Good Morning Roads church. I’m so excited to be up here with you this morning. Well, maybe not super excited to be up here, but I am excited to be with you this morning. I’m glad that you chose and you online watching the Norris City Church Sermon glad that you chose to hang with us today and calm and, and listen to what I believe God has for you today. When pastor Chad begin to speak on the series under construction and he begins to talk about our availability and our abilities, our God-given abilities, our availabilities and our sustainability and God really begin to start dealing with me on first just the abilities that he’s given me. And who knows, sometimes we don’t see those abilities. Most of the time we don’t see those abilities. And he began to deal with me about my availability. And

So I was giving my excuses, you know, as pastor Chad even talked about how we give our excuses to God and why we can’t do something. And and in truth, really, he’s been dealing with me for a long time on my availability. And it just happened that all of this came out and he had to start all that. And so here I am, thank you. Because this isn’t really the availability that I would like to be in because it’s uncomfortable up here. I’m just not gonna lie to Ya. All of you are staring at me and you know, and all of that. So it’s totally out of my comfort zone. But who knows that God uses that and just because it’s something that we don’t think we can do or something that we don’t feel comfortable doing, a lot of times that’s right where God wants you because then he can start from ground zero, bottom ground and work with you on that. And so I’m kinda like one of those person people like Randy Clark was talking about last week that I need signs in order to, you know, be like, okay God, you know, give me signs if this is really what you want me to do. And I so believe me, he’s been giving me lots of signs and

One day as I was trying to get ready and to go somewhere, this message just begin to roll in me. And it was enough to where like I just stopped and I had to just start writing it down and then I would try to ready again and then I would have to stop and write it down. And I’m like, God, I’m going to be late for where I’m supposed to be. Cause you know, we can’t leave without makeup and our hair done. So, so I just kept writing and writing and writing and it was so plain and it was just so vivid what he was saying to me and I was like, God, is that a sign? Are you giving me a sign? Surely not. So then he began to send people across my path and they would say things like, I sure do miss hearing you speak.

Thank you very much. And they’d say, I had somebody tell me, don’t discount what God has put in you. You have worth, you know, in all this time I’m like, God, is that you? Really God is that you? And then I had a, this is two different people that I can remember. They said the people need to hear your voice. And I was like, I mean, how much more vivid can that get? You know that people need to hear your voice. And so I want to do ignore him. And I tried really hard. I did for a little bit and but I knew that what he had given me, he wanted me to tell you and he wanted me to deliver the message to you. And so one Sunday afternoon, pastor Chad and I were just hanging out in our pool, just relaxing and everything’s good.

And I start wringing my hands cause I know what I have to do. I have to be held accountable. And so I told him, I said, you know, I think I’m supposed to speak during this series. So I had to put it out there. And how many of you are like me? If you don’t put it out there then you won’t do it. Like, that’s totally me. If I didn’t put it out there, I would not be here. I’d be sitting right over there where I’m comfy and he would be up here. And but I had to put it out there because I knew that what I was getting, that feeling that I was getting as I was writing, writing, writing, that it’s, I was like, this is a sign, even though I didn’t want it to be so I told him, I said, I, I’m supposed to speak. And, and he he was like, what?

And I was like, there it is. God, there’s my sign. I was gonna say at one time and he didn’t hear me. So that’s, there’s my sign. Yes. But no, that’s not how it works. He said, really? I said, yeah, God said so. So I guess I’m going to, because I don’t want to be that person who God has to keep asking over and over and over and for me over and over a little bit more. I don’t want to be that person because eventually, he finds somebody else. And as much as I don’t like being up here, I’m honored to be up here because I feel like the word that he’s given me for you this morning is from him and he wants you to know and he wants to encourage you with what he said. So here we go. Right? The words that I have for you comes out of the book of Nehemiah.

Yeah. I love Nehemiah. If you’ve not read Nehemiah, you need to read Nehemiah.

