Heart Burden (continued)
Nehemiah, away in Babylon, is seen to have a similar burden. For, having asked Hanani and his friends as to their welfare in Jerusalem, and hearing from them a report that was not good, this so burdened him that his countenance became changed, and he, knowing his life was at stake, went before the king with a sad face - for it was criminal go go before the king with a sad countenance - yet he could not help himself for sorrow of heart over the Lord's interests and testimony, concerning the people called by His Name.
Esther, another chosen vessel unto the Lord, is likewise seen taking her life in her hands for the life of her people - these people, these whose life represents God's interests and testimony in the earth. This is the way God would have us take on His concern for His interests in the earth.
Daniel is also a man with a burden, praying three times a day, and then for three whole weeks; and what prayer it is, moving heaven and earth! He is a man with a burden; and that is where real ministry begins. God must have a vessel, an instrument brought into such sympathetic fellowship with HIM, that the conditions around of breakdown and failure becomes acute suffering, an agony.
Paul knew something of that "suffering for His Body's sake"; "filling up that which was lacking of the suffering of Christ." We must face that! The thing that is going to count for God is the sharing in His travail.
There is all the romance of Christian work but there is mere glamour; all the enthusiasm and interest of organized Christian activity; but it is not what we are before men in this matter that counts, but what we are before God in the secret place, having heart concern for the Lord's testimony. Have you a burden, a passion? Is that breakdown in the Lord's testimony in the earth among those upon whom His Name is called a heartbreak for you? We shall never get anywhere till, in measure, His travail is entered into by us. Ministry, in its real, abiding, eternal value, will depend upon the measure in which the travail is entered into by us This is a day for travail: whether it be a travail for unsaved or for the Lord's people; every true spiritual activity is born out of travail, and those who have been most used of God in every time have been men and women who had this travail in their soul, in their secret life with God. Have you got it? Perhaps you say no. Then ask the Lord to bring you into His concern, stretch yourself out before God to be brought into His burden for the time in which you live.
(continued with # 4)