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Shut the Door on Distractions

The Good Work

Review this week’s message.

Key Scriptures

Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies found out that I had finished rebuilding the wall and that no gaps remained—though we had not yet set up the doors in the gates. So Sanballat and Geshem sent a message asking me to meet them at one of the villages in the plain of Ono. ... The fifth time, Sanballat’s servant came with an open letter in his hand, and this is what it said: “There is a rumor among the surrounding nations, and Geshem tells me it is true, that you and the Jews are planning to rebel and that is why you are building the wall. According to his reports, you plan to be their king.
Nehemiah 6:1-2, 5-6 NLT

I replied, “There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing.” They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination. Later I went to visit Shemaiah ... He said, “Let us meet together inside the Temple of God and bolt the doors shut. Your enemies are coming to kill you tonight.” But I replied, “Should someone in my position run from danger? Should someone in my position enter the Temple to save his life? No, I won’t do it!” I realized that God had not spoken to him, but that he had uttered this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. They were hoping to intimidate me and make me sin. Then they would be able to accuse and discredit me. Remember, O my God, all the evil things that Tobiah and Sanballat have done. And remember Noadiah the prophet and all the prophets like her who have tried to intimidate me. So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun. When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God.
Nehemiah 6:8-16 NLT

And I sent messengers to them, saying, “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 6:3 ESV

Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.

  • Do you think God has called you to do something special? If so, what? If not, why?
  • What distraction do you wrestle with most?

Start thinking. Ask a question to get your group thinking.

  • Why are distractions so effective at derailing the good work we’re doing?
  • Read Nehemiah 6:9. Intimidation and discouragement only served to fuel Nehemiah’s determination. What can we learn from his example?
  • As we approach the finish line of our good work, why is it important to remember that we’re not aiming for what’s popular—we’re aiming for what’s important?

Start sharing. Choose a question to create openness.

  • What steps can you take to stay focused on the work God’s given you to do?
  • How can you encourage others to remain focused on the work God has given them to do?

Start praying. Be bold and pray with power.

Father, thank You that, even in the face of distractions, You’re with us. Help us to learn to keep our eyes on You as we pursue the work You’ve given us, and to see our distractions for what they are. Give us the strength and perseverance we need to see Your work through to the end. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.

  • Identify the distractions you face while doing good work and commit to avoiding those distractions in the future.
  • Interested in learning more about the work God is calling you to do? Check out The Good Work Bible Plan:

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Shut the Door on Distractions

The Good Work

When you’re doing God’s work, you don’t have time for distractions. Join Pastor Craig Groeschel to start saying “no” to the distractions that don’t need your attention and “yes” to the calling God has for your life.

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