It is an amazing story and it’s so inspirational. It’s one of those stories that it like makes you want to do everything because you feel like you can do everything when you’re done reading it. And so as I was preparing, you know, I, I felt like, okay, Nehemiah, so great. This is such a great story. It’s such a huge story. And so I started getting overwhelmed as I was trying to like, you know, make everything fit. So it kind of flowed for you guys. So you weren’t like what, you know, kind of thing. And so, so I was preparing and I was having all this information because I really just wanted to get parents read it word for word because that’s how good it is. But like we would still be here through lunch if I did that cause I can’t pronounce the words very well so it’d take me a little while to do it.

And so since I couldn’t do that, I thought I will just, what I’m going to do is I’m going to try to give you a quick version of the story along with three strategies that the enemy comes with whenever we start doing something that God has put on our heart to do. And then I’m going to share with you what I feel like God has given me to tell you to tell me. So it starts out Nehemiah heard of the walls of Jerusalem being broken down, lying in ruins, and the people there, the Jews there were in distress. And so he cried out to God and he’s like, God, what can I do to help this situation? I really want to help these people and what do I need to do? And so as, as he’s praying and as he’s asking God what to do, God gives him the plan to rebuild this wall.

And so Nehemiah had to ask his boss if he could go. And his boss happened to be the king and his job happened to be the cup bearer. So who knows, that’s kind of a day to day job with being a cup bearer for the king. So he had to get a, his permission to be able to even go and do this. So, so the king gave him permission. He was like, yes, go do that. That’s a, that’s a great thing to go do. And so Nehemiah went and he viewed the wall. He wouldn’t have an evening, so that people, you know, weren’t around asking him what he was doing. So he went up at nighttime and he viewed the wall and he was like, you know, saw everything, saw the destruction. And after he saw it, he knew that the plan that God had given him, he knew what that was.

So he addressed the people. He addressed the leaders and the people of Jerusalem and he told them a plan. So it starts out here in Nehemiah two 17 it says, then I said to them, you see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies in waste and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem that we may lo longer be a reproach. And I told them of the hand of my God, which had been upon me and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, let us arise and build. Then they set their hand to do a good work. So God downloaded this plan to Nehemiah. Nehemiah cast the vision and the people grabbed hold of it and they begin to try to fulfill what God wanted them to do.

And everyone said his hand to work. But who knows that whenever you start trying to do something, and especially when it’s something good, not when it’s bad, but when it’s something good that the enemy comes and he usually comes immediately to try to squelch that and to try to stop that. And so the people immediately came under pressure and came under scrutiny. And so the first point that I want to make is that the enemy, the first strategy of the enemy is to come and discourage you. And this question is our ability. And so I thought that that was really a neat thing that whenever we get discouraged, then we look at our abilities. And the word discouraged means to cause to lose competence or enthusiasm. So when we get discouraged, we lose our confidence.

So discouragement has a voice, it speaks through others. But a lot of times, where does it come from? It comes from our own mind. It comes from our own thoughts. It comes from what we say about ourselves in our mind. And it bombards us. Our thoughts bombard us. You can’t do that. I mean, many times I heard that before I got up here. Like you can’t do that. I mean, pastor Chad speaks in that pulpit almost every Sunday. Do you think you can get up there and do that? You’re not good enough. We hear this all the time. We hear this all the time in our life that we are not good enough to do something that we aren’t important. You know those ideas that you have for work, they’re not important. You know, I wouldn’t even try doing that. That’s silly. That’s so dumb.

But we hear it. And how many times do we believe it? Disturbing discouragement, questions our identity. Who Do you think you are? That’s one of the first things that come. Who Do you think you are and these people heard this day in and day out, what do you think you’re trying to do? Who Do you think you are? Discouragement comes to rob you of your abilities. Because that’s the first thing we lay down. We’re not good enough, so I’m not going to do anything. And we stop. It robs us from fulfilling the destiny and the purpose that God put inside of us because we lose confidence. We lose enthusiasm for what we’re doing. And so Nehemiah two 19 and 20 it says, but when Sanballat the Horonite Tobiah the MRI to official and Geshem, the Arab heard of it. They laughed at us and despised us and said, what is this thing that you are doing?

