Nehemiah 4:6 – “So we built the wall and the whole wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.” NASB
I love the account in Nehemiah of the Jews rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem that had laid in ruin for so long. I appreciate the battles they incurred and the success they had. Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites resisted them and attempted to discourage and prevent the restoration of Jerusalem. That is always the case when God’s people attempt to do something for God or follow the directives of the Holy Spirit. There is always resistance.
There is a key in this story that has always intrigued me, inspired, and challenged me. They achieved incredible results in the face of serious opposition. What was the key that enabled them to follow the directive of the LORD? It is found in our text, “…for the people had a mind to work.” I was raised to believe that if you set your mind to something you could always achieve more than you thought you could or achieve what you desired. The key is in ‘determination’ and ‘commitment.’
The inhabitants of Jerusalem who responded to Nehemiah’s call to fulfill this vision of rebuilding the walls and rebuilding the temple had to make numerous choices in this process. They had to believe in the validity and necessity of the work. They had to believe in the God who inspired this action. They had to believe in their leaders. They had to make a commitment of themselves to the cause even if it meant the possibility of financial or physical harm. They had to ‘make up their minds’ as to what they were willing to do and ‘commit’ to that cause.
That is what we need in today’s world, Commitment. We need to develop a ‘mind to work’ and believe that what we are working for is achievable. If the Bible is true, and I believe it is, then we have the sure promise of God that “All Things Are Possible” for us. We have the assurance that God will “Never leave or forsake us.” We have the promise of empowerment, guidance, and protection by the angels and through the work of the Holy Spirit.
God has given us a job to do and we have His promise that He will go with us through the process and armed with that knowledge and confidence we can commit to the task. It is at that point success or failure lies in the key, of developing “a mind to work.”
Work, for many, is an ugly four-letter word and hated. We have allowed an entitlement mentality to become pervasive in our society and it is infiltrated the church. We seem to believe that if there is any opposition and difficulty it is not the mind or will of God. We wait for ease and in that hesitation, we fail to achieve what God desires, souls are lost, and the Kingdom of God is not advanced.
If I could inspire anything in the hearts of Christians today it would be to “set your mind to the task and allow the Holy Spirit to inspire, in you a Mind to Work.” I think of Gideon and the impossible odds he faced, but he had a ‘mind to work’ and achieved greatness for God. I think of Moses and the dangerous and implausible task of freeing Israel from Egyptian bondage. However, he set his mind to the task, made a commitment to God, believed the promises, and developed ‘a mind to work’ and Israel walked out of Egypt with the spoils of war without fighting a battle. I think of the Early Church and the directive of Jesus to ‘Go into all the world’ and the impossibility of that task, but they had ‘a mind to work’ and a commitment to God and His purposes and turned their world upside down for God. Thank God they did!
Let’s make a commitment to God and as Romans 12 directs, make our entire beings a sacrifice to God and allow the Holy Spirit to help us ‘gird up the loins of our minds for action’ and develop ‘a mind to work.’ We can and will achieve incredible things for God and see multitudes won into the Kingdom.
God bless you as you labor with God and enjoy His blessings!