When Nehemiah was sent to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem he was hit with all kinds of distractions that could have kept him from his mission. In the midst of those distractions, He made a powerful statement, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down” (Nehemiah 6:3). This resolve led him to finish the work in fifty-two days.
All throughout your ministry you will have everything you can imagine pulling for your attention. What you do in those moments is critical. Do you go for the bait? Or do you focus on your one thing? All of us have a one thing: it’s the ultimate calling and purpose in our lives. It may be something that needs to change or a focus you need to have. It could be a habit, relationship, ministry goal, or something else.
We must have resolve that we won’t let that which ultimately means nothing keep us from that which means everything! Some of the most challenging demonic attacks come in the form of everyday distractions; they aren’t from a guy with red horns and a pitchfork. Here are three:
Distractions Disguised as Opportunities
If we are going to accomplish the most important things, we must learn how to say no to some good things. It’s good things that have the most potential to distract us from the best things. Whatever God has called you to build, go build it with all your heart. Stay on the wall. Minister to people. Make a difference. Stay focused. Don’t let good things keep you from the best things God has for you. Do what the writer of Hebrews says,
Let us throw off everything that hinders & the sin that so easily entangles. Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (12:1)
Criticism from Others
Those who are doing the least usually criticize the most. It was true in Nehemiah’s day and it’s true today. You are not accountable to your critics. You are accountable to the One who has called you to the wall He wants you to build. Paul wrote:
Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
Stay on the wall. Let God defend you. Focus on what God has called you to do and let God take care of your reputation.
Fear of the Unknown
People tried to intimidate Nehemiah and make him doubt he could ever finish rebuilding the wall. He won the battle of fear by staying focused on what He knew should happen (i.e. rebuilding the wall) not what might happen. It’s your job to stay on the wall. It is God’s job to help you build it. Trust Him with tomorrow. Keep building today. (See Matthew 6:33-34.)
We often have no idea what hangs in the balance of our willingness to fight through the distractions and stay on the wall. Let us keep building the marriage, investing in our children, reaching our community, and building the ministry.
Your greatest days may be just ahead! When you are tempted to climb down from the wall whisper to yourself, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”
Featured image credit, edited for size.