Work and warfare!
Scripture reading for May 9th: Nehemiah 3-4
God’s people are wired for work! When a vision is present, focus of energy and teamwork can result in a miraculous amount of work being done and great accomplishments. It takes leadership and discipline to get people to work together. There are many hindrances that try to hold up progress and destroy the vision. The leader must assess the situation, cast the vision, organize the team of workers, and deal with the hindrances in a timely and effective manner. He can’t run a popularity contest or seek to appease those who would hinder or hold up the work.
Nehemiah was an effective leader. He was chosen by God as he prayed for the city of Jerusalem, burdened for it’s broken-down walls. Nehemiah was given favor, authority, and materials from the king to go and rebuild the broken walls of his beloved city. His vision was the rebuilding of the walls. His plan of action was formulated as he assessed the situation for himself after arriving there. (Nehemiah 2:11-16) He decided on putting families in charge of rebuilding the section of wall nearest their own homes. (Nehemiah 3) This brought personal responsibility to bear on how the job would be done and how fast they would work. You work harder and smarter if your own family’s lives depend on it.
Nehemiah had to deal with opposition, both external and internal. This is spiritual warfare that is ever-present in the life of a believer seeking to do God’s will. He prayed first (Nehemiah 4:4-5) and then posted a guard. He armed half the men while the others worked. He kept a trumpeter by his side to sound the alarm if any family was attacked and needed help. (Nehemiah 4:17-20) Everyone worked together and kept ready to meet any opposition or force that might attack them.
This is a good plan for each person in God’s family. We are each assigned work to do by the Lord according to our gifts and talents. There will be opposition and it must be dealt with and watched closely to avoid setback and defeat. The Holy Spirit is the trumpeter in our lives who lets us know when trouble is coming. He helps us prepare for attack and leads the resistance. As we work and fight together the work gets done quickly. We remember that we are fighting for our own protection and that of our family. Personal responsibility and God’s grace insure the victory!
“Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” Nehemiah 4:14