Nehemiah 1:4 – “So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” NKJV
This verse is in reference to Nehemiah hearing the news about the disrepair of Jerusalem and it so broke his heart that it moved him to action. In his situation it was action that could easily have cost him his life but he was so moved he could do nothing else. That brings me to the thought that I want to address today.
When was the last time you were ‘so moved’ by the condition of our world, the church, or a life that it so moved you that ‘prayer’ and ‘fasting’ was the immediate response and then you moved into action with the guidance of the Holy Spirit? Sadly, I hear many talking about the NEED for ‘renewal’, ‘restoration’, and/or ‘revival’ but I do not see many that are so heartbroken over the condition and the dying souls of men that they are driven into intercessory prayer and fasting. Honestly, if it does not move us to the point that it breaks our hearts I doubt that we will give it much serious thought and as a result will not be compelled to do that which is needed to change the circumstances or situation.
I am reminded of the biblical record when Jesus came to Mary and Martha at their brother, Lazarus’ tomb. Mary ran to Jesus weeping and whether it was intentional or not, leveled an accusation toward Him saying, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” It was both a statement of faith and frustration. He asked where they had buried Lazarus and as she led Him to the tomb Jesus wept. He then moved into action that restored the life to Lazarus who had been dead three days. A significant miracle by any standards!
I know of a man who is so easily touched by the Spirit of God that we will be in a public place sharing a meal or a thought and something will catch his eye and he will be in tears brokenhearted over the condition, situation, or life that he is observing. He will then excuse himself and there is no need to ask for he is going to his prayer closet to intercede over whatever it was. I’m told that many times, days later he testifies of something God has done in that very situation. He becomes so brokenhearted that he acts in the most powerful way that we humans can act he reaches out to the Throne of Heaven.
If we truly believe that the church or our world is in need of ‘renewal’, ‘restoration’, and/or ‘revival’ why does it not crush our hearts? I am not trying to be accusatory for I ask myself the same question and do not always like the answers I receive within my heart and mind. God help us to never become so entangled with the affairs of this life that we lose contact with the Throne of Heaven and experience such a desensitization of our hearts that we are not shattered by the condition of the world. Lord, I pray that you make our hearts so tender that we actually mourn over sin.
May God be with you as you go through your day!