I Cannot Come Down, Pastor Phil Sessa

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Nehemiah 6:1-3 “…Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief. 3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?

What distracts you? When you sit in a class or at church and are trying to be focused what are the things that draw your attention away? When you are at work and trying to diligently stay on task, what tends to deviate you from your task? Nehemiah was in a situation where he was doing a task for God, rebuilding the wall of the temple, and a distraction came to try to divert him from his task. Nehemiah said, “Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;” 6:1. He was busy working diligently for God. Nehemiah teaches us about being diligent and how to stay on task for the Lord.

1. Distraction will try to trap you. “Come let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono.” Ono was located seven miles southeast of Joppa near Lod (Lydda). It may have been proposed as a kind of neutral territory, but Nehemiah recognized the invitation as a trap. Temptation will always try to draw you away, and trap you from what God has called you to do. Some are easily distracted at the slightest thing when it comes to being committed to God’s work, but Nehemiah recognized the trap. These enemies tried to distract Nehemiah and take him away from his task.

2. Distractions display disobedience. “But they thought to do me mischief.” The purpose of those who were trying to distract Nehemiah was to divert him from the task. Temptation (distraction) itself is not sin, but yielding to it is. Perhaps they wanted Nehemiah to go out to eat, or to have “fellowship” with him. If Nehemiah went to Ono he would be seven miles away from the task at hand. However he sensed that they were scheming against him. Nehemiah was being diligent and obedient to the Lord’s work.

3. Distraction must be met with Determination “…I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease.” Nehemiah was doing a GREAT WORK for the Lord, building the wall of the Temple for Him. When they tried to divert him from his task, he said, I CANNOT COME DOWN. He couldn’t find it in his heart to allow his diligence to be sidetracked, or even slowed down. I picture Nehemiah working and talking at the same time, sending the messenger with his determined word for his enemies, that he refused to come down off the wall to go seven miles away from his ministry.

Do you have that kind of commitment to laboring in ministry, whether you are paid or not (as I am not, as Evans is not) for ministry? Nehemiah then gives his reason for not being diverted when he asked, “WHY SHOULD THE WORK CEASE?” Why should our ministry for the Lord cease? Many distractions will try to lure you to trap you and cause you to be disobedient to God. Nehemiah met distraction with determination. “WHY SHOULD I LEAVE AND COME DOWN TO YOU.” If Nehemiah would have gone he would have placed his distraction on a higher priority than God’s work. Examine your heart today, when distraction come are you diverted or is it met by your determination. Do you, will you, say to your distractions, “I CANNOT COME DOWN, WHY SHOULD THE WORK CEASE!?”

Until the nets are filled…Blessings, Pastor Phil <><

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