So enjoying my current Bible study on the book of Nehemiah! Who’d have thought I’d find so many parallels to my own life. As always, I love connecting with other like-minded Christian women in a Bible study such as this one. Our same group, for the most part, had been together in the fall to study the armor of God, another incredible and enlightening study.
Back to Nehemiah. One of the many things I’m enjoying about this book is that Nehemiah had a focus that could not be distracted, no matter how much he was interrupted and tempted. He took on the task of rebuilding the wall for the people of Jerusalem and to honor God. This construction amazingly took only 52 days. Quite the feat for sure!
As Nehemiah and his men were busily working, Nehemiah was summoned by Sanballat and his company to come and meet in one of the villages. Nehemiah was able to discern rather quickly that this “meeting” was only a distraction and that they were scheming to harm him. So he sent messengers with this reply to Sanballat, “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3)
What impressed me from this snapshot view within the story of the rebuilding of the wall, is that Nehemiah had a task to do which was put in his heart by God himself and nothing was going to thwart his plan. Focus was among his giftings, no doubt. In my case, the work that was put in my heart by God is to be a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) to my son. That said, my focus is to do just that. However if I’m being honest, too often, I allow distractions of life cloud my vision of the good work I’ve been given to do.
As the women and I discussed in our study group, we came to the conclusion that it is essential for us to clarify who it is God created us to be, as well as what He wants for us to do, so that we can more easily discern what opportunities fit into that vision and which ones do not. From this, a mission statement can be birthed for our lives.
For me, this is huge! Often we are bombarded with opportunities to do thus and such, all of which are “good” things. We have to come to the realization that we cannot do it all, nor were we meant to do it all. We have to figure out what fits into His plan and what does not. What is a distraction and what is not. Figuring this out isn’t easily done; we need the Holy Spirit to help us. Sure, God very possibly will put something in our hearts that we may be fearful of or overwhelmed by, yet He will equip us for that work.
For many years, I’ve struggled quite allot with learning to say “NO.” As a people pleaser, I worry that I’m letting the one asking me down if I choose to say no. What a trap! I’ve come to see that I have to draw firm lines and boundaries to keep me aligned with God’s plan for me, not my own, nor someone else’s. Why should I believe that I am the only 0ne who can do whatever it is being asked of me? Truly, this wrongful thinking is pride. It takes daily time in God’s Word with plenty of prayer to discern His plan.
I am thankful for this truth in my life. It has confirmed what I feel that God has been telling me all along, yet I’ve allowed distractions, such as the enemy, to deter me from my purpose. His lies can often be heard loudly in my ear causing me to doubt myself and what God has put in my heart to do. With God’s help, I pray that I might hear God’s voice above all others so that I can stay on the straight and narrow path He has put me on. To live in such a way is truly freeing!