Welcome, new former procrastinators! Thank you, Missouri ladies, for a really good time together!
The mini habits we’ve been considering are a terrific way to help us avoid the dangers of this month’s focus – Distract and Divert: April Alert.
Often we lose our good intentions in the busyness of our days or they’re trampled by the demands of others. Our thoughts stray from our intended path – and so do our feet. Something prompts us to remember. “Oops. I meant to read that report before the meeting.” Or, “I did morning devotions for a while … but I dropped them.”
We are distracted from our intention and divert to another path.
Here, I’m talking about diversion from the path we should follow – not a new direction God moves us into. We know from the Lord which way to go, but either wander or deliberately step away from our intended path.
The book of Nehemiah gives an excellent example of a man who stayed on his God-directed path. Exiled in Persia, Nehemiah learned the state of Judean Jews, the city of Jerusalem, and the walls that had been destroyed. He repented before the Lord and asked God’s help.
There’s much to ponder in this rich book. We’ll focus on Nehemiah’s faithfulness to complete the entire job by refusing to be distracted by his enemies and diverted away from building the wall his enemies feared.
The enemies determined to attack and create confusion. “Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.” As Nehemiah and the Jews worked, he positioned armed men at strategic locations. In addition, wall builders carried weapons for protection.
Five times Nehemiah received messages from enemies, proposing that they meet together in the plain. He perceived they intended him harm and responded, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?”
Yet another man approached Nehemiah suggesting that for safety’s sake he flee to the temple. Again, Nehemiah perceived that God had not sent this “diverter” and he refused to leave the work.
When the wall was complete, enemy nations were disheartened “for they perceived that this work was done by our God.”
Often those who would divert us from our intention, mean no harm. Maybe they just want us to help them achieve their goals. Sometimes the Lord directs that. But if He doesn’t, the end result is the same – we are distracted and diverted to another path from the one we intend to be on.
My accountability partner recently challenged me about volunteering with a new ministry. She could see me standing on the writing wall I’m called to but considering coming down to do other work. I was tempted by a good thing to put off what God has directed me to do. I reconsidered.
What is the wall God has directed you to build?