Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hammers and swords

Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other. 18 And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built. Neh 4:17-18 (ESV)

Have you ever tried to build a wall with a sword in your hand? I haven't, but I am beginning to understand the wisdom in this. In ministry, in the church, we have to do two things. The first is to maintain the day to day operations. There are things to be done every day in the church. Much of these are comparable to the fighting. If you read in Nehemiah, the purpose of the swords is to keep at bay those who desire to cause disruption and chaos. We do the same sort of things in church work, trying to keep chaos at bay by the daily work and planning and day to day operations. It does seems sometimes that the day to day operation of the church can become consuming. They begin to eat my time, my duties become just day to day, week to week.

The problem is, if I spend all my time fighting off the enemy, there is no work being done on the wall. The battle will continue with no real progress being made. I am working to make sure I continue to build the wall, or in this place, the House of God. I will build with one hand and the other I will fight.

Putting together long term plans are never easy. Looking at purpose and function, instead of just doing things, doing things with a purpose. I have to ask the question, "why are we doing that?" or "what impact will that have?" It will cause me to have to fight and build for the same purpose, to build a strong house.

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