“Then I said to them, ‘You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.’ And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me. So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to this good work.” Nehemiah 2:17-18
Alone Nehemiah had prayed. Alone Nehemiah had, led by the Spirit of God, planned, step by step, the work that would be done in Jerusalem to rebuild the wall and remove the reproach from Israel and the name of God.
Now the time of solitary effort is past. It’s now time to take up the tools and set to the work and Nehemiah does not begin it alone.
Nehemiah’s work is not to rebuild the wall by himself. Nehemiah has been called by God to lead the people in accomplishing this work of restoration. All who are willing are to have a part so that all who are willing may receive the reward that can only come when you’ve been a participant in what God has done.
Too many times leaders, anxious to see progress in the work of the church, set to work alone when there are others who ought to be, and need to be, taking part in the work.
They justify their solitary labors by saying that God wants the work to be done and that they’re setting an example for others to follow.
Friends, the sinful heart of man is such that rarely have I ever seen this tactic work. We all, like Nehemiah, need to carefully consider as part of the steps of the appointed work, the recruitment of the workers that will set their hands to the work.
Here in Pennsylvania, where I’m a pastor, the conference leadership has accepted the task of reaching every community in the state. A big part of the work is recruiting, and training the leaders and volunteers for the work that needs to be done. There’re too many people and too much territory to cover for a few hundred, or even a few thousand, to do it as quickly as we feel the urgency to move forward. We can’t move forward alone.
But like it was with Nehemiah it’s true with us as well. God’s not calling us to a solitary labor. God can only accomplish what he desires when he labors together with all of us. Part of what’s accomplished will be readily seen on the outside; walls instead of rubble, more churches and a multiplied attendance. But an equally vital part of what’s accomplished is on the inside and is the result of our stepping to the work line with Jesus and working side by side with him.
There’s a work to be done. God and the Nehemiah’s of our generation, are calling for workers. Will you come and be part of the blessing?