When our enemies heard the work was complete and the surrounding nations saw our wall, their confidence crumbled. Only one possible conclusion could be drawn: it was not just our efforts that had done this thing. God had been working alongside us.
—Nehemiah 6:16 (The Voice Translation)
Here’s one thing we assume about God’s Word: people who have a whole book named after them are usually pretty remarkable. Indeed, the story of Nehemiah is an example of why miracles and labor go together. The Book of Nehemiah illustrates The Power of Purpose.
You were born on earth to fulfill your purpose. I will not presume to know what your assignment is, but I can tell you this: just like Nehemiah’s, your mission is restoration. Whether that mission is to sing a song, write a book, preach a sermon, or save a city, you are in the restoration business. Your task inevitably involves renewal, repair, building and rebuilding that benefits someone else. Bottom line: you are to help others live their best life, in fellowship with God.
As parents and mentors, our job is definitely about restoration. I saw a young man carrying his infant and thought about how important it is for a father to build the life of a child. Mothers are critical nurturers, but a child with the blessing of a close, minute-by-minute connection with his or her father is doubly prepared for life.
The important thing is this: when you are achieving your destiny, when you are in the right position and when you are doing the work you have been assigned to do, the great God of the universe is present. In fact, He is working right beside you. Incredible, isn’t it? God Himself providing the help you cannot see.
You also may not see the enemies who oppose you. “Enemies?” you ask. “Why would I have any enemies?” Great question. You will have enemies; know that and move forward. Nehemiah clearly saw those opposing him and the work. But when those enemies observed Nehemiah’s success, they lost their confidence.
How do you know God is partnering with you on your assignment? Here are some indicators. God is there when—
- You apply yourself, without reservation to the work He has given and refuse to stoop to distractions or nonsense. Use Nehemiah as an example; his response to critics was: “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”
- You realize you must cling to God as your only support. Your close relationship with Him ensures a positive outcome.
- Great work is being done and results are the blessed and successful. When that happens, God’s support is undeniable.
- The plans of evil collaborators are clearly defeated in the end.
- You celebrate early—even before you see your work completed, because you know that the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)