“And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.”
It is important that you are a part of strengthening the LORD’s work and not a part of those who weaken it. It is important that the LORD’s work stay strong because it is through His work where the church grows, souls are saved, and believers grow in grace. In this chapter, six things are identified that will help to strengthen the believer and the church.
Cleansing is the first action needed to strengthen God’s work. In verse 20, it says that the priests and the Levites were “purified together.” Sin always weakens what God can do through the life of a believer. Whenever the believer is weak, it always affects the ability of the church to do what it needs to do to reach the lost. One of the best ways you can help your church to stay strong is to keep a short account with the LORD. Immediately cleanse yourself from sin whenever the Holy Spirit reveals a sin to you.
Serving in a place is the second action needed to strengthen God’s work. In verse 18, the people were given their positions for the “service of God.” Let me encourage you to find a place in your church where you can serve. Every church has a place for you to serve. Find that place and faithfully do your best to contribute to the LORD’s work.
Prayer is the third action needed to strengthen God’s work. In verse 10, the king asked these people to pray for him. The church needs to be known as a place of prayer. Not only should the church be a place of prayer, but God’s people need to be a people of prayer. God’s work is strengthened when the church is a place of prayer and God’s people are a people of prayer. The greatest reason the LORD’s work lacks power today is because the church no longer prays and God’s people are “too busy” to pray. Prayer will strengthen the church and the believer, and that is why you need to be sure that you have a personal time in prayer daily.
Preaching is the fourth action needed to strengthen God’s work. In verse 14, it was the prophesying of the prophets that helped the work of the LORD to continue. Preaching has a way of strengthening the people of God to make it another week in serving Him faithfully. Never be a part of a church that minimizes preaching. Preaching is a tool the LORD uses to strengthen His people.
Faithfulness to the house of the LORD is the fifth action needed to strengthen God’s work. In verse 16, you will see that the people “kept the dedication” of the house of God. We are charged in the Scriptures of the importance of not forsaking church. Your faithfulness to church will strengthen the weaker believer to continue. There is a strengthening that happens when God’s people get together. Being faithful to every service is a part of strengthening God’s work.
Separation is the sixth action needed to strengthen God’s work. In verse 21, God’s children had to separate themselves from the “filthiness of the heathen.” Separation is a key element in keeping the church and believer strong. Worldliness and sin always weaken the church and believer, and the only way you can avoid this weakening agent is to live a separated life from the world.