How to respond when God convicts you about something:
–Join with him in mourning the brokenness. (1:4a) Sometimes we shake our fist at God, trying to convince him how horrible a situation is down here. You only think it’s horrible because he thinks it’s horrible; we are made in his image and desire life to be the way he designed it to be.
–Pray. And pray more. Fast and keep praying. Wait. And pray. (1:4b) There are a million, billion burdens to take on in the world. A godly response is to invite God into it and ask him how to respond. When something grabs your heart, ask him why. Is this for me to take on? Am I suppose to get involved? How? (Prayer is ALWAYS the first step!) Fasting is an easy way to hear from God and strip down distractions and noise when you’re leaning in to him about something.
–Be ready when it’s time to jump in. (2:1-3) Nehemiah was distracted at work, and unable to snap out of it. His heart was heavy, he feels burdened and can’t compartmentalize what God is drawing him towards. When something is relentlessly tapping on my shoulder, and I don’t feel peace by just praying, I know God’s calling me in.
–Don’t be intimidated to take a stand. (2:6) I’m a little shocked by how Nehemiah speaks to the king! He’s an exile, working for the king, and having a personal conversation that ends in him asking to be excused from work for a while. If God is inviting you to be involved in something, he will move around the logistics for you. The money will come in, the people will show up, and the details will sort out.
Is there something you feel God convicting you about? Spend time praying today about what it looks like for you to get involved. Maybe it’s a commitment to prayer. Maybe it’s dropping everything and rolling up your sleeves to rebuild what got torn down. Ask him!