Your Cause or His?

let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned. Nehemiah 1:6

Carefully consider the following.

It is one thing to get a kind of public concern and make a great deal about it among your community, to advertise, to demonstrate, and to give a public forum in speaking and effort and organization; to join ourselves to some cause, or to join some cause to ourselves, and then to make that a great deal in our lives. And that thing might have all the elements which just fall short of what is essential and necessary from the Lord’s point of view. It is one thing come to a situation from the ‘outside’ and link ourselves with it, and take it up, and make it the work our our lives, essentially our life interest, and it is quite another thing for the Lord to put it in our hearts, in secret, in an almost unbearable, intolerable burden which is His own heart-burden, and for us first of all to bear that thing secretly in the Presence of God upon our hearts in a deep out-pouring of travailing prayer; quite another thing to come to the Lord’s interests in that way. 

There are plenty of people and friends who could get you interested in a ‘cause’; who get you to take up a piece of work requiring your help, but it is another thing to have that spiritual fellowship with God which results in God putting His travail into your own soul. The difference? One is objective, it is a piece of work, a movement, a testimony – using that word in a technical sense. The other thing is this: before the Lord WE take responsibility. Did you notice the ‘we’ in the above verse? Nehemiah is a part of this and this a part of him. This thing has come so near to his own heart that he does not stand here and have the situation over there, but he finds himself as one with it.  It is his own burden, and he takes the whole thing in responsibility upon his own shoulders before God in prayer, and prays in travailing constant spiritual warfare over this situation. 

The crux of the matter is this… what has the Lord told you to do? What has He invited you into with His plans and heart, to work out WITH Him. Or are you just agreeing with certain ‘movements’ and causes. Unfortunately we’ve not been told or taught by our ‘professional’ spiritual leaders to seek the Lord for His ‘plan’ for us individually, but that we should ‘join’ the spiritual leader’s vision for the Church or community. We should just ‘believe’ that the spiritual leader is hearing from God and that they are always ‘correct’ in spiritual matters. That is a falsehood that draws people away from their own personal responsibility to listen for His instructions for themselves. We no longer live under the old covenant. We no longer need a ‘go between’ person to hear what the Lord says to us, that is if we actually are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. We actually have access ourselves, now, to God Himself. And even more …He has sent the Holy Spirit to live WITHIN us, if we ask for Him to do so.

So my advice is to ‘check’ with the Holy Spirit BEFORE we get involved in any cause, movement, club, or gathering of people. Ask Him what He wants you to do. Is your life lived in this way? Does He actually direct your ‘steps’? Or are you always absolutely certain your way is right? Can He actually stop you in your ‘plans’? Are you sensitive enough to Him to know when He is calling you to go another way? 

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