We are continuing to meditate on the task of building a sanctuary in our new location. As we do this, we want to make sure we identify all the basic principles that are involved. One of them is the nature of work.
Nehemiah once had what could be considered an impossible task, rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. No sane feasibility committee would have given him the green light. And yet, when the task was operating under the grace of God, what happened?
“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).
When God is active, His grace means that work is done. When His grace is absent, then this means that all work turns into tedium and despair. The presence of work is toil, and the absence of work is apathy and hopelessness. But when the people of God are oriented and strengthened by His grace, the results are very different. The people had a mind to work.
When you have a mind to work, the lack of resources is a detail. When you don’t have a mind to work, the most trivial obstacle can turn you aside from the way. “There was a lion in the streets.” Or “Aliens kidnapped me—what year is it?”
When God gives His people a mind to work, this has the practical effect of readjusting all our priorities. This is not said so that everyone will run get a shovel—many people who did not have a mind to work have been able to go that far. What we want to be doing now is praying for that “mind to work,” and we need to be waiting on the Lord for the right moment.
This is said, not so that we might go off half-baked, and the quit early. It is so that we might be preparing ourselves in prayer for the moment that He has appointed, and so that it will not catch us by surprise. So let the stones cry out.