God created. What does the right “they” look like? T – They are tough, strong and stand their ground; H – They are honest and speak the truth in love. E – They encourage you, love you, accept you, bear your burdens and celebrate your successes. Y – They yield to God and are committed to their relationship with Him and with you. Choose wisely!

Questions — relating to the “they” in your life.
Do they motivate you to love God more? Do they celebrate God’s blessings in your life? Do they have your back? Do they hold you accountable out of love and friendship? Do they live what they believe? Do they have the right “they” in their lives?

In your life, what have the “they” you listened to influenced you to do that you would not have done if “they” hadn’t been around? What did “they” keep you from doing that you would have done if “they” had not been around?

Assess the “they” in your life (see questions above). Maybe it’s time to make some changes.

Dear Heavenly Father, guide me into right relationships and out of the wrong ones so that I will be encouraged to move forward in my faith and in my call of duty. Thank you for choosing me and calling me. Keep me close to you. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.