Out of the Heart#1. “Put there by God.”

Out of the Heart#1. “Put there by God.”

“I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem” (Neh.2:2).

God put a vision into Nehemiah’s heart because Nehemiah was ready to receive it.

When you love God, you seek to protect that which glorifies Him. Therefore, Nehemiah’s heart broke to hear that Jerusalem was defenceless. Her walls were in disrepair, and miles away in Persia he seemed hopeless to do anything. After all, he was the wine taster for Artaxerxes, the King of Persia, a foreign slave who served the king. A request to leave his presence could easily turn fatal.

Nothing stops a man of God. Nehemiah did five things that every powerless person can do: He wept, he fasted, he prayed, he confessed his and Israel’s sins, and he planned.

Behind it all was a conviction that this was God’s wall, not his. Thus, Nehemiah’s bold thoughts would have gone to the cautious words of the Psalmist:

Unless the Lord builds the house, They labour in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain (Psalm 127:1).

He was not going to waste opportunities placed before him. So, when the king asked, “What is it you want?” (Neh.2:4), Nehemiah was ready. He prayed again, then said: “…send me to Jerusalem” (Neh.2:5).

Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem as the governor. He had kept his wall-building plans to himself. And that had proved to be wise.

It was not long before the non-Jewish opponents became hostile to his cause, and that some of the Jewish nobles proved to be disinterested and exploitative.

Nehemiah understood that the best way to share the vision that God had put in his heart was to give it to the people. It worked—they finished the wall.

You and I must pray that we have hearts open to receive God’s vision for his work in our lives. That which we allow in is that which will come out.

John Staiger


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