Persevering in the Ordinary (Nehemiah 3:3) - Radical

Persevering in the Ordinary (Nehemiah 3:3)

“The sons of Hassanah built the fish gate. They laid its beams and set its doors, its bolts and its bars.”
– Nehemiah 3:3

Now that doesn’t sound like too fascinating of a verse, and really when you look in Nehemiah chapter three it’s pretty much that over and over and over again, it just keeps talking about all the different people who built different gates around the walls, who set doors and bolts and bars, and it’s just one verse after another telling us how the walls around Jerusalem were being rebuilt.

Nehemiah 3:3 Provides a Good Reminder of God’s Work

But it’s a good reminder to us that following God involves a day to day sometimes slow process that we don’t see fruit immediately or overnight, but we press on walking with God, loving our family, loving the people around us, working hard in the job or vocation that he’s called us to, and it’s not always glamorous. The life of following Christ, it’s not like there is new adventure every day.

And even sometimes I think about book I wrote called Radical and talking with people afterwards, they almost begin to think okay so that means every day is like this new radical journey, this or that, when the reality is, and we see this all over the New Testament, so radical obedience to Christ, which is certainly what’s happening here in Nehemiah. They’re rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, but oftentimes it involves a slow faithful plotting day by day, doing what God has called you to do.

Nehemiah 3:3 Reminds Us to Seek God in the Mundane

And so we need to remember in the ordinary, even the mundane so to speak, that we are walking with God and we are glorifying God. When we’re working hard at our jobs, when we’re working hard at marriage and parenting and family, when we are working hard at all the different things that the Lord has called us to do in our lives that sometimes it’s not glamorous, but it’s good and it’s right, and it’s God-honoring.

So we pray today amidst I’m guessing what involves a lot of mundane tasks for all of us. God help us to be faithful in the ordinary today. Lord help us to be faithful even in plotting obedience, to you. Help us to walk in step with your spirit, help us to grow in our love for you today. Help us to do all that you’ve called us to do even when that involves what we might even be tempted to think are menial tasks at work, but you’ve called us to provide for our families and that our work involves doing these tasks and so there’s great meaning in that, that we are glorifying you with the work we’re doing in Nehemiah 3:3, kind of language where we’re setting doors and bolts and bars.

This Verse Glorifies the Lord

God be glorified in our every moment today. Help us to work hard, help us to love well. Help us to live wisely. And help us to persevere in the mundane and the ordinary just day after day. Moment after moment, seeking you. Obeying you and glorifying you in every facet of our lives, even that which seems small or insignificant. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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