The book of Nehemiah is a shining example of one man’s methods of accomplishing his goals. Most of us lack the passion (or even the attention span) to mourn and pray and fast over anything for four months, even if it affects us personally. Nehemiah grieved over a problem that was a thousand miles away because of his passion for God’s redemptive purposes. Apparently not one to make much of his troubles, he describes his thousand mile trek [Picture horse- or camel-back, flies, sand, bandits, heat, and inconvenience] in four words: “I went to Jerusalem.”
The next time I feel urgency about an issue, I hope that I use the Nehemiah-Method for effecting change or fixing the problem. God-given urgency comes when you see the need and others do not. Therefore, rather than calling the pastor to suggest that he start a ministry to senior citizens, or complaining to the person sitting next to you that we’re not doing enough outreach in the summer, or collaring a deacon to complain that our church is not adequately serving the poor and disenfranchised, perhaps it’s time to “sit down and weep.” After a time of mourning and fasting and praying Nehemiah-style, it may become apparent that you are seeing the need and feeling the urgency because God is calling you to be the one who meets the need.
Founder of World Vision, Bob Pierce, said, “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” This was the fuel that drove Nehemiah out of the palace and into a war-zone.