“Pick up your shovel.” I heard the Lord say those four words loud and clear. Almost like a command.
Well, in the natural I do not have a shovel. I’ve never owned a shovel. Not even a garden shovel.
It’s not so much about the shovel as the assignment. The shovel is just a tool, like a sword, to accomplish a purpose. My sword is always at my side, but the Lord is reminding me—and many in the Body of Christ—to pick up the shovel.
In this season of quarantine, many are wielding the sword but fewer are grabbing their shovel. Fewer are digging. Saints, it’s time to dig—and dig deep. In order to build something solid for the new future we’re facing and the new era in which we find ourselves, we must pick up our shovels and start digging now.
Digging Starts With Hearing
You can’t dig in the right place until you hear the Holy Spirit’s instructions. We receive an assignment, we get our shovel, and we start digging in the place God sends us. Usually, the digging begins in us. We need to dig a well inside so the Holy Spirit can fill us with the strength to complete the building process. The enemy will stand against your building, so you have to dig deep within first.
Jesus put it this way, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?” (Luke 14:28-30).
Count the costs before you dig. Are you willing to change the way you’ve done things in the past in this new era? Are you willing to collaborate with new people? What mindsets do you need to dig out to build successfully?
Consider this: Another word for shovel in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is “an excavating machine.” Excavating is a process of moving dirt, rock and anything else that gets in the way of building a solid foundation. In this pause, reset or whatever terminology you’d like to use to describe the current season, it’s time to excavate so we can hear clearly to build—or in some cases—rebuild—our lives.
Don’t Forget Your Sword
Don’t forsake the sword for the shovel. God is raising up ambidextrous believers that look like the builders in Nehemiah’s day. The had a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other. They didn’t stop warring while they were building. In fact, they had to war to build and building was war.
But remember, Nehemiah was moving on an assignment of the Lord, so he succeeded. Sanballat, Tobias and the false prophets could not intimidate him or otherwise stop the man of God from completing his sword-and-hammer assignment because he built his life on God’s Word and sought God’s will Jesus put it this way:
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock” (Matt. 7:24).
Saints, pick up your shovel—and keep your sword in hand. It’s time to dig the foundation for what God is building in your life next. It’s up to you to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to build your future in Christ that no plague or famine or rain or flood can move. When you do, you will stand confident as a citizen of an unshakeable kingdom even when the world is shaking all around you.