You have a brain. Did you know? Yes, it’s Monday morning, so it might not have occurred to you. Drink another cup of coffee and it might kick in.
Everybody has a brain. Some of our brains don’t work well in the morning. You might swear some of our brains don’t work well at all. But whether you know you have one or sometimes you aren’t sure, everybody’s got one. So don’t you think we should use them?
Something that’s always baffled me about Christ-followers many times is this concept that if something is wrong, all you need to do is pray about it. That’s it. Just pray about it, and God will take care of it.
Now, that’s not an untrue statement. If something is wrong, the best course of action you can take is to pray about it. But if you’re walking down the street with a sack of groceries and you drop a can of beans, what do you do? Do you stand there and pray and expect that God will appear and put the can of beans back in your sack?
No! You bend over, pick it up, and put it back in the bag. That’s common sense. That’s using the resources God gave you to analyze the problem, come up with a solution, and execute a strategy to fix it.
It’s true God wants us to bring our problems to Him, big or small, but it’s also true He’s given us talents and resources so that we can do things on our own sometimes. He gave us a brain for a reason.
Today’s verses are Nehemiah 4:7-9.
But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the work was going ahead and that the gaps in the wall of Jerusalem were being repaired, they were furious. They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw us into confusion. But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves.
The Book of Nehemiah is one of the best books in the Bible for leaders to read. It’s also fascinating for writers to read it too because it’s one of the only books that’s written in first person POV. It’s the story of Nehemiah and how he and a crew of workmen rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem against all odds.
With every great story, there is always a source of antagonism. In this case, it’s these sleazy guys who didn’t want Nehemiah to succeed, Sanballat and Tobiah. And at one point, they were making plans to attack the job site.
Well, what did Nehemiah do? He and his guys prayed.
Yes, they prayed. They prayed to God and just trusted that God would make everything work out without any effort on their part, and they slept through the night without any worries or concerns.
Is that what happened? Read the verse again.
They prayed to God AND guarded the city day and night to protect themselves.
I think there’s a principle in that statement we Christians miss sometimes. Are we supposed to pray and trust that God will take care of our problems? Yes! Absolutely! But does that mean we need to sit back and do nothing when we know there’s a threat to the work God is doing in our lives? Absolutely not.
Every follower of Christ is called to accomplish something incredible for God. It’s different for every person, but we all have a calling on our lives. Every God-calling has similar characteristics, namely that it will always bring God glory, always bring others to Him, and always agree with what the Bible says. And whenever you accept a God-calling in your life, you’re going to face opposition.
We have an enemy out there, folks, and he doesn’t want us to succeed at anything, especially if it’s in the name of Jesus. And he’ll use whatever means necessary to stop us.
So if you know someone is threatening the work you’re doing for Christ, do you just sit back and let them come and tear it all down? No!
Now, you don’t have the right to stoop to their level. As Christ followers, we must always remember who God is and how He has called us to live, even when we’re dealing with people who would destroy us. But that doesn’t mean we can’t stand for something. That doesn’t mean we can’t protect what we’ve invested our lives in.
It’s about finding the balance between trusting God and using the resources God has given us. We are to trust God in everything we do, whether we think it’s good or bad. But if you know trouble is coming, if you know something’s not right, God has given you resources and knowledge on how to make sound judgments.
You have a brain. Use it. Do the things you can do, and trust the rest to God.