The Mandatory Requirements For Encounter. (Part 2)
We shall be looking at the second of the three key ingredients for revival in any generation. We already talked about hunger, now we are looking at BURDEN.
Nehemiah 1 : 1-4. 1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace. 2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, He and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said unto me, the remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. 4 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.
From this text above, Nehemiah heard the situation of Jerusalem and from there, he developed a burden until the result was achieved.
What is Burden? A Burden is that unease that develops in your heart because the reality of what you are seeing in your life, family, work, Church, among colleagues, youth etc is completely different from the intention of God as revealed in the Bible. Almost all of us here, the Lord has set burdens in our heart on one anomaly or the other but it is either we failed to respond or we killed it. The Challenge we have today is that instead of carrying the burden and setting it on fire as sacrifice to know more of God, we continue to seek for human interventions. Man may give you some soothing, but you have lost the opportunity of what the burden would have delivered.
Let me give some examples: When you have graduated for 5 years without a job, it should create a burden in your heart, but rather you agree to continue to take 5k monthly stipend from your uncle. You never made up your mind one day that, enough of collecting this peanut, what is written in the Bible is not this. You may realize in your place of seeking that it may not be a job that God will give you but He will set you up to know the purpose of your existence. Your burden is the gateway to your becoming the fullness of what God wants you to be, to have an unease that will push you to pray until God’s plan is revealed in your life but alas we don’t feel unease, we are just satisfied with what is not written concerning us; When you are a youth leader and many of the youth girls are being impregnated, there should already be a burden rising up within you, that should be a burden for you to pray to see God beyond the natural; The coldness of the Church you attend with no presence of God is a burden, you are not to carry these burdens on your head or heart rather you are to pray about these burdens.
You are not to try to solve these burdens with human means, Jesus asked you to bring the burdens to him. As of today, every one of us have things in our life, family and Churches that are not in order, they are in reverse direction to what God said, and heaven keep saying this is a burden. Can you pray about it until your change come? God uses burdens as a torch to set us to the place of the altar but alas we never knew, we allow them to die.
Have you asked yourself why there are more sick people in the Church, maybe your local Church and every Sunday all these people are coming and for years they are there like the pool of Bethesda without any solution, you have normalized deviation and look like others have too. Maybe God keep showing you a man every Sunday and saying is this how this man would be for life? You never knew that was a burden, you need to run with it as long as it takes, with fasting, prayer etc until God intervene. If you take on every burden that comes to you seriously your life would be exposed to all the realities of God.
Has the Lord put in your heart the burden about the potency of our sermons, it is not just enough to criticize the pastor, It is a call to burden, it is a call for you to pray for fire that, when you say ” God Bless You” it is like heaven opens, many times we turn our burden to rebellion when we should turn it to altars. That you feel untouched by the sermon is a burden for you to set something on fire in your heart. Your Burden is to become an Altar not a Platform for Rebellion! I think that’s what the devil does to our heart to ensure that we turn the burdens to being rebellious. God must help our hearts. Yes! We complain and continue to talk and talk when God was expecting us to turn it to him on the altar! When you see things in the wrong way, yes you need to speak against it but beyond that, your response on the altar of burden should be your primary purpose.
It is burden that fuels hunger. Our Patriarchs spent hours on their kneels praying due to burden, they hold the horn of the altar to express their burden and that is why their works have lasted thus far, but for us many times we gather people and begin to strategize, discuss and rebel. Anytime the things of God is ‘tending to the South’, analysis, planning, money etc would not return it back, it would only need men of burden that would be on the altar until something happens.
The first burden is even the burden of your life, don’t just live your life on assumption, you need to carry a burden to be a man of the spirit, you ask yourself why should your life be just like unbelievers’? Why is our reality of God not strong, why is the fire of holy ghost not in me like the Apostles, why should sickness dominate my life, why should I still be committing sin, why should lust like masturbation etc still be conquering me, why should I just be a nominal being when Christ said I should be a witness, these alone is enough to set you on fire for months.
How Should We Express Burdens? Nehemiah’s Example:
Neh. 1: 4 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.
We must use every spiritual tool of the scripture to express our burden. Nehemiah wept for repentance, fasted and prayed for the broken walls of Jerusalem. How much effort have we put on our burden? It is not a burden if it does not take a hold of our complete being. Someone that has a burden leaves no stone unturned until the burden is lifted, until he sees the glory of God on the matter. Also, by voicing it out to God in prayers. Offloading it at the foot of the cross. Response to your burden may not come so quickly but you must never leave the altar, there may be oppositions like Samballat etc but once you stay at the altar the victory would surely come.
Remain blessed and turn your altar to prayer and not talking.
Question: Can we share some burdens that have always been in our heart?
1. My burden is freedom from anger and lust, most times I ask myself why am doing the things I do.
Response: The Lord wants to take you to a point where you are fired up enough to kill all these, that is the burden.
2. I once had this burden when the minister of our church usually use native proverb to pray such as masquerade and other fetish things. I was bothered about this. I wondered if there are no scriptural passages to pray with than using what we watched in local films. So I prayed about the matter and once I had the opportunity to lead a congregational prayer, I said, we are praying ‘scripturally’. Since then, the pastor love to find expression of Prayer in the Bible.
3. I used to have burdens for my church especially for God’s presence in our gatherings. I got discouraged as a result of some challenges am going through.
Response: Don’t be discouraged, many times the breakthrough you are waiting for is on the altar where you are praying the burden.
4. It has always been a burden to see true righteousness in my assembly and the need for God to wipe out tradition and hypocrisy.
Response: Absolutely! Don’t give up, once you stay on the altar not just for your congregation alone but for the body of Christ, the Lord will work.