“So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.”
Whenever someone does a great work for God, there will always be people who will be against what they are doing. You cannot do a work for God without Satan opposing the work through scorn, criticism, mocking and attacks; however, you must continue in spite of all the attacks.
“But it came to pass” is a common phrase mentioned in this chapter after God describes Nehemiah doing the work of God. I imagine at the onset of Nehemiah returning to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall that he never thought people would be against this great work. Yet, he found out quickly that everyone is not excited when God’s work begins to prosper. The greatest thing about Nehemiah was his response to the criticism and attacks. Though Satan used every weapon in his toolbox to stop the rebuilding of the wall, Nehemiah overcame these attacks and finished the wall. There were three responses Nehemiah used against the attacks that you must use when people are critical or attack you while you are doing God’s work.
Nehemiah’s first response to criticism and attack is found in the verse above when it says, “So built we the wall…” In other words, he didn’t stop doing what he was already doing just to answer their attacks. The best response to criticism and attack is often to keep doing what brought the attacks against you. The purpose of criticism and attacks is to get you to stop doing what you are doing for the LORD, but you cannot allow what the enemy says and does to stop you from doing God’s great work. Of course, Satan is going to attack bringing children to church on bus routes, but that doesn’t mean you should stop running the buses. Satan will try to stop your soul winning efforts, but you must keep soul winning in spite of how they criticize the souls being saved. Ignoring the attacks by continuing the work that you are doing for God is always the best response. Don’t give credence to the attacks of those who despise the work of God; ignoring them is what irritates them the most.
Nehemiah’s second response was to pray. It says about Nehemiah in verse 9, “Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God…” Nobody enjoys criticism, but that shouldn’t stop you from continuing the work of God. You can release the irritability of the enemy’s attack by going to God to pray. Prayer is the source of strength to continue when the enemy badgers you with criticism and attacks. Prayer is the best response to criticism and attack. You will do more on your knees in prayer to silence attacks and criticism than you ever will by responding with verbal attacks. God has the power to make the critic look so foolish; so, the best thing you can do is let God deal with them.
Nehemiah’s third response was to continue laboring. Verse 21 says, “So we laboured in the work…” The work of God must never stop just because people attack or criticize His work. Continuing to labor for God is what brings the enemy to silence. Just keep soul winning, serving God, running the bus routes, living right, and preaching God’s Word, and you will find that God will help you build a great work for Him. The greatest response to any tactic Satan uses against you is to continue laboring in the harvest to let God build a great work through you. Never stop the building process. Keep laboring for God, and you will find that God’s continued work is what brings shame to the critic.