The Hand of God...& Ezra
Wednesday nights at church are the best... this week it was about Ezra... I dont remember studying Ezra before. if you look in the book of Ezra many times it mentions how the 'hand of God was on ' Ezra and his life. some places this is mentioned include Ezra 7:6, 7:9, 7:27-28, 8:15-18; 8:21-23; 8:31-32
More than anything wouldn't you want to know that God's hand was on your life? you can see from the verses mentioned, that some of things this resulted in are God's favor with people (7:6), God's helping him with problems (7:9), because he knew God's hand was on him, it gave him confidence (7:28), His provision (8:18), and His protection in situations Ezra went through (8:21-22).so then what did Ezra do that he had the hand of God evident in his life? keep in mind
II Chron 16:9 The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
God wants to set His hand on your life as much as any other persons - any pastor or any one you see being used of the Lord. He doesnt have favorites and He is no respector of persons. But what we do, and how we position our heart and life determine how much of His presence is evident in our lives. The more time you spend with God, the more He presence is evident. Dont you love how when you are around someone who does spend time in God's presence, it leaves you feeling like you want to spend more time with the Lord?
How did Ezra come to have the hand of God on His life?
1. He studied the Word of God.
Ezra 7:10Yes we need to be hearing the Word in church but we also need to be reading the Word each day ourselves so that you will have a good foundation on which to process the situations life brings your way and approach situations in a way that God would direct you.
2. He was obedient in applying the Word of God to his life and to do the will of God.
Ezra 7:10There is no blessing in just knowing the Word of God if you do not apply it to your life. You cant just say well the Bible says to be joyful but that just doesnt click with me, I'm not a joyful person. You cant just pick parts of the Word and only apply to your life what easily resonates with you. Some areas will come easily to you and some may not; those are things you need to work on developing in your life.
3. Seeking the help of God; seeking God in prayer & fasting
Ezra 8:21-22If you need the hand of God in a situation you need to spend some quality time in prayer and perhaps in fasting. When we seek God earnestly, His hand is on us to do good. (v22)
4. Ezra had a sensitivity to the holiness of God
Ezra 9:1-6Ezra was appalled that the people were disobeying God. What offended God, offended Ezra because he was sensitive to God's holiness.Do you hate sin enough to recognize it and not tolerate it in your life?
Ps 69:9 for zeal for your house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me
Ps 101:2-3 - I will be careful to lead a blameless life, when will you come to me? I will walk in my house with a blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate, they will not cling to me.
Eph 5:3-4 but among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
If you expose yourself to things that the Holy Spirit hates (whether it is something you watch, read, listen to, or think) then you are dimishing the grace of God, His presence, and working in your life. How can God's hand be actively working in your life if you are purposely choosing to grieve Him? To make a difference in life, you need to be different than the world around you. We are called to be set apart.
Who would not want the hand of God on your life and to live in the blessings of that? to follow the examples in Ezra's life
1. Study the Word of God
2. Apply the Word of God to your life
3. Seek God earnestly
4. Be sensitive to the holiness of God