I started reading in the book of Ezra this morning and wanted to share with you what God placed on my heart.
In Chapter 1, we see King Cyrus encouraging the Jewish exiles to go back to their homeland. Now the cool thing about this was that it was prophesied a couple hundred years before by Isaiah and then later by Jeremiah. Isaiah even called him by name! How would you feel if you were reading something in the scriptures and you seen your name spelled out? You see, Cyrus was a pagan ruler and God still used to Him for His will and purpose. Cyrus allowed God to use Him not because he was committed to the Lord, but because He had polytheistic views…meaning he believed in several Gods and wanted to be inclusive. I choose to believe someone probably showed Him the scriptures (because this was not uncommon in those days for rulers to know the scriptures) and when he seen his name a few times, it was not hard for him to follow through with prophesy. Personally speaking, I would have been like, “I’m on it God!” Now, this is just a testament to God keeping His promises, His sovereignty and that He will accomplish His will even using pagan kings. Now, not everyone decided to go. A good majority of the tribes of Judah decided to stay in the land of exile. Probably because the journey was going to take them about 4 months and 900 miles uphill to Jerusalem. It would have been tough. It wasn’t like they could throw stuff in the U-Haul and set out on the interstate. They would have to abandon everything and start over from scratch once they got to Jerusalem. They were also going to rebuild the temple, so they were carrying some precious things with them to use in the rebuilding. It was going to be hard and only some were up for the journey.
Now, I know you are thinking to yourself, how does this relate to me today? Just because your name isn’t specifically written, doesn’t mean that God has not encouraged you to do His will. Anytime you see thou, you, man, woman…God is speaking to you! He is instructing and inviting you personally to be part of His will! He wants to use YOU! Now, will it be easy? Sometimes it may not be, but I can assure you that God wants to bless you wherever He sends you. He has a desire for you to not just miss hell, but to live a life abundantly above what you could ever dream or desire. Some will choose to just skip hell and live an ineffective Christian life, but that’s not God’s desire for His children! It’s about taking that first step of the journey and not looking back! Sometimes we have to abandon things of this world, but God will always replace what you gave up with something better!
God is sovereign and His will will be accomplished. Don’t miss His blessings because you choose to stay in the captivity of sin or fear of the journey of faith. He wants to rebuild you…a temple of His grace…to give glory and honor to Him! If God can use Cyrus, who didn’t live a life devoted to Him, how much more is He able to use you and I when we are committed to serving and following Him…and encouraging others to go along with us! When God says move, be willing to move! He has a spiritual U-Haul full of blessings waiting to be unloaded on your life!