Nehemiah 4:6: So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
Attitude is everything. Those who worked with Nehemiah in the rebuilding of the wall exhibited such zeal for work; that the work went well and very fast. Within the space of two months, the monumental work was finished. Their commitment level was unusual high. They bought into Nehemiah’s vision and plunged themselves into it.
Jesus asked a man to follow him. But the man said that he needed to go and bury his father first (Luke 9:59-60), Jesus said the one who puts his hand on the plough and looks back is not worthy of him. It’s either 100 percent commitment to him or no commitment at all. That is the implication.
Burying the death is a social obligation. But Jesus was saying you need to choose between your social obligation and him. You need to choose between being controlled by social obligation or by divine injunction.
The people in the time of Nehemiah were zealous to work not because there is any material reward after their effort, but there is the inner satisfaction of being part of something worthwhile, something bigger than themselves, part of something more than they could achieve on their own.
Jesus told his disciples that his food is to do the will of the father (John 4:34). Doing it is the reward, to perceive the smile of the Father on his face. That is enough reward for him.
He said: I have to do the work of him who sent me while it is day, the night comes when no man can work (John 9:1-5).
There are opportunities that open now, that will not be repeated, and in that sense the night has come, that chapter is closed, and there is no other opportunity to make a second impression.
And as the bible says: there is time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1). When we get busy doing the right thing at the right time, we will get the right result. Imagine the disciples trying to reach out to Jerusalem at the ascension of Jesus before the coming of the Holy Spirit. It would have been suicidal, to say the least. They needed to go in the power of the Holy Spirit and that came in its time.
Otherwise, it would not be the time, and the efforts would have been in “the night” when no man can work, and if any work is done, it will be ineffective and even counter-productive. Like the children of Israel attempting to take over Canaan after they had earlier rebelled against God, saying he wanted to destroy them in the wilderness, and God had proclaimed that they will wander there for many years. They were mauled before the enemy (Numbers 13-14).
Jesus worked while it was “day” because work is good. Work trains the body, mind and spirit. When God made man he put him in the garden to keep and to tend it (Genesis 2:15), to exhibit the creative essence he shares with God.
The mind is specially related to the work we do. The mind has three operational dynamics of the thoughts, reasoning and imagination, impacting on one another.
Thoughts has to do with words. Nehemiah, rallied the people for the task of building the wall, and they allowed his words to stay on their mind.
They meditated on his words, and they allowed the words to take root in them, to take over their reasoning. Reasoning is interaction among different thoughts. They “reasoned in” the words of Nehemiah and “reasoned out” anything to the contrary.
God sent prophet Haggai to the people of Israel when they stopped making effort to build the temple. They were concerned about their personal stuffs and neglected the work of the temple. Haggai told them the reason they were not prospering in their personal endeavours was because they were not paying attention on the things of God. Through that prophetic intervention, they made a reasoning adjustment and the work went on fine until it was finished. Gaining the thoughts of God helps us to enter into his reasoning.
Thoughts is at the level of what is known, while reasoning is at the level conclusions to be reached, maybe towards making an action or not. It is the incubation spot for wisdom or foolishness.
The quality of your reasoning will determine the quality of the wisdom you operate in. The bible says that the wise knows the interpretation, i.e. the right reasoning, of a thing, i.e. the facts (Ecclesiastes 8:1).
The facts are different from the reasoning they evolve to. The fact is objective, the reasoning is subjective; it mixes the facts with all manner of things within you.
When David sent emissaries to another king to commiserate with him about the passing of his father (2Samuel 10). That was a fact.
But he unwisely followed the reasoning of his advisers in interpreting the motive of David and he took the wrong step because of his wrong reasoning. That led to war between the two nations, with great losses for him.
Faulty reasoning leads to relating to others wrongly. The Pharisees judged Jesus wrongly and could not benefit from him. They called him Beelzebub, sinner, and because of their reasoning they could not benefit from him.
Imagination is projection into the future for the possibility it holds. It is the creation of a world within us before it manifests in reality. When what is imagined takes hold of the mind, it spills over to action. Imagination combines pictures, sound, and even smell you meet daily. And they give the raw material for the dream world (Ecclesiastes 5:3).
Imagination could be an extension of thoughts and reasoning both rational logical and irrational. They are the tool for God or Satan, and others.
Fear is stimulated by the wrong kind of imagination while faith is situated by the right one.
The bible says that faith which is acting on the reality of the unseen is the evidence of things hoped for, the substance of things not seen (Hebrews 12:1-2). It is unseen because it is already in the imagination. When God changed Abram to Abraham, i.e. father of many nations, adding that he was going to bring forth his son of promise through his wife Sarah who was very old, it created a faith-filled imagination. Faith is manifested in action but its source in imagination. Isaiah asked the ultimate faith question: whose report will you believe? Believing is the engagement of the imagination in the reality presented by the word of God.
Jesus told Peter: cast your net into the deep for a catch (Luke 5:1-10). That was a new thought different from what he was entertaining which was probably how to explain to those at home that there will no fresh fish that day.
With his words Jesus transferred his own thoughts to Peter and Peter embraced it, and asked himself the question: should I act on this word? The process of reasoning had begun, and the answer was yes. He obeyed out of respect for Jesus, allowing the words of Jesus to lead him to imagine some form of catch.
But when he acted on the word the result was mind-boggling, it was more than he had imagined. The bible says that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above what we are able to think (thought and reasoning) or imagine, according to the power that is at work in us (Ephesians 3:20).
Get ready to surprise yourself, to be amazed at what can happen though you as you allow the word of Christ to take root in you as you take step on it, releasing the power in the word through faith.
- Boss or father? (pjcockrell.wordpress.com)
- Sermon: “I am not the one.” by The Rev Shivaun (saintnicks.com)
- Will Our Children Have Faith? (mymorningmeditations.com)
- The Jesus Lens (tithebarn.wordpress.com)
- There’s power in the middle of the room (lionelsneeddailyinspiration.wordpress.com)