A sermon I heard a long time ago from Andy Stanley continues to impact and influence me today.
In the sermon, Stanley was looking at the life of Nehemiah, the king’s cupbearer who was called by God to help restore the wall around Jerusalem after the Jewish people were exiled from that area. The king that Nehemiah was serving under allowed him to go and do this work but he was met by all kinds of opposition; many distractions threatened to keep him from his God-appointed work of restoring the city. As people or things or situations attempted to distract him and call him away, Nehemiah’s response was “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.” (Nehemiah 6:3) The thing God had called him to do was his life’s work and he wouldn’t be distracted by other things that would lessen that focus no matter how worthy or important it seemed to be. He wanted to remain true to the calling that God had placed on his life.
This has been a huge influence in my life. I have been called to serve youth, Native American Youth at Flandreau Indian School specifically. There may be other things fighting for my attention, good things—worthy things for sure. It may be serving on a committee in town or becoming involved with a sports team or even becoming heavily involved in a local church. None of these things are bad things but as those things fight for my attention, I must remind myself often that God has called me to a specific task. I must say to myself “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”
If you ask me to do something and I decline, don’t be disappointed, don’t take it personally. Just know “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”