"I am engaged in a great work, so I can't come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?" (Neh. 6:3)
Reading: Nehemiah Chapter 6.
Ask the Lord to reveal growth areas in your character; things that sidetrack you from serving God faithfully.
Pray for the church leadership that God would build Christlike character in them.
Pray that God would bring great clarity to the vision and mission of our church as we undertake the work of incorporating this year.
Stand against the schemes of the enemy that seek to intimidate the work of sharing the Gospel and making disciples.
Reflection on Nehemiah 6.
The Importance of saying; "No".
There are a never-ending number of really good works to do, even godly works. For each of these God inspires a leader and raises them up. He entrusts them with the vision and empowers them to put the resources together to complete the work. We see this really clearly in Nehemiah, a very capable and gifted leader. But gifting alone will not get the work done.
There is a wise saying based on Proverbs 18:16.
A person's gift will make a way for them;
But their character will keep them there.
Nehemiah's enemies, his own countrymen continue to intimidate him. Mocking and threats of war have not stopped him from the tasks at hand. Now they try a more indirect approach, blackmail, and entrapment. Nehemiah's response to both is enlightening.
His primary concern is to complete the assignment God gave him to do; the rebuilding of the walls and gates of Jerusalem and the spiritual renewal of the people. The blackmail threatens Nehemiah's status with the King and his position as Governor. If Nehemiah's character was flawed with pride, or needy for acceptance and recognition of others, he might have succumbed to the threat. If his faith was not firmly rooted in his identity as a covenant child of God, trusting implicitly in the Lord's ability to protect him, he would have been enticed to act in fear by hiding in the temple. This would have made the accusation of rebellion against the King look credible. His Godly character saved him and the intimidation only strengthened his resolve to press on with greater determination.
Are you being distracted from serving the Lord by saying "yes" to too many things? Insecurity and other character issues will also intimidate you from finishing the assignment that God has for you. While your giftings may open doors for you, a Christlike character will establish you. Nehemiah had the strength of character to say "no".