Leading from burden

One of my fears in life and ministry is that I don’t want to be bothered by God; I want things to come easy for me, for the dots to always connect and for the story to always have a happy ending.  Am I alone in this?

The problem I have is as I read the Scriptures the more I see that the visions that resulted in the biggest impact were the ones that were the most disturbing to the people who received them.  They pushed them WAY outside of their comfort zones, placed them in situations that were not favorable, asked much more than they could have imagined…

  • Moses was shown that a nation was enslaved and for 40 years he dedicated himself to God’s vision.
  • Nehemiah was broken that the walls had been torn down in Jerusalem and he established a plan and relentlessly followed through on all that God had put in his heart.
  • Esther was burdened that her people were going to be destroyed and she placed personal preference and comfort aside and risked her life in order to do what was right.
  • The prophets in the OT were crushed that people were living in rebellion against the voice of the Lord and were willing to be unpopular so that His truth could be proclaimed.
  • Paul was troubled that religion was trumping a relationship with God…and ultimately gave his life for the spreading of the message that Jesus, not religion, saves.

Great servant-leaders are the ones who are willing to allow God to break them, to bother them to make His vision so personal that they don’t just think about it, they live it and feel it.  We are not called to seek comfort, affirmation from others, convenience, popularity, personal preferences or safety.  I am beginning to praying that God will help me to continue to shepherd out of a burden the He places rather than boredom or obligation.  I’m called to be broken over the things that break HIS heart and I wonder how much I actually am.  What about you?

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About Jon Nelson

I am just a nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody [Christ Jesus]!

Posted on June 17, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I know you and I have a bit of a difference of opinion here, but I think there is a real difference between being burdened and being broken. Nehemiah was burdened for his people, to the point where he wept for days- but ‘broken’? No, his work proceeded relatively smoothly, despite the opposition he faced, and he remained both governor and confidante of the emperor for the rest of his days. Ezra, too, was burdened for Israel, but he didn’t ‘break’- he ‘broke’ them, up to and including their illegitimate marriages.

    The difference continues in many different examples. Naomi was broken- so much so that she wished to be called ‘Bitter’ for how bitterly her life had gone- but Ruth followed out of love and a burden for her mother-in-law, not brokenness. Esther, even, was deeply burdened for the safety of her people, but ‘broken’?

    Rather, I see that brokenness is much more often a result of what we do. David was only broken when he disobeyed God- time, after time, after time. Moses was broken when he murdered a man. Saul was broken when he went to Damascus to continue his persecutions. Simon the Mage was broken (and I still like to think that he truly repented) when he thought he could purchase the Holy Spirit. And, of course, the prophets are a mixed bag, but many of them were burdened without being broken (that we know of.)

    Long story short? Let’s be like Paul, and learn to be content in all things, whether in want or in abundance. We may be called to be a Hushai or a Barzillai, using our abundance to help those in need without necessarily suffering ourselves. Or we may be a Jeremiah, doomed to desperately preach salvation to those who need it and yet do not want it. Either way, as long as we are obedient to God, what happens to us is of relatively small consequence.

    Above all, because this is something that I notice sometimes… shepherd out of the burden HE puts upon you, not out of the burden you put on yourself or that the broader Christian culture wants to put on you. Leave the breaking and the burden-laying to Him, you just do as He commands, yeah? 🙂

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