Nehemiah 4:6 – “So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.” NKJV
The phrase “mind to work” is emphatic in Hebrew and indicates the people had “the heart to work” and indicates that their hearts were fully committed to and involved in the project. I have long contended that what we have a heart, for we will find the cause, not a drudgery but joy. Unless the heart is convinced, the effort will falter in the face of difficulty, but if the heart is firmly fixed on the objective, the problem will only be a bump in the road, not defeat.
Have you ever heard the term half-hearted? I have always stated that in the churches I led, I would rather have a committed person whose heart is in it of lesser qualifications than someone with an impressive resume that is half-hearted. I want those propelled by their passion for the project rather than one doing it for position or acclaim.
In this situation, building the walls of Jerusalem, they experienced fierce opposition from Sanballat and his cohorts. They would have scurried into the shadows to avoid conflict if they had been faint of heart. They were mocked, ridiculed, and those in opposition decried their ability and questioned at what pace they could complete their work. Nehemiah said the wall was joined and was erected to half the planned height in the face of severe opposition and difficulty. WHY? His simple explanation did not exclude the Hand of God but focused on the Commitment and Dedication of the workers.
I believe there is a lack of Commitment in too much of today’s modern Church and many Christians. We live in a world of ease and instant everything, or as I like to call it, a “microwave world” where we press a button and press, and the finished product is there.
I grew up on a small family farm in rural East Texas, few things came easy, and virtually everything took time. We faced obstacles, and often they seemed daunting, but we knew the task set before us, and my parents’ hearts were in the viability of that farm and in providing for us three kids a life that provided food, shelter, and clothing. Of course, the most significant thing they gave us was not material. They gave us love and taught us perseverance, and for that, I will be eternally grateful.
I have often wondered why there is a lack of commitment in much of today’s church and have concluded that, at least in part, it is because there is no common vision. The Bible teaches us that “where there is no vision, the people perish,” and one translation says, “the people run wild.” I have often wondered if the lack of commitment is because people truly do not want to take that step or do not have the knowledge needed to see the vision.
There cannot be a genuine commitment to anything people do not clearly understand. That element of knowledge or knowing and understanding must comprise several factors. We will only commit to what we understand and know what we are committing to. I may love and trust you dearly, but if you ask me to commit to a project and I need help understanding or knowing what that project is and its purpose, I will find it difficult to do so.
Likewise, we have to grasp the value of that to which we are being asked to commit. Why are we doing it? Why is it necessary? What impact will it have on me, others, and the kingdom? Then, we need to understand the benefits of completing the project and, in that, the benefits of our commitment to the task.
When we make a commitment, such as in marriage, it is not strictly an emotional commitment but one that is reasoned. Both emotions and intellect or reason are involved. We count the costs and weigh the benefits and impact on our lives. When one makes a commitment, they make a covenant and bind themselves to their word to see it through to the end.
We live in a world that operates from a contract rather than a covenant mentality. In business, professional sports, and even relationships, we do not view our commitment as binding but binding so long as it benefits us in the way we desire. A genuine commitment is a personal pledge to do whatever it takes, within reason, to get the job done. Commitment is not convenience and may and likely will cost us something if not much. Jesus made the commitment to come and die for mankind, and He refused to allow anything to deter the fulfillment of that commitment.
If we commit ourselves fully and completely to the LORD and to that set before us, we will begin to see dramatic changes in the labors and success of the Church in this world. Commitment drives a person to reach that objective and obtain that prize and is epitomized in persistence.
A person that is committed will not and cannot quit! Remember the words of Paul in Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap IF we do not lose heart.” You cannot win if you quit!
God bless you is my desire and prayer!