Staying Focused

Joel Plantinga

READ : Nehemiah 13:1-31

And I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the sabbath day holy. (v. 22)

I’ve spoken to pastors and lay people in churches that have built new buildings or undertaken other major projects that demanded the focus and commitment of the whole church. Without exception they describe one of the biggest challenges as maintaining commitment following the completion of the project. Keeping people focused on God’s work after such a huge undertaking is difficult because of the natural letdown people feel after large tasks have been successfully accomplished.

Nehemiah shows great wisdom in instructing the Levites to maintain their own purity while also encouraging the purity of all the people. It’s amazing how quickly we can regress spiritually if we’re not focusing continually on doing the right things. Nehemiah understood the way of the human heart and kept working tirelessly at a time when he easily could have taken a break himself after all his hard labor.

Daily devotions and prayer are a huge part of staying focused on personal godliness. But other people can help you do this as well. The people of Jerusalem had the Levites; the Levites had Nehemiah. Who helps keep you focused on the most important things in your life?


Lord, keep us focused on you through all of life’s distractions. Amen.