Israel’s enemies were clever in their efforts to block the temple’s reconstruction. First, they offered to help. What better way to cause things to go wrong than to get involved in the work? When their aid was rejected, they set out to discourage the workers and make them afraid. The opponents even hired counselors to thwart the Israelites and were successful in hindering the project.
God, however, wanted His people to reject self-reliance and instead carry out His work in dependence upon the Holy Spirit. He offered them encouragement and protected their building project despite the mountain of opposition facing them. Sometimes this means He will remove the problem; at other times He walks us through it. In either case, we are to rely steadily on God’s Holy Spirit. Doing so will allow us to:
- Patiently love our spouse when there is turmoil in the home.
- Wisely guide our children toward godliness in our self-centered culture.
- Follow scriptural principles about giving, saving, and spending in a society that urges us to get what we want now.
- Experience contentment and God’s peace in our current circumstances—single or married, employed or out of a job, healthy or sick.
- Do God’s work His way.
Being led by the Spirit characterizes how we work. While that mindset is countercultural and not pleasing to the flesh (Gal. 5:16), it’s the only way to live as a child of God. Seek out believers who are trying to practice dependence on the Spirit, and encourage one another not to give up.
Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 37-40