"Take Hold Of It"
Pastor Albert Almore
"So on October 2 the wall was finished—JUST FIFTY-TWO DAYS after we had begun.”
That’s the conclusion of the matter. That’s the spoiler alert. Nehemiah accomplished what he and his team set out to accomplish, in a timely fashion that exceeded everyone’s expectations—52 days. But what got me was the transition. How in the world did Nehemiah transition from Nehemiah 1:4 where it says,
“As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.”
How in the world did Nehemiah transition from Nehemiah 1:4, to accomplishing this task in 52 short days? After Nehemiah 1:4, Nehemiah prays for six verses to the God of Heaven.
As powerful as prayer is, Nehemiah didn’t STOP with prayer, that was the START.
Somewhere along the journey, after Nehemiah prayed, Nehemiah took holdof it. Nehemiah took hold of his calling. Nehemiah took hold of this moment. Nehemiah took hold of his assignment.
He went from HEARING something about it, to DOING something about it.
I pray after today’s message that you’ll do the same. Today’s message is tilted,
TAKE HOLD OF IT
It’s not good enough just for you to have a moment, of weeping and crying. It’s not good enough just for you to have a moment, of posting about it, or talking about it, or to come back from a conference fired up about it. After all is said and done YOU MUST TAKE HOLD OF IT!
You must seize the moment with the same vigor that the moment seized you.
Here’s what you have to do…
📝 TAKE HOLD OF IT IN YOUR HEART.
That’s what Nehemiah did. When we read how Nehemiah sat down and wept and mourned for days, before the God of Heaven, that was Nehemiah taking hold of the moment in his heart. Let me say it like this…THAT WAS NEHEMIAH OWNING HIS BURDEN.
There it is right there…
📝 You take hold of it in your heart, by OWNING YOUR BURDEN.
Nehemiah wasn’t the first one to hear about the wall being broken down. Nehemiah wasn’t the first one to hear the devastating condition of God’s people. Nehemiah was the first one to take hold of it. Nehemiah was the first one to own the burden enough to do something about it.
📝 When you find the thing that bothers you, that doesn’t bother others, THAT’S YOUR BURDEN.
Even deeper than that…
📝 The moment that you encounter your BURDEN is the moment that you encounter your PURPOSE.
Ecclesiastes 3:10 says….
“I have seen THE BURDEN God has placed on us all.”
WHAT’S YOUR BURDEN?
Listen To The Burden
Follow The Burden
You can’t shake a burden.
You can’t ignore a burden.
You can’t overlook a burden.
You can’t silence a burden.
You wake up with it.
You go to bed with it.
You go to work with it.
Nehemiah’s burden was so deep that the King himself noticed it.
“In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I HAD NOT BEEN SAD IN HIS PRESENCE BEFORE, so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but SADNESS OF HEART.”
What’s that thing that makes your heart sad when you hear about it? What’s that thing that brings tears to your eyes when you think about it? What’s the one thing that nags at your heart, occupies your minds with solutions, with ways to help, ways to make a difference, WAYS TO BUILD A BETTER FUTURE. Beloved—that’s your burden. Own it. Take hold of it.
Don’t expect your burden to be everyone else’s burden.
Don’t get upset when everyone doesn’t feel how you feel about your burden. They love you. They love God. They just have a different burden. Just like Nehemiah, God will lead you to the right people who share your burden, but you can’t force it.
“CARRY EACH OTHER’S BURDENS, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Burdens cause us to seek others.
Burdens cause us to seek God, which bring us to our second thought for today….
📝 TAKE HOLD OF IT WITH GOD.
“As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before THE GOD OF HEAVEN.”
Take hold of it with the God of Heaven. The last thing that Nehemiah prayed in his prayer in Nehemiah 1:11 is,
“O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. PLEASE GRANT ME SUCCESS today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.”…
Nehemiah took hold of it with God from the very beginning.
“So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun.”
“When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized THIS WORK had been done WITH THE HELP OF OUR GOD.”
Notice now, they put in the work, and God helped. They put in the work, and God blessed it. They put in the work, and God accelerated it. God blessed their efforts.
