decided to start a new series of posts about what i'm hearing from God - some of these will be based on Scripture, some will be based on how God uses His Body to speak...i've heard this statement before - God is always speaking, we just have to learn to listen - so, with that thought, this is what i heard:
was reading through the first few chapters of nehemiah this morning. this is a book that i love to read again and again. there are so many principles that we unpack from this book that i could start a lengthy series of posts on it - but, at least for now, i'm not going to. this morning when i got to chapter 4 of nehemiah i heard God saying, "serving me costs a lot and just when you think you've given your all, opposition will come and you'll have to give even more than at first" - let me set it up...
nehe and his posse had been hard at work, building the wall and the gates (i wonder if malkijah volunteered to rebuild the dung gate or if it was some sort of cruel joke - i'm kidding here :) ). great progress was being made, the people were diligent, God's favor had really been given to nehe and he was "finishing the drill" (for all the dawgs out there) - nehe was getting it done! then in chapter 4 sanballat and tobaih start up their ministry of encouragement (jk!), the wall is half way done and they plot to take nehe's plan out. on top of this, and get this - it's KEY - the people begin to complain about the circumstances! they fuss about how tired they are, they complain that there's too much in the way of them to make progress (actually, it says their strength was giving out and there was too much rubble - not the barney kind though). get this: three issues here...1.) they complain; 2.) the complain about being tired; 3.) they complain about the 'stuff' in the way.
i'm' thinking at this point that nehe is replaying in his mind all of the history of 'grumbling' and the bad that it brought...i'm thinking nehe must've wanted to throw in the towel...to tell the people to stop their whining, suck it up, man-up and get the job done - but that's just what i'm thinking - instead, nehe reminded them that this was a "GOD-THING" - he reminded them that their FOCUS had to be on God, not on circumstances...then i love what it says..."we all returned to the wall" - they got back to the "GOD-THING"
isn't this the case? (it is w/me) - that when we get our eyes off of what God has called us to that we start the complaining and grumbling! that we loose focus on the "GOD-THING" and start focusing on the way we feel ('i'm tired' they said). that we begin to look down (that's where the rubble is) instead of ahead (at the wall)! think for a minute...where's your focus? down (rubble) or ahead (THE thing God's called you to)?
this is what i heard...rick, ministry isn't easy, it's tiresome, it's exhausting, it will require singleness of intent and heart, you will have opposition, press forward, don't look down at the rubble, look ahead at THE thing i've called you to