That one phrase ‘engaged in a great work’ can totally revolutionise our life experience. The value we place on something determines what we are prepared to give up for it and the resources we will throw at it. If I want my marriage to be great for example, I will be prepared to forgo more of my own selfish desires to ensure that it is. I will also put time and energy into my marriage knowing that this is an important part of my life and is a huge contributor to my health and wellbeing. Essentially if I see my marriage as a great work, I will reap the benefits of a great marriage. If I take my wife for granted on the other hand I will most likely be more selfish, be distracted with my time and contribute less to the relationship. In this case I would be robbed of the depth of intimacy I could have enjoyed had I placed more value on this critical part of my life. This simple principle affects all the important areas of our lives.
While Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem, he had many opportunities to be distracted and discouraged. At times Nehemiah was the only one who thought they would succeed and despite all odds he was able to remain focused and on task. In Nehemiah chapter 6 we see the conviction that led to Nehemiah’s success.
‘2 So Sanballat and Geshem sent a message asking me to meet them at one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But I realised they were plotting to harm me, 3 so I replied by sending this message to them: “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?”
Nehemiah was convinced that he was engaged in a great work and he wasn’t prepared to sacrifice that or be intimidated by anybody. The perspective that Nehemiah had around this task kept him from dangers and helped him reap great rewards. What are the things in our lives that we undervalue and let distraction rob us of? If we are honest, we probably don’t even see our lives as God sees them. For God our life is a great work. Our life has purpose and meaning. Jesus designed us before time as His good pleasure and according to His will. The value that God placed on our lives was His son Jesus. The question for each of us is, ‘are we embracing the great work that Jesus has for us?’ If we are easily distracted or intimidated, if we can’t seem to use our time wisely or seem to have little life satisfaction odds are that we haven’t properly valued the life God has given us! There is one simple way to turn that around; get engaged in a great work!