Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What does it take to turn VISION TO VICTORY? Part III

And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, that wine was before him, and I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. So the king said to me, "Why is your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart." Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, "Let the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers' tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?" Then the king said to me, "What would you request?" So I prayed to the God of heaven. I said to the king, "If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' tombs, that I may rebuild it." Then the king said to me, the queen sitting beside him, "How long will your journey be, and when will you return?" So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a definite time. And I said to the king, "If it please the king, let letters be given me for the governors of the provinces beyond the River, that they may allow me to pass through until I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, for the wall of the city and for the house to which I will go." And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me. Nehemiah 2:1-8

It Takes a Person of Prayer.  Nehemiah 1:4-11

It Takes A Burden. Nehemiah 2:1-8
“What’s wrong with you?  I can tell something is bothering you.  You’re just not the same as you normally are.”   These were basically the words of King Artaxerxes to Nehemiah.  His job was to be the Cupbearer for the king.  He was present at festive occasions to taste the food for the King and bring a joy to the occasion. What was the matter with him?  He was burdened for the city of Jerusalem and his people.

Nehemiah’s burden had come through his contact with God in prayer.  Possibly he had even become more aware of the need through listening in church.  (There is a novel idea.)  He listened to his preachers, Haggai & Zechariah as they shared the desperate condition of Jerusalem and the shame it brought on the nation.  (Ezra 5:1, 6-14)  He studied the Word of God and learned of God’s desire for His people.  In his close relationship to God his burden grew greater.  This was not someone else’s concern, it was his.  Burdens grow greater as God's heart becomes ours.

Now, his burden was reflected in the course of his life.  Real conviction will affect all of our life.  Whether with friends or at work, when our hearts are burdened our minds are distracted.  Such was the case with Nehemiah.

God actually answered his burden on the job.  King Artaxerxes was told about the problem and became God's instrument to help resolve it although he was a Persian King.  While he believed he was helping himself  by gaining a needed loyal defense, God was getting resource for His people. It’s amazing how many missionaries have been sent by military and corporations.  We must learn that God is not tied to churches, preachers or deacons to perform His task.

A message, a prayer and a burdened heart are pathways to turning vision to victory.

Scripture to Claim:
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; Philippians 1:9-10

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