As I read in Nehemiah recently, verses 19-21 of chapter 4 leaped out at me:
“The work is great and widely spread, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us. So we labored at the work …”
Then in verse 3 of chapter 6:
“I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”
What is this great work?
For Nehemiah, God called him to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem because it left his people vulnerable to their enemies. For many of us the “great work” is loving and leading our wives and families, working with excellence in the career position He has given us, following Christ with all our hearts, listening to Him in His Word, and helping others be heart-level followers of Him. The “great work” is the work God has called you and I to do. The work of living dangerously and impactful for God and engaging other men to do the same is great.
Because so much rides on whether a man is connecting with God in a real way –
his wife’s well-being, his children’s development, his influence at work, his church, his neighborhood.
Most men are facing challenging life issues now – job, finances, marriage, raising children, etc. The fires of our persistent pressures make it easy “to come down” and settle for less than God is calling us to do. Isolation though is often times the greatest detriment to fulfilling God’s great work. As Nehemiah said,
“we are separated on the wall, far from one another.”
Staying connected with other like-hearted men gives us fresh energy, courage, and staying power. It reminds us that we are part of something greater than ourselves, part of an intangible kingdom that will never fail.
I urge you … as you go into this New Year – find ways to connect with other men consistently. These men are in your church, work-place, and neighborhood – and you each will profit from your taking the initiative.
There are many good tools out there but one you may want to use is “The Making of a Dangerous Man; Stories of Dangerous Men and Your Story.” You may go to www.dangerousman.org to access a copy. It is a ten week guide and journal that fleshes out this great calling of becoming men of God.
“In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet …”
Let’s respond with courage as God impresses on our hearts the work He is calling us to in 2012!
Describe the situations where you feel most isolated. How could you invite God into those moments?
Who is one other man that you will commit to connect with in the next week?
Dear Father, reveal to me the great work you have prepared for me. Give me courage & passion to joyfully fulfill this calling, and Lord unite me with other men that our service may be more than the sum of its parts. To your glory, amen.