So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, FOR THE PEOPLE WORKED WITH ALL THEIR HEART. Nehemiah 4:6
Another translation puts it like this…
So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, FOR THE PEOPLE HAD A MIND TO WORK. Nehemiah 4:6
James 2:17 says it like this…
"…faith by itself, IF IT DOES NOT HAVE WORKS, IS DEAD.”
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD also.”
God is not going to do what you can do. You do what you can do, and God will do what only He can do. You have to give God something to bless. You have to give God something to breathe on. You have to give God something to work with. It might be 5 loaves of bread and two fish. It might be 5 smooth stones and a rag to throw it with. It might be the jawbone of a donkey. You do your part, and God will do His. You do your part by TAKING HOLD OF IT. You do your part by TAKING HOLD OF IT WITH GOD!
Let me say it like this…
📝 You bring forth THE POSSIBLE, and God will bring forth THE IMPOSSIBLE.
We see this principle at work in John 11:38-39.
“Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”…
"YOU HANDLE THE STONE, I’LL HANDLE THE RESURRECTION.” -Jesus
One of the most beautiful sentences throughout all of Nehemiah is found in the last verse of chapter one. Out of the blue Nehemiah 1:11 reads,
“…I WAS CUPBEARER TO THE KING.”
I wasn’t a well known preacher. I wasn’t a prophet called to the nations. I didn’t have a large following. Heck, I wasn’t known by many. I didn’t have any experience on rebuilding the wall. I wasn’t voted in High School most likely to have a book written about me. I was just ol Nehemiah you know. Itwasn’t anything fancy about me. I WAS CUPBEARER TO THE KING.
But I’ll tell you, a dream got inside of me. A vision for a better community for God’s people, A vision for a better community for my people got a holdof my heart. I guess you can call it a burden.
I didn’t have all of the answers. I didn’t have the background nor the experience. I had no reputation, no platform, no titles or none of that stuff. All I had was a dream. All I had was the mind to work, and the God ofHeaven backing me up, and come to find out…THAT WAS ENOUGH. On that day, I took hold of it. On that day, I took hold of what had taken hold ofme.
I’m not much of a public speaker but if I can tell you anything to help you along the way I would tell you to TAKE HOLD OF IT IN YOUR HEART. TAKEHOLD OF IT WITH GOD. Lastly I would tell you…
📝 TAKE HOLD OF IT BY FAITH.
By saying take hold of it by faith I mean…
📝 BELIEVE THAT GOD CAN USE YOU.
Yes you. You don’t have to have all of the answers. You don’t have to have all of the credentials. All you need is a burden. All you need is THE GOD OFHEAVEN. All you need is just a mustard seed of faith that God can use you. Take of hold of it by faith by believing….
I am, who God says I am.
I can do, what God says I can do.
I can have, what God says I can have.
I can conquer, what God says I can conquer.
I can build, what God says I can build.
I can possess, what God says I can possess.
Psalm 18:29 says it best,
For BY YOU I can crush a troop, And BY MY GOD I can leap over a wall. Psalm 18:29
By you, I can. By you, I will. By you, I must. By you, I’m on my way. By you, my dream is near. By you, I will take hold of it! By you, I will overcome! By you, I will bounce back! By my God, I will say goodbye to excuses. By my God, I will say goodbye to fear. By my God, I will say goodbye to insecurities. By my God, I will say goodbye to low self esteem. By my God, I will say goodbye to depression. By my God, I will leap over EVERY WALL that life has set before me. I will say goodbye to the lies that this is all there is. I will say goodbye to the lies that this is all there will be. The devil is a liar. The weapons may form, but they won’t come from me. Tongues may rise against me, but it won’t be my -own. I WILL TAKE HOLD OF IT BY FAITH, BELIEVING THAT I AM, WHO GOD SAYS I AM. I CAN DO, WHAT GOD SAYS I CAN DO.
📝 You are more than enough because you were CREATED WITH MORE THAN ENOUGH.
“Know that the Lord, He is God; IT IS HE WHO MADE US, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”
GREAT ARE THE WORKS OF THE LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Psalm 111:2
“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?”
“For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.”
Believe in the beauty and the splendor and the marvelousness that God created you in. Take hold of it by faith.
📝 Taking hold of it is greater than TALKING YOURSELF OUT OF IT.