I Am Doing A Great Work
2 Chronicles 36:22 - Ezra 6:4
This weekend we will read about Nehemiah. His humble prayer touched my heart.
He prayed for walls to be repaired, and gates to be mended. The burden consumed his countenance. When the King saw him sad he asked why. Nehemiah replied, “Why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchers, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? (Nehemiah 1:3) The king asked him, “For what dost thou make request?” Nehemiah’s answer consisted of five simple words, “that I may build it.” (Nehemiah 1:5)
He arose in the night, and viewed the wall. He saw the destruction. He understood the work that would be required. Then he gathered the people together saying, “See the distress that we are in…come and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem.” (Nehemiah 2:17)
The people gathered together and prepared to work. Meanwhile the enemies of Jerusalem gathered together. They pointed fingers at the people, and they despised them, and as they laughed they said, “What is this thing that ye do?” (Nehemiah 2:19) And Nehemiah answered, “The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build.” (Nehemiah 2:20)
As they worked, the enemy wondered about the people who were building, and he asked his men, “Will they fortify themselves? Will they sacrifice?” (Nehemiah 4:2) And these wicked men conspired against the people who were building, day and night.
So Nehemiah gathered the people together. He armed them with swords, and spears, and bows, and told them, “Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord.” (Nehemiah 4:14)
“The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another. In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet (he that sounded the trumpet was by me) resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.” (Nehemiah 4:18-20)
And so they returned to the wall, “Every one unto his work.” (Nehemiah 4:15)
They began to build again, but this time was different. Now the people built with one hand and carried a weapon with them at all times in the other hand. “For the people had a mind to work.” (Nehemiah 4:6)
When the enemy found out that they continued to work they wanted to speak to Nehemiah. They asked him to come down from what he was doing and meet with them. And he replied, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it and come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3)
Four times the enemy asked Nehemiah to come down, and every time he answered them the same, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.”
Finally, the fifth time they sent Nehemiah a letter saying, “Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.” (Nehemiah 6:7) And they tried to make Nehemiah afraid. But he would not come down, and finally he replied, “Should such a man as I flee?” (Nehemiah 6:11)
We live in times of great challenges and great opportunities. The Lord … seeks to enlist unfaltering souls who diligently go about the work of building the kingdom of God—those who, when faced with opposition and temptation, say in their hearts, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down.”
Our Heavenly Father seeks those who refuse to allow the trivial to hinder them in their pursuit of the eternal. He seeks those who will not allow the attraction of ease or the traps of the adversary to distract them from the work He has given them to perform. He seeks those whose actions conform to their words—those who say with conviction, “I am doing a great work and cannot come down.”
Like Nehemiah, we have a great work to do. We stand overlooking the horizon of our age. It is my fervent prayer that in spite of temptations, we will never lower our standards; that in spite of distractions, wherever they may come from, we will not lose focus on what matters most; that we will stand resolute and together, shoulder to shoulder, as we valiantly bear the banner of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Elder Uchtdorf, April 2009)
Consider your greatest work right now… what is it? Have you gone to the Lord in prayer? In fasting?
Make your request, and then get to work. Build.
Others may question your resolve to fortify your efforts. To sacrifice.
Be not afraid of them.
Remember the Lord.
You are doing a great work…do not come down!