"Four times they sent the same message, and each time I gave the same reply." Nehemiah 6:4 (NLT)
There are some questions that always have the same answer. One of my uncles would always have the same answer to the question, "What time is it?" His response was ALWAYS "Three hairs past a freckle eastern elbow time." The same answer every single time like clockwork, pun intended. There are some answers in life that are always the same, predictable.
In the story of Nehemiah, his enemies asked him what he was doing constantly. He always had the same answer. He told them every time that he, with God's help, was doing a great work. Finally, his enemies ask for him to meet with them. The wall is almost finished and they are trying to keep him from crossing the finish line. Nehemiah discerns this. In the verse above he says that they asked him to join him four times and every time he gave them the same reply. Every time Nehemiah says he is doing a great work and he won't be joining them.
It has been my experience that there are a lot of people who want you to join them in some insignificant work. These things can be appealing and tempting. But if they take you away from the purpose to which you believe God has called you, DON'T GO! In the face of those who would try to distract us from God's purpose we need to offer the same reply, "I am doing a great work!" We must not allow anyone to distract us from God's purpose for us.
I love the story of Nehemiah. I love how God gave him a grand vision. I love how God's grace preceded the work of rebuilding the wall. I love how Nehemiah was laser focused on the purpose God had given him. We, too, need to stay focused on God's purpose for us, especially in the face of those who want to lead us astray. I pray that we will all stay focused on the great purpose to which God has called us.
I look forward to sharing more about this on Sunday. See you in church at one service at 10:00AM this Sunday!