We started out in chapter 1 where Nehemiah learns that his homeland of Jerusalem is now in ruins. When he hears this news the bible tells us that Nehemiah weeps.
Neh 1:3-4 ...The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire. When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.1. Lean into it: God intends to use that stirring.
Nehemiah leaned into the pain. He didn't ignore it or cap his emotions. He mourned it for days. Israel being in ruins became his Holy Discontent (a desire to fix something that's broken in the world.)
What makes you weep?
My Holy discontent is the issue of human trafficking. Specifically sex trafficking which accounts for about 80% of all trafficking. My heart breaks for any injustice, but this one spoke louder to me than any other. God can whisper to us in many different ways, but for me God continued to place this issue in front of me over and over and I would feel a stirring each and every time. I would see an article or hear an interview on the radio or bible verses about injustice would touch me and I would automatically relate it to trafficking. I just really had a sense that God was prompting me to get involved and it became my “holy discontent”. The fact that this was happening to women and children across the globe was no OK to me. I felt like this was something God had layed on my heart. And it was an issue that I could not NOT do something about.
2. Pray! and be available.
Neh 1:6-7 ...I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
Neh 1:11 He prayed " Please grant me success."
Nehemiah did not remain stuck in his pain. He recognized where they had failed and confessed it to God. He is moved to action and knows that in order to be successful he needs the Lord's blessing.
Most scholars say that Nehemiah prayed for 4 months before acting on anything.
What is the Lord asking you to do? Draw near to Him and ask Him to direct your steps. You were designed by God to get involved. Get off the couch and suit up.
3. Risk Everything
Nehemiah risked everything to go back to Jerusalem.
Nehemiah worked for the king as the official cup bearer. This was the person who would taste the king's food and drink before the king would consume it. In those days, it was quite common to try to poison someone so Nehemiah was the protection for the king should anyone try to poison him. He risks his job.
To be sad in the King's presence was punishable by death. Not only does he ask for permission to leave his position and go back to Jerusalem, he asks the King for supplies. He risks his life.
Neh 2:1-3 ... I had not been sad in his presence before, so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.” I was very much afraid, but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”
Nehemiah's actions demonstrate a story of obedience regardless of the cost.
God wants to move your life:
- From comfortable to compelling
- From predictable to powerful
- From timid to tenacious
Neh 2:8 "And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests."Because God went before him things went well.
If God has put something on your heart, he desires to bless you when you step out in obedience. Include God in your plans and He will be with you every step of the way.