When burden translates into action
When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. Then I said, “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! Nehemiah 1:4-6
Nehemiah was called by God to return to Jerusalem. This was during the time when the Israelites were scattered and exiled. They were scattered as part of the punishment of God to them because of their idolatrous activities and disobedience. Nehemiah recalled what God told Moses; “If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations” (Neh. 1:8). The gate of Jerusalem was destroyed and the city was left empty and desolate. God placed in the heart of Nehemiah a burden to go back to Jerusalem to lead the Israelites in rebuilding the walls. From the text, he expressed to God his grief about the burden he was carrying. He realized that it was not just about expressing his desires to God in prayer but to act upon the burden that was placed in his heart. Faith is what prompts God’s followers to pray. Because of faith, you know that there is no one to turn to except God so you are moved to pray. Yet, God wanted more than coming to Him in prayer. Just like Nehemiah, God wants action. He wanted to show not only to Nehemiah but to all Israelites that He is trustworthy. So Nehemiah after praying and fasting obeyed God in His call and returned to Jerusalem. Once you grow in your relationship with God, you will realize that when your heart is gripped with a burden, you are prompted to bring that burden before His throne of grace. But it is not just something that you unload before Him. It is His way to speak to you to alert you about something that He wants you to take action. Be willing to be obedient to God and trust Him. Let Him transform your burden into an expression of your faith. “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? “ (James 2:14). He wants to do something through your life so do not ignore the burden He places in your heart.