And immediately Nehemiah said, the God of Heaven himself will prosper us. Therefore we, his servants will arise and build. But you have no heritage, no right or no memorial in Jerusalem. I love that so much because immediately when the enemy came to try to question those people and question their abilities, Nehemiah had to answer. And he’s like, look, you have no right here. You have no heritage here and you have no memorial here. So I don’t even know why you’re here. And the Ami. I mean he went out at just like that. And you know what, that’s how we have to go at it too. Exactly like that. And I’m so the people kept working because Nehemiah encouraged them to keep working and to keep serving and to be faithful with what they were doing. And so in go on into chapter three and there’s a list of all the people that work side by side. And then all throughout chapter four, the people continue to be mocked and made fun of. And

Who knows. We hear those same voices, the same questions. Can we really do it? What kind of things discourage you? I think one of the main things that discourage us today is whenever we look at our life and we see that it doesn’t look like what we had pictured in our mind and so we picture this but we have this and we get discouraged by what we see. Sometimes it’s just weariness. Sometimes we feel like we’re just chasing our tail so to speak and we’re tired and we’re discouraged and no one sees us. No one appreciates us and we get tired and we get wore out. It might be loneliness for people. It might be relationship issues that get us discouraged, you know, maybe things aren’t working out the way we thought they were going to. Maybe financial, maybe low self esteem. All of those things come to try to discourage us, but Nehemiah and the people put all that discouragement aside and they kept building,

But the enemy won’t stop there if he can’t get you discouraged and get you off track, get you off base with discouragement. Then he comes with the number two point that I have for the enemy coming. He comes to distract us. It’s huge. Distraction is huge. And in these days with all the media, with all the different stuff you can do with all the programs, with all the, everything that you can do, distraction is such a huge thing these days. And when he comes to distract us, this hurts our availability because we get to doing other stuff and then we’re not available for what God wants us to do anymore because we are so focused and so doing other things that then our availability is not there. And I speak for myself, you know, I’m putting myself out there. I’ve gotten distracted very easily and mine comes with busy-ness. You know, God, I just, I’m just too busy. I’m just too busy. God wouldn’t have time to prepare anything to get up there and speak. I’m just too busy. That’s a little bit of my life. That’s a little bit of my distraction, you know? But the word distraction means to prevent someone from giving full attention to something. We do it every day. Every one of us. We do it every single day. And fear is a distraction to us. It paralyzes our faith and it stifles our availability.

Fear gets us looking over our shoulder. It gets us worrying about things that might happen that could happen, worrying about life in general, worrying about this, worrying about that distracted completely off of what God wants us to do. And so in Nehemiah four it says in our abus here in our adversary said they will neither know nor see anything until we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease. So w so what was when the Jews who do out near them, so these are people who are close to them. These are people who are close maybe to us. When they came and they told us 10 times, I mean one time would have been enough, but they told us 10 times that from wherever place you turned, they will be upon us. And so they’re creating that fear and that looking over your shoulder and that worrying atmosphere.

They didn’t just tell him once or twice. They told him 10 times, how many times does the enemy try to tell us something and we listen. Okay, I guess I’ll do something else or I guess I won’t get up there. It’s funny because I was still using excuses even what was it the other night. So he helped me put like, he read through my notes and kind of gave me some tips and put my PowerPoint together. And so I’m like, he knows my notes. He made my PowerPoint, like he totally knows the message so I could like back out Sunday morning and he could come up here and do it because he knows everything I’m gonna say cause I like I, I’m a paper pencil girl so I have everything written out, which that’s probably a fault cause then I like staying here. But I was like, he could totally get up here and do this. So I could still get out of this like this morning. But you know what, I got up here and I did at first service and I didn’t die like I’m here. And I did. It was okay. And so sometimes we just have to remember that just because something’s uncomfortable does it mean it’s not what we’re supposed to be doing? So stop the excuses. I’m trying, but you guys stop it right now.

