What Gets Us Started Again

“Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he jeered at the Jews… Tobiah the Ammonite said, ‘Yes, what they are building—if a fox goes up on it he will break down their stone wall!’ Hear, O our God, for we are despised. Turn back their taunt on their own heads... Do not cover their guilt,.. for they have provoked you to anger in the presence of the builders.

“So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.

“But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward and that the breaches were beginning to be closed, they were very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it.  And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.

“In Judah it was said, ‘The strength of those who bear the burdens is failing. There is too much rubble. By ourselves we will not be able to rebuild the wall.’ And our enemies said, ‘They will not know or see till we come among them and kill them and stop the work…’ So in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in open places, I stationed the people by their clans, with their swords, spears, and bows. And I arose and said to the nobles and officials and the rest of the people, ‘Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.’

“When our enemies heard that it was known to us and that God had frustrated their plan, we all returned to the wall, each to his work… Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other.” Nehemiah 4:1,3-11,13-15,17

Nehemiah was bent on rebuilding as the Lord had led and was providing for, no matter the opposition. Yet persistent opposition came, and wore away at his co-laborers. A half-height wall was good progress, but incomplete- just where the enemy took delight to undermine, discourage, and halt momentum. Nehemiah dealt with these opponents by countering their attacks with specific prayer, dependence on God, practical defenses, and outdoing their persistence with his own in the work. And so he succeeded.

It can be easy to start a good work, then flag in zeal out of weariness or difficulty. We cease listening to God and tune in to naysayers, or lose sight of the goal for the rubble of hard work that remains. Verve gets quashed by criticism, doubt, and fatigue.

But the God who calls also enables. What here below causes anxiety, insecurity, or distraction? Would we look to our awesome God and seize His higher purposes? Will we exchange fear for faith? Will we honor Him by finishing His work? (Philippians 4:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:24)

Father, give me a mind and will to work to completion and for Your glory all You assign, trusting You are greater than any enemy taunt or temptation. (1 John 4:4)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: