The Secret to Pressing through Distraction and Discouragement
When I think of the faithful men and women of Scripture who stayed strong in the face of overwhelming distraction, one name comes to mind: Nehemiah. This man had one goal, and it was to rebuild the wall surrounding Jerusalem. The wall was in complete shambles, so this was no small task. But what amazes me about this story is not the size of the project, although it was tremendous, but the determination of this prophet who the enemy tried to thwart night and day.
Nehemiah’s adversaries didn’t want his men to accomplish their goal, and they sought every opportunity to stop them. His men faced constant taunting, and Scripture tells us they stayed on their guard not only during the day, but also at night (Nehemiah 4:22-23).
So what was Nehemiah’s secret? How can this story of focus, courage, and dedication give us tools to keep pressing ahead, even when we face distractions and discouragement? We may not encounter an actual army who seeks to overthrow our plans, but the resistance can often feel like an army is working against us.
When I look at this great success story, I see a shift in focus. Instead of looking at the forces trying to fluster him, Nehemiah looks at his Defender: God. Instead of looking at the all the reasons he has to quit, he keeps his eyes locked on his end goal. And in the end, the wall was just a tool. Yes, it served a purpose to protect, but his goal was to glorify God.
“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)
Here are three key things to remember to help you shift your focus on God, your true goal, when middle ground faithfulness is hard:
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