A Mind to Work

REFERENCE: The book of Nehemiah, chapters 1-6

Nehemiah was a Judean who spent most of his life in exile in Persia as the cup-bearer to their king. Jerusalem, in his homeland of Judah, had been destroyed by the Babylonians and the walls of the city had been broken down. Nehemiah was greatly distressed by this and his burden to rebuild the walls lead him to diligently seek the Lord regarding what could be done to restore the city; and so, it was given to Nehemiah to travel nearly 1,000 miles to Jerusalem to contract the massive task of rebuilding the gates and walls. The quest to rebuild Jerusalem seemed dangerous and overwhelming, and it was necessary for its citizens to set a watch against their enemies both day and night.

As is almost always the case, God chose to carry out his purposes through his people—God had put his plan into Nehemiah’s heart; and Nehemiah was enabled to effectively inspect the walls, ascertain what needed to be done, and then determine how it all could be accomplished. Meanwhile, the people of Judah “had a mind to work” (Nehemiah 4:6). When their enemies came against them with threats, harassment, and false accusations, each continued their work with “one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand [holding] a weapon” (Nehemiah 4: 17).

Our enemy’s tactics against the Lord’s people and against the work He wishes to accomplish through them has not changed! Today, Satan entices and uses others to threaten, harass, bear false witness against, and interfere with the work that the Lord entrusts to his children. Therefore, we can learn much from the Judeans of Nehemiah’s day, because they successfully carried out God’s plans and overcame their ememies:

First, we must be determined in our hearts and set our minds and wills to carry out whatever the Spirit leads us to do. We must be fully committed to obey what we know to be right regardless of whatever befalls us.

Second, we must constantly be on guard against the enemy and his tactics, equipped with full spiritual armor for warfare.

Finally, we need to bathe everything in prayer, earnestly seeking the Lord (as Nehemiah did) until we know in our hearts and settle in our minds what the Lord is requiring of us and how to carry it out.

While these tactics are not all inclusive, they provide good groundwork for us to prepare ourselves today for the increasing challenges we face…we must ask ourselves Nehemiah’s question, “Why should the work cease?” (Neh. 6:3).