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"When God Hands It To You"

"Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem, and has extended mercy to me before the king and his counselors, and before all the king's mighty princes. So I was encouraged, as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me; and I gathered leading men of Israel to go up with me."

Ezra 7:27-28

Teaching last night in the book of Ezra we found Ezra traveling back and forth from Babylon to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord being blessed by God in that even the heathen king in power allows Ezra to come and go and even assists Ezra in the beautifying the house of the Lord back in Jerusalem. Proof yet again that a man might plan his steps but it is the Lord who causes them to come to pass. Ezra even collects goods from the people along the way and is encouraged to put together a team from among the willing to go with him to complete the work that he has discovered he is to do.

How did Ezra go about discovering the work and the calling of God upon his life? The same way you and I do! Read verse 10 of chapter 7, "For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel." If we have a desire to truly be used of the Lord we need to follow the example given by the Lord Himself in the scriptures. Ezra prepared his heart to seek the Lord. Traveling some 900 miles in 4 months allowed Ezra plenty of time to study God's laws and put them into practice each day. And not only did Ezra study to know the Lord, he studied to share God's Word with his traveling companions. Its no wonder that by the time they reached Jerusalem they all had the same heart for the work of God. God's Word has a powerful effect on the human heart that is dedicated to seeking Him. 

Notice the power of the Word of God that the apostle Paul writes of in 2 Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness". All scripture and not just part of it or just the parts we deem are necessary. God has said the whole Word; the full counsel of God is good for us and will instruct us in the way we should live and the service we are to provide for Him. There is a blessing that comes with obedience to the Lord and Ezra understands what I pray you and I grow to understand too. It is God who is working behind the scenes in our lives just like He was in Ezra's, granting us favor wherever we go when we go in the name of the Lord. Ezra came to understand that it is the Lord who grants us mercy before even the very enemies of God.

But, as good as all that there is something even better than having the favor of kings. I pray that your heart would be strengthened and encouraged today because you have seen with your own eyes and experienced in your own life as you have sought to serve the Lord that His hand is upon you. I pray you sense His hand upon your life, leading you, guiding you, protecting and providing for you every step of the way. Like king David was before him, Ezra too was a man after God's heart. These great men of God came to know what I pray you know today too. The best gift God can bless our lives with is the gift of His presence, for us to experience the joy of knowing His hand is upon us. May you sense His touch in a real way today!  

"Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go."

Joshua 1:6-7


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