Nehemiah 4:6 – “So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.” NKJV
The phrase “mind to work” is emphatic in the Hebrew and indicates the people had “the heart to work” and indicates that their hearts were fully committed to and involved in the project. I have long contended that what we have a heart for we will find a joy, not a drudgery. Unless the heart is convinced our efforts will falter in the face of difficulty but if the heart is firmly fixed on the objective difficulty will only be a bump in the road, not defeat. Have you ever heard the term ‘half-hearted’? I have always determined in the churches I led, I would rather have a person who is committed and their heart is in the ministry or project, even if they were of lesser qualifications than a person with an impressive resume who was half-hearted. I wanted those propelled by their passion for the project rather than one doing it for position or acclaim.
In this situation, building the walls of Jerusalem they experienced fierce opposition from Sanballat and his cohorts and had they been faint of heart they would have scurried into the shadows to avoid conflict. They were mocked, ridiculed, and those in opposition decried their ability and questioned at what pace they could complete their work. Nehemiah said, the wall was joined and was erected to half the planned height in the face of severe opposition and difficulty. WHY? His simple explanation did not exclude the Hand of God but focused on the COMMITMENT and DEDICATION of the workers.
I believe there is a lack of COMMITMENT in too much of today’s modern Church and Christians. We live in a world of ease and instant everything or as I like to call it a “microwave world” where we just press a button and presto the finished product is there. I grew up on a small family farm in rural East Texas and few things came easy and virtually nothing came quickly. We faced obstacles and they often seemed daunting but we knew the task set before us and my parents’ hearts were committed to the viability of that farm and in providing for us kids a life that provided food, shelter, and clothing. Of course, the greatest thing they gave us was not material. They gave us love and taught us perseverance and for that, I will be eternally grateful.
I have often wondered why there is a lack of COMMITMENT in much of today’s church and have concluded that, at least in part, it is because there is no COMMON VISION. The Bible teaches us “where there is no vision the people perish” and one translation says, “the people run wild.” I have often wondered if the lack of COMMITMENT because people truly do not want to take that step or because they do not have the knowledge needed to see the VISION.
I do not believe there can be a genuine commitment to anything which people do not have a clear understanding. That element of knowledge or knowing and understanding must comprise several factors. We will not commit to what we do not understand or when we do not know what we are committing to. I may love you dearly and trust you greatly but if you ask me to commit to a project and I do not understand or know what that project is and even its purpose I will find it difficult to do so. Likewise, I believe we have to grasp the value of that to which we are being asked to commit. Why are we doing it? Why is it necessary? What impact will it have on me, others, and the kingdom? Then, we need to understand what the benefits are of the completion of the project and in that the benefits of our commitment to the task.
When we make a COMMITMENT, such as in marriage it is not strictly an emotional commitment but one that is reasoned. Both the emotions and intellect or reason are involved. We count the costs and weigh the benefits and impact on our lives. When one makes a COMMITMENT they are making a COVENANT and binding themselves to their word to see it through to the end. We live in a world that operates from a ‘contract’ rather than a ‘covenant’ mentality. In business, professional sports, and even relationships we do not view our commitment as binding but binding so long as it benefits us in the way we desire. A COMMITMENT that is a personal pledge to do whatever it takes, within reason, to get the job done. COMMITMENT is not CONVENIENCE and may cost us something if not much. Jesus made the COMMITMENT to come and die for mankind and He refused to allow anything to deter His fulfillment of the commitment.
If we will COMMIT ourselves fully and completely to the LORD and to that which is set before us we will begin to see dramatic changes in the labors and success of the Church in this present world. COMMITMENT drives a person to reach that objective and obtaining that prize and is epitomized in PERSISTENCE. A person that is COMMITTED will not and cannot quit! Remember the words of Paul in Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap IF we do not lose heart.” You can’t win if you quit!
God bless you is my desire and prayer!