Focus, Faith, and Flexibility

Focus, Faith, and Flexibility

10 October 2009


12 The Jews who lived near the enemy came and told us again and again, “They will come from all directions and attack us!” 13 So I placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas. I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows. 14 Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the leaders and the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your friends, your families, and your homes!” (Nehemiah 4:12-14 NLT)

Before Nehemiah introduced his grand wall-rebuilding plan to the people, he had carefully surveyed the situation and scope of the task and made thorough preparation. However, even with the most careful planning, he could only guess at all the challenges his team would face before the project was completed.

Only a little way into the project, the workers began to get weary and discouraged because there was so much rubble to clean up before they could build. Then once visible progress was made on the wall, the enemies of the Jews who had been mocking their efforts began to threaten to attack and destroy them. Among the Jews there were lazy leaders who wouldn’t get involved and help. Then the unity of the team was threatened by inequities among the people. The list of challenges goes on…

Nehemiah’s leadership role required laser-like focus, unwavering faith, and moment-by-moment flexibility. As each situation developed and each new challenge arose, Nehemiah looked over the situation, adjusted his plan, encouraged the people, and kept on working.

When we decide to do something for God, we can’t possibly know in advance all the challenges we will face, all the issues that will arise, all the things that might go wrong. What we can know is that the God who gave us the task will give us what it takes to finish the job. But we have to stay focused, be faithful and faith-filled, and be flexible.


Father, thanks for the story and the example of Nehemiah. It spoke to me in a new way and on a new level today. I want to start strong, serve faithfully, and finish well. I purpose to stay focused, faith-full, faithful, and flexible. Amen.

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