Have you ever had something that really bothered you? Something that you just couldn’t stop thinking about? Maybe it kept you up at night or you just felt like you needed to do something about it. Maybe it was an injustice or human suffering. Maybe it was a burden to help other people in a certain area of life that they struggle with. Maybe it was a burden to share something you learned or where learning. Or maybe it was a burden to help people that were going through a difficult experience that you went through.
I call those divine burdens. It’s something that God brings into our lives that causes us to move in a divine direction to make a difference in this world. A man named Nehemiah had a divine burden, you can read his story in the Bible. Nehemiah had a burden to help his people rebuild the walls around their city that had been destroyed. He couldn’t stop thinking about it and felt compelled to do something.
So the question is, what do we do when we have a divine burden?
Nehemiah did these three simple things:
- He took it to God first. Nehemiah immediately started praying, fasting, and seeking God about this burden. That should be our first step with anything. Pray first, talk to God and listen for his direction.
- Next Nehemiah started small. The key was that he started. He prayed for God to give him favor with his boss, so he could leave and go to his city and work on rebuilding the walls. Next, he had a conversation with his boss and asked to have time off, then he asked for the resources and support he needed for the trip and to do the work. Then he packed his bags and made the trip. God usually doesn’t give us all the details, so think big but start small.
- Nehemiah kept taking the next step. He just continued to do whatever it took to keep moving forward to accomplish something Big for God. He packed up all the supplies and traveled 850 miles to the city. He rested for three days, then inspected the walls and city. Then he gathered the people and cast vision for building the wall. Then he organized the people in groups, and assigned them to an area of the wall to start rebuilding. He just kept taking the next step, and in 52 days they rebuilt the wall.
So what is God prompting you to do? What is your divine burden? What do you need to start? What small thing can you do to get started? Maybe you already started, what’s your next step? Maybe you don’t have a divine burden, start praying, and ask God to give you one.
We don’t need to have the faith to finish something, we need to have the faith to start, and then take the next step. God is faithful to help every step of the way. Who knows what’s on the other side of that first step in a divine direction. Don’t wait, get started today.
It’s 2020 and if you are like me, you have plans for this year. Maybe you have been thinking about improvements you would like to make in your life. Things like getting healthier, improving your financial situation, improving your marriage, reading a book or maybe growing in your faith.
Most people never get from thinking to actually doing, or we start but it does not last. We get caught up in the whirlwind of life, and end up doing the same things we did last year with little or no change. Make the decision today to grow in some area of your life.
For this year to be different try narrowing your focus to one or two things that you can improve or change in your life. The next step is to actually write this down. When you take the time to think about the area you want to grow in and then write it down you are much closer to actually doing it. Another important step is to think about some small steps you can take to start making that happen.
For example, if you want to grow in your faith some simple steps you can take could include the following:
- Start attending church on a regular basis
- Start a daily devotional on your smart phone
- Spend 5 minutes praying in the morning before you start your day
- Read a book of the Bible. I recommend John and Proverbs.
Those simple steps can help you move forward in building some new habits and growing in your faith. Even doing just one of those things if you are not currently doing any of them is a win.
To change anything in your life, it starts with a decision. Then you need a plan, and many times you need some help. If you are really serious about growing in some area of your life, getting a coach or a mentor to help you can be a game changer. Find someone you trust and share your plans with them. Then give them permission to ask you how you are doing. You might even find a few other people that want to do it with you. It’s much easier to work out, read a book or go to church when you are doing it with some other people you know.
Don’t procrastinate, or just think about a better you. It can happen! Start taking those steps today. Break out of whatever is holding you back, ask for help, and see what happens. Remember that the decisions you make today will be the stories you tell tomorrow.
Blessed, Satisfied and Successful. Those are words that most people would want to say about their lives. When we are feeling blessed, satisfied and successful, we are most likely going to be happy and content. However in order to achieve those things in our lives there needs to be some other qualities in our lives. Here are three thoughts about how to be blessed, satisfied and successful:
- You must be broken in order to be blessed. In order to receive God’s blessing in our lives, we often must go through a period of brokenness. When we go through difficult times, it often brings us to our knees and our pride is stripped away. This is when we remove the distractions and desperately seek God for help. When we allow God to break us, we can experience breakthroughs in our life. When we stop pretending and get real with God by admitting our weakness and our dependence on Him, we can experience blessing on the other side. Brokenness is painful yet that pain can bring about a transformation that leads to blessing if we stay on the path God has for us.
- You must Surrender in order to be satisfied. Satisfaction comes when we surrender to God and allow Him to have control. When we can stop trusting in ourselves and start trusting in Him, our level of peace and satisfaction will increase. Surrender involves a decision to turn everything over to God. Everything includes our finances, our marriages, our friendships, our children, our work, our free time, our ministry, our relationships, our hobbies, our possessions, our attitudes, our emotions and our minds.
- You need to sacrifice in order to succeed. John Maxwell has a saying that you have to give up in order to go up. Sacrifice is necessary to succeed in any area of life. In marriage, it takes sacrifice in order to love and serve your spouse. Selfishness will destroy any relationship, so the person that is willing to sacrifice can find success and healthy relationships as a result. To succeed in any area of life it takes sacrifice and hard work. When we bring God into the picture, He can give us the strength we need to sacrifice and humble ourselves in order to bring success. Success is not about performing better, it’s about being willing to sacrifice in the short-term in order to be successful in the long-term.
God desires to have a personal, growing relationship with all people. He is the one that can bring blessing into our lives. He is the one that can bring satisfaction and success. Having a relationship with God does not mean we will have no problems, there will be problems and pain in our lives. A relationship with God means that we have an all powerful, all knowing, loving heavenly father that will always be with us through every trial and triumph in our lives.