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    Holy Discontent

    Wednesday, November 09, 2011


    Last Sunday morning I challenged us to think about the vision God has given each of us for our lives: the calling that God has for our lives for a particular ministry involvement. Pastor and author Bill Hybels, calls it our “holy discontent,” that need that God puts before us that frequently troubles or disturbs us. Nehemiah was troubled about the situation that Israel was in and specifically the fact that the walls of Jerusalem were destroyed and the city lay in ruins (Neh 1:3-4).  So he did three things, he prayed and asked God for help, he asked the king for help and then he acted himself by leaving his comfortable position and getting involved in rebuilding the walls of the city.

    I believe God is calling each and every one of us to consider and address the thing that is disturbing us – our “holy discontent.” First we must identify and isolate in our minds what it is that concerns us most. Secondly we must intercede on behalf of that ministry or group of people in prayer. Thirdly we must get involved ourselves. This forms the biblical model for ministry development and involvement.

    Our culture doesn’t always help us as Christians to adopt the Nehemiah method of involvement. Australian culture has taught us to identify a problem and then complain to an authority about it and that’s where we leave it. Unfortunately in the church we sometimes demonstrate this approach as we identify a problem and then complain to a pastor, elder or ministry leader about it. Thinking we have satisfactorily addressed the problem (by giving it to someone else), we move on to some other concern and if at a later date the leader hasn’t addressed our concern to our satisfaction we complain again. This is becoming a classic Aussie trait in our society that is sometimes reflected in the Aussie church. Old-school Christians used to be more prayerful and more proactive, especially in the early church.

    Like Nehemiah we must always first and foremost bring our concern to God in prayer (Neh 1:5-11) and like Nehemiah we must get involved ourselves in addressing the matter (Neh 2:11). Nehemiah didn’t see the problem of the ruins of Jerusalem and then complain to the king: his relationship with God caused him to earnestly talk to God about it, and then to sacrificially become involved to help address his concern.

    So the two questions I have for us today are:

    • What is it that troubles you? and
    • What are you doing about it?

    The answer to these two questions may help to define your calling and personal vision for your life from God.

    The causes that concern us are as numerous as the sand on the seashore… the poor, injustice, abortion, euthanasia, evangelism, the homeless, the widowed, orphans, the church, children, youth, families, the elderly, marriage, financial stewardship, morality, church property maintenance, pastoral care, Bible teaching, lifegroups, men, women, the single, the divorced, solo parents, child abuse, missions, administration and organisation, leadership, communication, sound and lighting, the sick, counselling, education, refugees, social change, muslim influence, worship, fellowship, catering. We can’t be concerned about everything but we must be concerned about something, what is yours?







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