Nehemiah’s story started with a burden. He saw the condition of Jerusalem’s wall and knew the situation was desperate. Without a wall, people returning to Jerusalem after years in captivity would be unprotected and vulnerable to attack.
Nehemiah was brokenhearted, but he didn’t tackle the problem immediately. Why? He first needed to bring his burden before the Lord.
The state of Jerusalem’s wall reflected the condition of the Jewish people’s relationship with God. Disobedience had left their city and their lives in disarray. So before Nehemiah could fix the brokenness surrounding the city, he asked God to fix the brokenness inside the people of the city. Forgiveness was the foundation everything else would be built on.
Once the people were right with God, Nehemiah began to pray about what was next. All the while, God positioned Nehemiah so he’d have influence with the king and with the people. God had arranged it so a foreign king provided resources to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem.
Imagine what God is arranging behind the scenes, so you can do more than you ever thought possible.
Look around. What breaks your heart? What has God put in front of you that you can’t ignore? Until our hearts are broken for the situations and people around us, we’ll maintain the status quo.
Once you know what your burden is, go to Jesus in prayer. Ask Him what to do next.
What are you burdened about?
Jesus, I am burdened about ___________________________. What should I do next? I want to make a difference. Help me make a difference.
Craig Groeschel of Life.Church issues a challenge: “Consistently expose yourself to something that creates a righteous discomfort.” This means we must regularly put ourselves in situations that break the heart of God.
If weren’t not consistent, we’ll be motivated to act for a time — and then our righteous discomfort will get lost in our own day-to-day issues. And if we stay safe and don’t expose ourselves to uncomfortable situations that include suffering, like poverty, physical and mental illness, abuse, exploitation, etc., we’ll be too comfortable to ever serve those in need.
In John 14:15, Jesus said, “If you love me, you’ll obey my commands.” When you figure out what righteousness is, you join Jesus in the way He instructs you to live. You don’t change the bar, you change yourself.