Written by Pastor Carmela E. Head
The Renewal Center

The Apostle Paul writes an epistle to the church of Philippi encouraging the Philippians to confidently progress forward in what God had called them to do. Paul was sharing with them, the personal testament of the endurance he embodied, all the while, being very confident about the power of Christ in his life.   In chapter one of Philippians, although Paul had endured many setbacks and hardships during his missionary travels, he still eloquently expresses the powerful influence of Christ in him.  Paul was on a journey to empower the churches, the leaders, and the new believers.  He was on a mission and was determined to facilitate what God had put in his heart to do, which was how he could, in Philippians 1:3 (NASB) state, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work among you will complete it by the day of Christ Jesus.”

I remember seeing a cartoon picture of a character digging his way through a rock tunnel, trying to get to the other side to obtain treasure.  The cartoon showed the character digging and digging.  The cartoon character, loaded down with discouragement and frustration due to his endless digging, turned around, just before the he reached the treasure.  He was weary, tired and, in my opinion, probably told himself “there’s no way that treasure is here”.  The next scene of the cartoon shows the character was a fraction, probably inches, away from digging his way into the place where the treasure was.  Wow!  What an insightful message.  Every time I see that cartoon, I am reminded to “carry on”.

Chiseling away through a rocky terrain can be daunting with no end or reward in sight. Persevering through implementing inspired dreams and aspirations with no evidence of fruition can be discouraging, not to mention the time and effort gone into it. “Can’t we just speed up the process so that we can get there?” We all have tasted this recipe of “madness” many times over. What is our response or course of action when we feel we are building from an inspired blueprint with tenacity and fidelity and it seems like our construction is taking longer than expected, our “construction site” has been interrupted by rain and harsh weather elements, or perhaps adjustments and modifications to the blueprint had to take place to accommodate a new addition to the plan?  The work is in progress.  If we stopped, what would become of it?

The prophet Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. The city’s walls were broken down and destroyed and Nehemiah received a plan from God to rebuild it.  The city of Jerusalem needed these walls rebuilt for their protection.  Having received the “go-ahead” and permission to rebuild the wall from the King, Nehemiah proceeded the work; faithfully. But, Nehemiah did meet this task without opposition.  Just like Paul, Nehemiah moved forward in the work that God called him to do with fervence.  He met the naysayers, like Sanballat, Tobiah, and many others’ harsh words and accusations tried to stall Nehemiah’s progress.  The more Nehemiah worked on those walls the more his accusers tried to stop progress and their whole sea of shenanigans pressed Nehemiah to pray.  Through much prayer, God fortified Nehemiah and he continued to press forward through his work; he “carried-on”.   He faithfully states his intention to carry-on his work by saying in chapter 6, ‘I am doing a great work and I cannot come down’.  And get this, even the people that were with him complained. My goodness! Despite this scenario, Nehemiah rebuilt the wall. He “carried-on”.

God shares with us in the book of Isaiah that He is doing a new thing shall we not know it?
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19 (NLT)
What He is doing in us will bear fruit. As we stay the course of building, He will perform it.  As I reflect on that cartoon character’s plight (of course that plight was his perception of where he was) with obtaining his treasure, we can be encouraged and reminded that we should continue chiseling away at our God inspired tasks, dreams, aspirations and the plans that He has ordained for us.

Will we sometimes feel like that cartoon character? Yes, we might. However, Just like Paul, we can declare, that He who has begun a good work in us shall complete it.  And even when the accusations, self- doubt and unbelief tries to arise and comes to stop progress we can declare to those three things, like Nehemiah, “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?” (Nehemiah 6:3 NLT)

Copyright 2021
Carmela E. Head
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Chiquita Toure - June 23rd, 2021 at 7:37pm

A wonderful commentary on what happens when we partner with God.Oh what grit and tenacity it will take to complete a task! Thank you for reminding us of all the obstacles Nehemiah faced, yet he stood strong and resolute to get the work completed. The struggle was real. What might our lives look like if we pursued purpose and assignment like him. To be honest we do get weary and fall short but "The work is in progress. If we stopped, what would become of it?" Carmela, this was a beautifully written and timely message for us all.

Dr. Paul C. Brown, Sr. - June 28th, 2021 at 3:34pm

“Keep pressing!” The best place to be is in the will of God. In spite of negativity all around one must stay focused on your God-given task. Thanks for this read about carrying on!