The Biblical book of Nehemiah is the story of a man, a people, and a country rebuilding its most important city. The people of Israel are in captivity, and Nehemiah leads the renovation process of his native country with the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s protective wall. It is a great story I suggest everyone read.
One of the lines in the story that catches my attention is in the middle of chapter 2 verse 10. There it says;
Nehemiah 2:12 I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do …
(New International Version)
The entire process of rebuilding this great city started with God putting something into the heart of one man. He prayed about what he felt and then God began opening doors.
I do not want to press this story too far, Nehemiah had a unique God-ordained plan, but I do think that maybe God could still put something on the heart of every person. It might not be a massive project like rebuilding a city, but it might be helping a family rebuild. There might be something God has put on your heart. Here a few questions to help guide you.
1. What legitimate need have you noticed lately? Is there something that just hit you recently like never before? Did you notice that kid always wearing the same clothes? Did you see the food pantry was low on supplies? Did you hear about a ministry that needed volunteers? Maybe God opened your eyes to something you could help with today.
2. What themes keep reappearing in your life? I once started a new Church simply because several people contacted me to say I should plant a Church. Suddenly everything in my life kept coming back to this one theme. I could not deny God was speaking to me. What keeps coming up in your conversations and in your life?
3. Are there any thoughts that distract you when you pray? I used to hate distractions when I tried to pray. I have things I am working to accomplish. Then one day I began to listen. That one family that keeps coming to mind when I pray might not be an accident. That one need that breaks my heart might be the voice of God.
4. Does your mind come back again and again to one specific issue? Where do your thoughts go when you are quiet and alone? If they keep going back to that one situation with that one person, maybe God is trying to get your attention.
5. How has God specially prepared you to help? Some of us have been equipped through training or experience to help specific situations. I remember when Katrina hit the gulf the number of construction workers that took up their tools to help. The right people found the right need. Is it possible that God has positioned and prepared you to help someone or something right now?
I can’t answer any of these questions for you. Each one takes some time to process and see clearly. Once you begin to feel a nudge in one direction, I suggest you start praying. After a short period, if the thoughts continue to grow then maybe God is preparing you for a great work.
Nehemiah saw that at that moment in his life God had prepared him to help rebuild a city. Maybe, just maybe, God is putting something on your heart that will help to touch this world.