Ezra 8:21, 23 There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.
A lady was murdered while touring in Brazil. She used the App waze and instead of the gps guiding her into the wealthy side of town to shop it took her into the slums where she was murdered.
If we are not careful we could die from lack of direction. We think we are headed in the right direction but discover that our “waze” are not his ways. We are trying to get from A to B but we have to use P.
Here lately I’ve been baffled. I’m trying to figure out how to reach the lost and build up God’s people. I know that God wants us to rebuild our community and his Kingdom. I know he sent me in a new direction but getting the people there has been a little frustrating this past year. I realized that it’s time to pull over and ask for direction. This is God’s church not mine. These are his people not mine. My “waze” are not his ways.
Ezra had to do the same thing. He was headed back to Jerusalem from Persia. They had been in exile and had permission to go back to rebuild the temple. The problem was moving the people from point A (Persia) to point B (Jerusalem).
Let’s explore the problem and the solution of “P.”
- You need a Pastor. Moving the people from exile to rebuilding the temple requires anointed leadership. It’s hard to move people who’ve grown comfortable being in exile. There are more and more exiles of the faith. These are people who see no need for organized religion or have grown used to not being a part of it. How do you get exiles back to Jerusalem? God has to be with you. Ezra was sent by God and sanctioned by the king. The people have to trust and get behind their man of God.
- You have to proclaim a fast. Ezra said he was ashamed to ask the King of soldiers because he made a boast that God would protect them on their journey. There comes a time when the enemy will test your boast in the Lord. Ezra had to take his flock through the slums where thieves could steal and kill. He realized that his “waze” could get him and the people killed; so he proclaimed a fast to humble themselves before the Lord. Fasting is telling God, “I don’t know how to do this or how it’s going to get done but I’m trusting you to see me through.” Sometimes you have to be humble enough to say, “I don’t know!”
- Pray your way through!” Ezra proclaimed a fast and prayed for God to get him, the people, their children, and their possessions through without loss of life. God answered their prayer! God is the only one that can get us from point A to point B without loss. It’s time to pray!
I don’t know where you are today but I bet you are trying to press your way to your destination. If you’re like me you’ve found yourself frustrated because your “waze” ain’t working! Pullover today and tell God you need his help! Lean not to your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path!
Help me to get these exiles to the Promised Land. I’ve gotten to a place where my intellect can’t do it. My gifts can’t do it. My connections can’t do it. I am ashamed to ask anybody else for help. I need you God to show me how to make it over. I humbly seek your face and pray that you would keep your hand on us and show us favor one more time.
In Jesus Name,
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