bits from bob....
A Mind to Work
by Robert J. Young
©, 2001, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]
"And (Sanballat) spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, 'What do these feeble Jews? Will the fortify themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they make an end in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish whey are burned?'" (Neh. 4:2)
The five questions Sanballat asked reflect five important principles for accomplishing any task.
- 1. What do these feeble Jews? Translation? "What do these stupid people think they're doing anyway?" Can you hear the ridicule? If we think we can't, we won't. If we become discouraged enough, we will quit. The principle is positive possibility thinking. When confidence is gone, the battle is lost. Attitude determines altitude. We must know the task is possible. "I think I can...I think I can." What God wants this church to do, He will give the power to do. Believe in the task. Confidently believe it can be done.
- 2. Will they fortify themselves? Success has a price. Achievement requires courage and ingenuity. Unless we fortify ourselves against the threats and obstacles, we cannot succeed. We must be prepared for the enemies around us. Let us evaluate the problems and patiently plan solutions so we might move forward in the will of God with courage.
- 3. Will they sacrifice? Will we pay the price? Accomplishment requires a willingness to do whatever is necessary for the task. We must deny ourselves. Unless we are willing to quit our normal ways of life and sacrifice, nothing worthwhile will be accomplished. God is calling each of us to sacrificial servanthood in his cause. The church will never reach its potential in any other way.
- 4. Can it be done in a day? Many times tasks are begun, but not finished because there is no perseverance. Enormous tasks require patience and iron-willed determination. Without persistence, we cannot accomplish anything of magnitude in this church.
- 5. Can this rubble be turned into anything worthwhile? Often tasks are not begun because it is thought the necessary materials are not on hand. The Jews rebuilt the wall, even though they did not have superb equipment or materials. Let us use the things God has placed at our disposal and do his will. "What is that in thine hand?" When we start using what we have, perhaps God will provide more.
"So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof; for the people had a mind to work" (Neh. 4:6).
The Jews accomplished the impossible, and they did it in 52 days. Can we expect less from God today? Let us have a 'mind to work' and be about the tasks God has set before this church.
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Last updated November 23, 2001.