Throughout His life on earth Jesus performed many miracles: ministering to the hurting, the hungry, and the hopeless. While He was hanging on the cross, the onlookers taunted and provoked Him to perform yet one more miracle.
He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
They all watched and waited with anticipation to witness some magic. But kingdoms aren’t built on sensationalism. Kingdoms are built on sacrifice! What are you willing to sacrifice for the Kingdom of God? Are you afraid of what God will ask you to do? Much like Jesus, Nehemiah knew what had to be done. When Nehemiah heard that the wall of Jerusalem was broken down after the Babylonian Captivity, he responded to God’s call.
4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
5 And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:
6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.
7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.
Nehemiah mourned and was burdened for the condition of His homeland. Notice how he not only fasted and prayed, but repented, not just for his sin, but for the sin of the whole nation.
God called Nehemiah to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. From the very start of the project, Nehemiah met opposition. If you serve God with any diligence, then you will certainly encounter opposition as well.
Nehemiah and the workers toiled in the hot sun building a wall, brick by brick. It was hard, back breaking labor, but they were committed. All the while, Sanballat “…took great indignation, and mocked the Jews” (Nehemiah 4:1), along with Tobiah taunting “…if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall” (Nehemiah 4:3). Nobody likes to be made fun of! However, Nehemiah suppressed his feelings and refused to come down and compromise the work God called him to do.
Sanballat and Tobiah were angry when they saw the worker’s determination and the wall progressing, so they changed their tactics. Their mockery turned to terrorism! Nehemiah and all the workers were in constant fear of an ambush. Has satan ever tried to paralyze you with a spirit of fear?
Despite the distraction, Nehemiah and the workers prayed and “…set a watch against them day and night…” (Nehemiah 4:9). Nevertheless, Nehemiah refused to step off the wall, and the people worked as a team; half of the people worked, while the other half watched with weapons in hand ready to defend against an attack.
When the work was on the verge of completion, and all the breaches in the wall were closed, Sanballat and Tobiah employed a whole different strategy. Knowing Nehemiah was a diplomat and involved with political affairs, Sanballat repeatedly insisted Nehemiah join in a very important meeting. Sanballat continued attempts to manipulate Nehemiah into a compromise by slandering Nehemiah’s name and even hiring a false prophet to prophesy gloom and doom over him.
It would’ve been easy for Nehemiah to justify leaving the wall to right the wrong committed against him. The devil wants us to come off of the wall for just a little while. He knows once you start coming down, there’s nowhere to stop. Many people compromise the call of Christ (or put it on hold, if that’s even possible) for a “good” cause. However, there isn’t a cause great enough to abandon God’s will.
There are many examples in the Bible of those who didn’t stay the course, compromised their calling, and eventually left God’s will completely. Samson left his work and went down to Gaza, and eventually met Delilah. Jonah left the call and went to Tarshish, and from there down to the belly of a fish. … You can’t run from God’s will. He will win out in the end!
The devil will use whatever means necessary to distract you from carrying out God’s plan for your life. When God calls you to start a work, no matter how small or great it may seem, no matter how far-fetched or ridiculous it is to others, you must follow through and keep your focus on building the Kingdom for Christ.
Just like Jesus upon the cross, Nehemiah’s mind was made up to stay on the wall because if he compromised, the project would have never been completed. But it was completed! The wall was finished in 52 days because Nehemiah refused to come down.
What is your why?
Why are you serving God? Are you in it for the many blessings and benefits it brings?
Is it because you were raised as a Christian and it’s all you know? Do you fear letting your parents down? Do you serve God as your insurance to escape hell? Whatever your reason, if it’s not to bring glory and honor to God, if it’s not to spread the gospel and build Christ’s kingdom for eternity, then it will all be in vain.
When your why is bigger than your what, then you will accomplish something for God!