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“So I sent messengers to them with this reply: “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 NIV)

Know your task, know your focus.

Nehemiah is rebuilding the Jerusalem wall.  People are scheming to get him off track.   Four times they tried to get him to stop work.  His reply was the same each time: no.  Basically, he said, “Give me one good reason why I should?”  They couldn’t.  Nehemiah had his priorities straight.  He knew Who had given him the job.  He knew what the job was.  He didn’t let anyone or thing keep him from his assigned task.

“Keep your head in the game,” means not getting distracted.  In the game of life, distractions are plenty.  As a Christ follower, God has given us clear instructions of what our job is.  We are to love God, love others (Mark 12:30-31 NIV).  We are to make disciples everywhere we go (Matthew 28:19 NIV).   Nehemiah’s God given job was building a wall, ours is helping others know Jesus through acts of love.  God given task requires God given focus.

God given tasks requires God given focus.

Nehemiah’s focus was God given.  He knew, without a shadow of a doubt, he was doing the Lord’s work.  Nothing is more important than the Lord’s work. How did Nehemiah know?

First, he prayed.  When he found out about the situation in Jerusalem, he prayed to God for guidance.  He was cupbearer to the king.  He couldn’t just leave his job.  He was stuck where he was unless God moved.  

Second, God answered.  A couple of days later he’s bringing wine to the king, who notices Nehemiah’s sad face.  The king wants to know why he’s sad, Nehemiah tells him the truth.  The king asks what would make Nehemiah happy.  Before answering, Nehemiah prays again.  Then he tells the king he wants to leave his job and rebuild the wall.  The king lets him.

Nehemiah knew he was doing God’s task.   God opened the doors for him to go.  In no way could Nehemiah have caused what happened to happen.  He had no control over the king, the king controlled him.  However, God controls the king.  Whether the king believed in God or not, God still used him to answer Nehemiah’s prayer.  Without a doubt, Nehemiah knew what he had to do, nothing was taking his head out of the game.

God works the same way in our lives.  We have a dilemma that is out of our control.  We pray.  God opens doors we can’t.  He directs our paths in ways we cannot predict, but cannot deny. Once we know the task, God gives us the focus.  Know your task, know your focus.

Question of the Day:

Do you know what your God given task is for today?

Further Reading:  Nehemiah 5:14-7:73 NIV, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 NIV, Psalm 33:1-11 NIV, Proverbs 21:8-10 NIV

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