And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, - Nehemiah 1:4
Nehemiah heard about his people, Jerusalem and how the wall and the gates were broken and burned.
...and he wept.
His heart was broken for things of God.
Is your heart broken for things of God? Do you pray, fast, and cry when you see a need?
Nehemiah did. He continued to do his job even though his heart hurt, but God heard his cry and made a way.
The king noticed he was not his normal self and asked him what was wrong. Nehemiah once again prayed and then proceeded to tell the king of his home.
The king not only allowed him to take off from work but provisions were also made for things that Nehemiah needed.
Do you hurt when you see Gods people hurt?
Do you weep over things of the world or do you weep for things that are of God?
The world is hurting all around us and it should hurt our heart. We need to focus on the needs of God and others more than we are on ourselves. When our heart is in the right place He will make a way and provide what is needed to help.
Thus saith the Lord unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water. So I got a girdle according to the word of the Lord, and put it on my loins. And the word of the Lord came unto me the second time, saying, Take the girdle that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock. So I went, and hid it by Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me. And it came to pass after many days, that the Lord said unto me, Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there. Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing. Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Thus saith the Lord, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing. For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear. - Jeremiah 13:1-11
Jeremiah was to get a linen girdle, wear it, then hide it in a hole of the rock. Jeremiah not only listened to the Word of the Lord, but he obeyed Him as well even though the request may have seemed very odd.
The Lord was trying to teach Israel a lesson. They had discarded the Lord and their relationship with Him.
Often times we end up burying our relationship with the Lord also, whether it be through work, activities, money, other relationships, etc. Over time it takes a toll on our relationship with the Lord. It becomes marred and useless. Others cannot even recognize that we have Christ living in us and we cannot be used of God as He wants us to be.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. Mark 12:30
The Lord wants a relationship with us and Jeremiah is a perfect example of how close we should be with the Lord, listening always, and doing His will.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22
Are we going to mess up? Yes.
But hopefully we won't discard our relationship with the Lord as Israel had done. We should strive to keep our relationship with the Lord first and foremost in our minds and hearts.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) - Hebrews 10:23
Bible camp is fun, tiring, and uplifting! Its easy to remain faithful in our walk with Christ as we are surrounded by fellow believers and we are disconnected from the problems of the world around us. After bible camp is over, reality of life hits.
We however should remain as strong in our faith and walk in Christ as we would at bible camp. Keeping our hope, trust and focus on Christ and our work for Him.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? - Romans 8:35
No matter what life throws at you. Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ! His love and His faithfulness is stronger that holds fast better than the zipline at bible camp.
The following verses in Hebrews go on to tell us
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Don't let life get you down. Keep going for Christ and when you need encouragement, a shoulder to lean on, or just to be surrounded by other believers.