Ever built a wall – our neighbours built a wall between our properties years ago and just this month it has decided to become our very own “leaning tower” with incredible cracks and 45 degree angles but amazingly is still standing – just goes to show just how well built it must have been,
Good old Nehemiah built a wall too – convicted by God to re-build the walls of Jerusalem after he, along with many who were exiled to Babylon, returned to Jerusalem to re-build the city walls in around 440BC.
They had a pretty tough time of it – with heaps of opposition and lots of drawbacks the walls finally were finished.
Nehemiah was prime leadership material. He risked his life when he first approached King Artaxerxes, the wild and notoriously violent king of Babylon who already had avenged the murder of his father Xerxes by killing the alleged perpetrator Artabanus and his sons.
He was a wild king and usually not known for his compassion and understanding but here we have Nehemiah, the cup-bearer to the king approaching him, after much prayer and fasting, to get permission to return and build the walls of the city.
Nehemiah had a vision that he wouldn’t forsake but more importantly he had God’s leading and he also had the guts to take that BIG step. So with God and his goal on board he achieved the seemingly impossible.
Re-building the city walls must have seemed like an impossible task at first, but see how the work proceeded and how Nehemiah organised everyone to work on their own part – taking little steps and little bites of the cherry they received their reward.
Everyone did their own job. One chore at a time – one brick at a time – one stone laid upon another’s foundation – not looking at how their neighbours were progressing – just concentrating on where they were working and giving their part of the wall their 100% concentration.
When their section of the wall was complete to their satisfaction, each worker was then able to move on to another section where the work was moving slower or was more complicated and so together they were able to complete that section.
And so it moved on and on until the wall was completed. Did they have troubles? Did they have persecution? Oh Yes indeed.
Many of the workers were called upon to act as guards to curtail the advancing snipers and neighbouring armies that were just as determined to stop the wall from being built.
Like Nehemiah and his crew when they first looked at the job at hand we are stunned by the enormity of making a difference for Christ in this topsy turvy, violent, crazy, cruel and seemingly always fierce world.
But looking at it through the eyes and wisdom of God nothing seems impossible. I reckon we need to approach this huge task the very same way that the wall-builders of Jerusalem approached their seemingly impossible job. One task at a time.
What tasks are you involved with for Christ at the moment? Maybe helping at a youth group, a retirement home or teaching Scripture at school. Do your job at hand as unto God – do it with all your might and power – give it your very very best.
Don’t compare yourself to others who look like they are doing the ‘lions share’ of the work – don’t look down on others that seemingly do less than you. Concentrate on the job at hand and do it well for Jesus.
When it is done, then move onto the next task and then the next until a difference is actually made.
When Jesus left earth and went to Heaven to be with His Father He left the handful of His followers with a gigantic task which was building that great soul-winning church.
When they started they must have been overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the job at hand – then like Nehemiah’s crew they were persecuted and the persecution was extreme and often very gruesome, yet they built their church piece at a time.
The members were scattered due to the intense persecution, but were they silent? Of course not. They spread the Gospel of the Good News of Jesus across the globe.
Paul wrote in Acts 20:24 “I don’t care about my own life. The most important thing is that I finish my work. I want to finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do – to tell people the Good News about God’s grace.” (ERV)
Notice Paul didn’t say “I don’t think I will ever finish this job” or “Oh NO! Peter is doing a far better job than I am” or even ” I’m running out of time and so much to do I will have to work faster and smarter”. None of those – instead it was “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” 2 Timothy 4:7 (ERV).
Paul didn’t see the end result of his work for Jesus – He was just content to work where he was commanded and go where he was sent.
That is what Christ commands of us just one step at a time – obeying his commands working within His will exactly where he has placed us.
So let’s take a lesson from Nehemiah, Pray hard and often and keep your nose to the grindstone. Don’t be swayed by what people are saying or doing.
Worry about obeying God just where you are and give everything you have to the project at hand.
Let the Lord take care of the rest.
God bless you this week.
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