So where am I on my notes? Hold on a mat. So once, once the people that were close to them told them this 10 times, then Nehemiah is like, Ooh, I better do something here. So the really cool thing about Nehemiah is he always comes back. He’s like, yeah, but so he said, therefore I positioned men behind the lower parts of the wall at the openings. And I set the people according to their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and the leaders in the rest of the people, do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord Great and awesome, and fight for your brother and your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses. And it happened. Imagine this. And it happened when our enemies heard that it was known to us and that God had brought their plot to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work,

The people fought with their abilities, and back then it was like their swords and stuff because this was like a physical fighting their battle, like literally fighting their battle. But today our battle a lot of times is in our mind. And so we have to fight it accordingly with the word and Nehemiah every time he came back with, yeah, but God, yeah, but my Bible says, and which he didn’t have a Bible back then, but my God, he’s great and awesome. Do not be afraid. So every man fought with his abilities. They stayed available. So when fear comes, do not be afraid. Remember your God, who’s great and awesome and fight. Fight for yourself, fight for what goes on in between your ears. Fight for your brothers and sisters. That’s what this verse, how we can apply a test is that we fight for what we know God wants us to do and for what people, other people are having to go through, that we’ve helped fight for them too.

Focus is another area that the enemy comes to distract us in. We get so busy that we lose focus on what God’s wanting us to do. We get ourselves doing not bad things most of the time, but things that pull us away from what maybe God has been speaking to you and you’ve been ignoring just like me had been ignoring that you needed to do so. In chapter five, in the middle of all the building, in the middle of all the good work in the middle of what the people were doing, there came an outcry and the people begin complaining and the people begin saying what they didn’t have and the people begin saying what everybody else had but they didn’t have. And so they totally lost focus and what they were doing for just a little bit and they were looking inward. What do I need? What do I need? What do I need?

And I know that there’s a lot of times in our life whenever we lose focus, I know, I think one time is when we start comparing ourselves, we start seeing what everyone else is doing. Well, I can’t do that or I wish I could do that or I need that or so we start comparing ourselves to others busy-ness. I mean, I’ve already thrown that out there. We get ourselves so busy that we can’t stay focused because there’s just too much going on. We began selfishness. That inward focusing, what do I need, what do I need? And sometimes even bad decisions, you know, if we make a bad decision, then there’s can be repercussions to that. There can be things then that happen that get us off focus because we’re having to deal with those things. Then we’re having to then to deal with that and then deal with that.

And so there’s so many things that come to to, to distract us in the age that we live in, in the times that we live in. And I’m in Nehemiah five nine it says. So Nehemiah said, what are you doing? What you are doing is not good, should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies. So Nehemiah immediately saw what was happening and he said, what you are doing is not good. And I believe that that word can work for us today to what you are doing is not good. And we can apply that to our life and get ourselves back on track. Get ourselves back focused on what maybe we feel like God’s told us to do. So be aware of your focus today. Put a stop to area. We’re focusing that you’re focusing on the wrong thing and it’s distracting you.

The third strategy of the enemy, he comes to deceive us. So we’ve got, he comes to discourage us, he comes to distract us and he comes to deceive us. And when he comes to deceive us, that’s messing with our sustainability. It kills it. It kills our sustainability because we want to quit. We start believing a lie and we want to quit and we want to stop. The word deceive means to believe something that is not true. And a lot of times we do that. A lot of times we do that the enemy comes to deceive us. He sends people or he sends situations our way that try to

Show us things that aren’t. This kind of deception tries to take us out. It tries to permanently stop you from doing what you’re supposed to do and what God wants you to do. Nehemiah six one through two, one and two now it happened when Sanballat Tobiah and the rest heard that I had rebuilt the wall and there were no breaks left in it. Although the doors had not been hung. Sanballat and Geshem sent to me saying, come let me meet. Let us meet together among the village in the plane of, oh no. But they thought to do me harm.

So I sent messengers to them saying, I am doing a great work so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave to go down to you? They sent this message four times to Nehemiah and you know what? Four Times. Nehemiah sent the response back, I have no time for you. We need to tell the deception. We need to tell the discouragement. We need to tell all those things. I have no time for you. I’m doing a good work. And so did a message. Comes from Sanballat. It’s a letter. It’s a letter. Ally’s, it’s a letter telling him all this stuff to try to get him afraid. A letter of lies, things not true. And Nehemiah in six eight says no such things as you say, are being done, but you invent them in your own heart. I love how Nehemiah has an answer for everything. When discouragement arises, when distractions come. I love how he shuts down deception like he’s like, no, we’re not even going here. You’re not even gaining an inch on anything.

