You see, my goal was to stay focused on my role as a Declare Conference hostess. I didn’t want to speak in a breakout session or up front and end up being double minded. But our worship team (& God) had another idea. They asked for each hostess to speak during Friday evening worship.

The weeks leading up to the conference God led me to the book of Nehemiah. It seemed pretty random but the more I read, the more I found His message for Declare.

If I needed any more encouragement, the day before the conference started I took the boys to the library to pick up a book on hold. While waiting to check out Watts came up to me and said, “I want this movie.” And being a little stressed and distracted my response was “Not today buddy. We’re just getting this book.” But in classic Mac boy style he persisted. As I finally looked at the DVD he shoved my direction I realized I would change my “no” to  “yes”.  My sweet little 4 year old handed me the “What’s in the Bible” of Ezra & Nehemiah. For real.  Of course we sat down that afternoon and watched it together. I realized God had something important to tell our Declare attendees (and hopefully for you, too).

These are the words I shared:

Lord, You are Holy, Worthy of Praise, Mighty Savior.

You are at work all around us.

May we live out the words we sang. Help us to want to give you everything. To give our lives to follow. Amen

God is at work all around you.

He invites you to join Him.

Whether you feel the work is bigger than your abilities (choked on my words here) or too small to be worthwhile. He has work for you to do.

This week God let me to the books of Ezra & Nehemiah. I realized why…

Both men did God’s work. One built a temple, the other a wall. The temple, a place for God’s presence to dwell may seem like the important task and the wall may seem insignificant. But God required both. And both men answered the call.

You see they were living in a foreign land, Babylon. When they heard of the brokenness back home in Jerusalem, they responded. Their hearts were moved.

In fact, from these books we learn God is in the “heart-moving” business (Ezra 1:5; Neh 2:12). He even moved hearts of Kings (Ezra 1:1) to make a way for Ezra and Nehemiah to complete God’s work. If you are discouraged in the task God has set before you, realize God can make a way. He can move hearts of the powers that be to accomplish His purposes.

But even when we do God’s work and even though we belong to Him, we live in a fallen world. We will face opposition and discouragement.

And that doesn’t mean we are doing something wrong.

Nehemiah had real enemies trying to keep Him from building the wall, afraid of what would happen if Jerusalem were secure.

A man named Sanballat tried to distract him from his work, inviting Nehemiah to come away from his work and “go talk”.

But Nehemiah responded,


You. You are doing a great work, God’s work (even if it seems unimportant to you, if He has called you to do it, then it has value). Do not get distracted. Do not stop. They asked Nehemiah to come talk with them…4x. Each time he gave that same answer.

Then Nehemiah prayed,

Now strengthen my hands. {Nehemiah 6:9}

God will give us the strength to accomplish His work.

You have to be ready because the enemies (the world, the flesh & the evil one) will continue to attack. You will start to get tired especially if you work with all your heart (Neh 4:6).  You must have a battle plan. 

Nehemiah had a plan. He stationed families (don’t you love that) around the wall (Neh 4:13). He encouraged them to remember the Lord who is great and awesome and to fight for their families and their homes.


entered the kitchen and found this…struck by the beauty of all boys heads bowed, hands creating, working together and individually.

This is the best part…

From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. {Nehemiah 4:16}

We need each other, as brothers and sisters in Christ-the Lord’s family stationed on the wall. Half of us doing the physical work and half ready to fight the spiritual battle–in His Word (sword of the Spirit) and prayer. 

We may not be doing the “exact” same work but both are important to see His work accomplished.

For the exiled Jews it was to rebuild a wall (which may not seem that important to us). That wall protected God’s chosen people, so a girl could eventually be born who would honor God and carry His son. That Son would come and die on the cross for our sins and be raised again.

Our work, our “wall”, now is to spread the good news that we can live eternally with the one who saved us from the power of death.

Like Ezra’s friend who encouraged him, let us encourage one another…

Rise up. This matter is in your hands. We will support you. So take courage and DO IT! {Ezra 10:4}

Let’s do this.

Because do you know what was said when the wall was complete?

Enemies heard, all the surrounding nations were afraid…because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God. {Nehemiah 6:16}

May they same be said of us…that our work has been done only by the help of our God! Because when all have heard the good news we know Christ will return! He. will. return. It’s going to happen. Let’s rise up and do it!

What work does God have for you to do? How can we help you do it?

I would love to pray for you, stand next to you as you work, fighting off the enemy.