There always seem to be conflicting opportunities that demand our attention.
The book in the Bible called Nehemiah talks about how Nehemiah
rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem. As I was preparing for a talk on prayer, I
read through this book, and three of Nehemiah’s actions stood out as
helpful to making decisions…
I prayed to the God of
heaven, and I answered the King, “If it pleases the Lord and if your
servant has found favor in your sight, let him send me to the city…”
(Nehemiah 2: 4-5)
What God says needs to matter to us. Nehemiah
went to God before he made any decisions; so I need to seek God’s
counsel over my decisions, my husband’s, even my mother’s!
reading the Bible and praying, we will grow in our knowledge of Jesus
and what he’s asking of our families. He is not calling us to add more
activities to our schedules, or keep up with the latest travel team. He
is not asking us to serve at every church event. The longer I’m a
parent, I more I realize it’s not the actual decision but what God
teaches me through making the decision that grows my heart and keeps me
close to him in prayer.
If prayer were easy, everyone would do
it. But those who’ve tasted the intimacy of remaining close to God in
prayer know there’s no better use of their time, and no greater impact
they can make in God’s kingdom, than to be dependent on Christ Jesus
While rebuilding the wall, Nehemiah goes into great detail about how each group worked on the section right in front of them:
son of Uriah and grandson of Hakkoz rebuilt another section of the wall
extending from the door of Eliashib’s house to the end of the house.
The next repairs were made by the priests from the surrounding region.
After them, Benjamin and Hasshub repaired the section across from their
house, and Azariah son of Maaseiah and grandson of Ananiah repaired the
section across from his house. Next was Binnui son of Henadad, who
rebuilt another section of the wall from Azariah’s house to the angle
and the corner. (Nehemiah 3:21-24)
God not only described who
rebuilt the wall, but what specific part they were fixing. God is not
only concerned about what his people are doing, but what specific job
each is called to do. The builders were not concerned with anyone else’s
work — they focused on what needed to be done without getting
In this world of perfectly Pinterest-themed parties
for children and occupations that promise every benefit under the sun,
it’s easy for me to compare. She looks like she is doing it all…how is
the inside of her van is still spotless? Why do her kids never seem to
fight? Why does he make more money than me? Often, this constant
comparing leads me to make decisions for the wrong reasons. I want to
look good to other people.
But when I make decisions in light of
what’s important to our family and what will bring glory to God, most
decisions become clear.
2 Timothy 1:9 says,
He has saved us
and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of
his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the
The clear message of the gospel never changes. God
came down to save his children for a “holy calling,” and we are to
devote ourselves to him.
I am carrying on a great project and cannot come down. (Nehemiah 6:3)
is hard. Serving is hard. Working is hard. Relationships are hard; yet
we are called to rely on God’s promises. And when we rely on those
promises, he will be faithful and true:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
did what God is commanding of us. He did not come down. When you must
make those tough decisions, pray about it, make your decision, and then
trust God to take care of it. Persevere and keep praying for your kids.
Do you best at your job. Serve with your whole heart. Nehemiah had
passion to do God’s work; God desires that same passion from us.
Christians grasp what God did on the cross — that he took on our sin so
that we might live with him in eternity and have abundant life — our
gratitude drives our desire to bring him glory through our service. We
use our days discerning his plans for us so we can make the best
decisions and live out God’s beautiful calling, by the gift of the grace
that saved us.
[written by Angie Ryg]