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"I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down with you?" Nehemiah 6:3
Today's devotional at http://www.raystedman.org/daily-devotions/nehemiah/a-great-work speaks directly to me. Boy does this apply to my work. For the few of us who have "left the tribe" and have been led by God onto "the road less traveled", this message applies. Things, circumstances, and even people have and will try to pull us away from the "great project" unintentionally or intentionally. From my experience, most of them do it unintentionally (which is slightly different from Nehemiah's case.) Some of them may even be beloved friends and family.
Similar to Nehemiah's experience, my experience also has been that fear tactics have been used to try to pull me away. They tell you that something bad will happen if you don't follow them. Maybe they are saying that you will be bankrupt financially and lose everything if you don't follow them. Maybe they are saying that you will get in trouble with the law if you don't follow them.
Whether they are intentional or unintentional, the consequences will be dire (more dire than their claims) if we succumb to them and allow ourselves to be pulled away from the great project.
In the end, you will have a happy ending if you stay on the project or the path God has put you on. If you stir away from this path, it will end badly. This is what you should fear, not the things that they are threatening you with.
A final advice for those of you in a similar situation. Keep a distance from them. If "they"include loved ones, you have to keep a distance or at least limit the frequency of contact with them. You unfortunately have to do this at least until the great project is completed.
Jesus also served as an example in this area when his own family was attempting to hinder him from his work (although they were doing so unintentionally). You probably remember the incidence when he was speaking while surrounded by a great crowd. Somebody told him that his family was on the outside trying to reach him and trying to get him to do what they wanted him to do. Another incidence was when he was a teenager where he allowed his family to travel a distance without him as he stayed behind to reason with the priests.
In my case however, I am blessed that most in my family support me or allow me to stay on this road God has placed me on. There is only maybe one person in my family who subtly tries to manipulate me to get off this road although she on the surface says that she supports me on this road.
"Father, You have given me a great work to do. Help me to see through the seeming "golden opportunities" that come my way to divert me from that which You have called me to do." (Elaine Stedman at http://www.raystedman.org/daily-devotions/nehemiah/a-great-work)
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Shu Chan 陳樹中