Tunnel Vision

Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come and let us meet together at Hakkephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to do me harm.  “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” Nehemiah 6:2-3


The town of Jerusalem was in shambles.  The walls had fallen down, the temple was ravaged, and people had no jobs, no money, no food, and no hope.  Nehemiah heard a call from God to go rebuild the wall in Jerusalem.  As he worked, two neighboring governors sent a message along.  They asked for Nehemiah to take some time away from his project: the one God called Nehemiah to, so they could talk with him.


But Nehemiah held fast and simply said what I am doing is too important to stop and do something else.  The work God has called me to do has such high priority; it cannot be stopped for any reason.  Nehemiah was offered a chance to meet with high-powered people, yet he said, no, I have to stick with what God has called for me to do. He held fast to the most important thing he had to do, unapologetically and God blessed His work. 


Your life is filled with distractions.  Each moment you face distractions, more “important” things do to, that may not be all bad, but are they the most important thing, or do they take away from what is truly most important in your life? 


As a parent you will have to work to make your children a priority over and above other things, so when other good things come that take away from your children, you can say, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”  Because your children are a blessing from God, not to be taken for granted.


What about your spouse?  A marriage is like a garden, it needs time and regular attention, and it only flourishes with intentional work spent on it.  So when something “good” comes up that takes you away from that priority you can declare, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”


Your relationship with God should not be stagnant, but dynamic, always changing and growing, but it requires work.  Life is going to place some “good” opportunities before you that would put God in the rearview mirror, and you will have to say, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”  Distractions will come, but will you have the focus and discipline to understand what priorities God has placed in your life, and be able to declare like Nehemiah, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”


Pastor Bill


Discussion Questions

  1. What is that one priority in your life?
  2. What challenges keep you from focusing on the most important things?
  3. Who or what might help you to keep the best things in focus?