I’ve been busy lately. Actually, very busy would be more precise. You know, those times in your life when there’s not enough time in the day to get things done. When I find myself being pulled in a thousand different directions I also notice that aspects of my spiritual life tend to suffer. I begin to worry more and pray less which seem to be in direct proportion to one another. I start to look at blog writing and Bible study as a chore instead of as a joy. It’s not that I lose my faith or love in God. I just lose a little of that intimacy that we normally have.
It’s amazing how Satan will use just about anything, even busyness, to pull you away from God. In the book of Nehemiah we see an example of this very thing. Nehemiah is in the process of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem when others make attempts to distract him from his work. Chapter 6, verse 2-3 reads, “Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come and let us meet together at Hakkephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to do me harm. 3 And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” It’s obvious here that Nehemiah is facing distractions that are trying to pull him away from working for God. Satan can easily use others around us, even people who are important to us, to keep us from the mission God has for our lives.
Later on in the passage, Nehemiah’s adversaries even begin to make up lies to ruin him (Nehemiah 6:6-8). While it may be difficult at times, we must stay focused on the work of God even when the gossip and lies around us become unbearable. God will always have plenty for us to do for his kingdom as long as we don’t allow busyness to sidetrack us.
Finally, enemies of Nehemiah try to convince him to hide in the temple so he won’t be killed but Nehemiah see through their plan (Nehemiah 6:10-14). It’s interesting that this is one of Satan’s favorite tactics today. If he can get Christians to hide within the walls of their church building and keep their beliefs private, the gospel has no hope of being spread. We cannot hide in the church holding on to our comfortable Christianity we’ve created. We must be out in the world seeking the lost in order to build the church.
When oppositions arises, and we know that it will, what can we do? First, stay rooted in the word of God. It is there where we find sustenance and strength. The truth of his word can deflect any false attacks hurled our way. Also, we must not allow our attitudes to change. When others are pessimists or naysayers, counter them with encouragement and positivity. Be the light in your own sphere of influence. Lastly, keep your eyes on Jesus. Like Nehemiah, tell the doubters, “I cannot come down. I work for the Lord!”