So the enemy comes to discourage us, to distract us and to deceive us. I encourage you to read through Nehemiah. It’s an amazing story and I know I haven’t done it justice. There’s so much stuff, but what I want to really get to is what I feel like God has for you today. And what I was writing, writing, writing, so frantically down. So as I was reading through there, you notice that I skipped chapter three and I just said, well if some people they listed some people, well I ask God, why did you use a whole chapter on names that we can’t even pronounce? Like I wasn’t gonna read the, any of it because I can’t even pronounce the names, but the whole chapter three is full of people’s names. And I did a PowerPoint with some of them and I hope, I hope it’s small enough that you can’t read it so that you can’t tell that I’m not pronouncing the their names right.

But it says also the sons of how NASA built the fish gate and they laid its beams and hung its doors and its bolts and bars and next to them Maroth the son of your eye and son of Co’s made repairs next to them. Messula the son of somebody and the son of somebody else made repairs. And next to them. So doc, the son of Barna made repairs and next to them the somebody’s made repairs but their nobles did not put their shoulders to work for their Lord. But what I got out of this with every other word was next to them and next to them and next to them and next to them. And it was a date even had some daddies and daughters next to them in there. Cause I did read down through it because I felt like it was important. He listed all those names and I said, God, why did you list all these names? Everybody skips through them. They can’t read them.

And this is what God told me and this is for you and this is for me. He said, it took all the people to build and I want you to know that you’re all important. He put their names in black and white because he thought they were important. God needs all of us to build what you can bring to the table. God thinks is important. He sees you and guess what? He knows your name. There may be a book one of these days with our names in it next to you next to you next to you. The people of that generation and the generations to come. They knew who they were and they knew what they had to do. This crew changed the course of history for their children and their grandchildren cause had they not sacrificed and been faithful, those walls may still be in ruin. People may visit there today and the walls still be on the ground.

And that can be us. I believe God has called this church, this body of people to be a building a norris city church to use our abilities to build something that’s much bigger than us. I mean we see this, we see these four walls, we see each other. But I believe it’s something so much bigger. I believe that Mount Carmel campus is only the beginning of what the road’s norris city church is gonna do. The walls we can build together don’t show our children and our grandchildren that we know how to put our hand to a good work and that we have a mind to work. Cause who knows? Sometimes that’s the battle. Just having a mind to work. God trust this body of people, this body of believers, he trusts us to build his kingdom. He listed all those names in Nehemiah, I believe for us today because he wanted you to know that he thinks people aren’t [inaudible]. God saw those people serving. He saw them faithful. He saw them doing all of that right in the midst of being discouraged, he saw them being distracted and he saw the enemy trying to deceive them.

And he sees you

When things aren’t going the way you planned, he sees you when you’re tired or lonely. He knows your name.

When you’re being attacked on every side, you don’t aren’t even seeing it coming. He sees you and he says, yes, I am great and I’m faithful and I’m with you. Pastor. Chad asked in one of his his messages, what kind of church are we? Well, I believe that we’re the kind of church that says, let’s rise up and bill. We will work side by side and we will build this church to everything that God wants it to be next to you, next to you, next to you. We’re going to build this norris city church. What God intends it to be, all of us together. So if you’re out there this morning and you’re feeling forgotten or discouraged

Or maybe just ready to quit, you’ve laid down your abilities. If the enemy has deceived you into believing the letter of wise

I’m here to tell you today that God sees you and he knows your name and God’s telling us, he’s telling us as a body, let’s rise up and build. Let’s do this.

Whether that building up is something that’s in you, if it’s something with you or if it’s that thing that’s bigger than us and we do it together, he wants us to arise and bill set your hand back to the good work that God has for you to do.

Thanks so much for watching with us. We love our online family and we invite you to connect with us. We have a few different ways you can do that. On our website at theroads.Church as well as on social media. You can text to give by texting the amount, space roads to four, five, seven, seven, seven and we’d love to pray for any needs you might have. So send us a message and let us know how we can partner with you in bringing the light and love of Jesus to your worlds.